As a mother who works full time, I have to leave my own child with someone every day. I always hope and pray that she is in good hands. That she is being protected and taught the correct things while I am away. That someone is loving her almost as much as I do (which I know is a high demand, because my love for her seems to have no bounds). That they are taking the time to play with her and give her the attention that she needs- that she deserves. And the reason I do this is so that I can take a similar role for someone else’s child every day.
Some of the boys that I work with have parents miles and miles away. Some haven’t been home in over a year, because they have been at other programs. The role I play in their lives is a sacred role that I can not lose sight of. I think of the many parents who are miles away from their sons just hoping that whoever is with them is taking care of them, and loving them almost as much as they love them. That someone is teaching them, and helping them to get back on track- since they have wandered so far from the course. I can never replace the role as their parent, nor am I supposed to. But my role is to care about them and help guide them back so they can be reunited with their family- whatever that may look like.
When I look at the picture of my little girl on my desk, I can’t help but be grateful for the amazing trust these parents have put in me with their own sons. And I am honored to be part of their journey to help bring their son’s back home safely. Tiffany Winder, Therapist, Oxbow Academy