Friday, February 23, 2007

A chaperone speaks

Being a chaperone is a spiritual discipline. Like anything else, the more you put into it, the more you get out. Sometimes you float between being and non-being; one moment a fly on the wall and the next, leader of the pack. Into the river of youth you dip your paddle, put in your two cents worth, and if the current isn't too strong you may affect the direction. But the river is never the same twice and outcomes can never be planned ahead. Most of the time you go with the flow - trust the process - and everything turns out just fine. Your children have seen through the eyes of poverty, offered a helping hand to those who are vastly less priveleged than they've ever seen. They have seen how the gears of society can grind a person down and also how those with impossible burdens can still crack jokes and praise life's small blessings. They have felt what it's like to combine their solitudes into a communion of struggle against the unfair hands some people have been dealt, how to build ramps, pack food, serve meals, find the right size pants and be the beam of love that makes a person's day.

-Richard Waring

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