I fell asleep in the car on the way home.
Just nodded right off.
We only met for an hour, but it was a pretty intense hour. After doing the workshop for teens and young adults on boundaries and abuse prevention on Friday, an hour was made available on Saturday for parents to come in and discuss those issues. Joe and I arrived about 20 minutes before start time and were greeted by agency staff. No one was there. Only minutes before we were set to begin, we were still sitting alone in the large board room where the meeting was to happen. Then, suddenly, we heard the bing, bing, bing sounds as the front door openned and closed several times.
In all four parents and one care provider came. Less than we'd hope for but more than enough to work with. I openned with a short ten minute talk on the framework for what we had taught on Friday and then openned it up for questions. And questions came.
We had frank discussions regarding sexuality, abuse, bullying and teasing, hopes for the future, fears of the future. It was the right mix because there seemed to be a desire to ask questions bluntly and to get answers without bullshit. I felt that I was being asked to be entirely honest in my answers, that no feelings were to be spared. It was a meeting without hidden agendas, without politics, without need for bafflegab.
It struck me afterwards just how much those parents must love their kids, how much they must worry. They came on a Saturday. They came prepared to ask hard questions. They came ready to listen. They came with their 'bullshit detector' turned on the highest sensitivity.
I wonder how often parents get the chance to talk freely and honestly simply seek advice. I wonder how often we fail them by being less than honest, less than frank.
I think that the thing I've really learned from teaching people with disabilities is that if someone is brave enough to ask a question, the are ready to hear the answer.
But honesty takes energy. Lots and lots of energy.
So, I slept in the car on the way home.