A sense of responsibility
Middle school is a bit blurry for me in regards to what year certain things actually occurred. I had mentioned my mother switched schools when I did, and was working at my middle school as a lunchroom supervisor. There was another woman she worked with, who struggled to find child care for the hour she was at the school each day, and she lived a short distance from the school.
She must have spoken to my mother about this, as I was asked if I was interested in regular childcare for a year. The opportunity was perfect for me, as it got me away from the school every day.
The woman would bring her son Brandon to the school with her, and then I would intercept him and walk him back to her house for the duration of the lunch period, and then walk him back, where she would assume his care and take him back home. It wasn’t long before I started taking Brad with me each day, as he too would rather be babysitting then be at school waiting for our recess period to end.
Brandon was a special kid, he was born with part of his skull missing, so it looked like he had a big contusion on the top of his head. This didn’t seem to bother him, he was a young kid at the time, but he always had some type of treatment going on. What I remember was that doctors had placed a balloon of sorts in his head to try and stretch out the skin, so it could be grafted over to cover the missing part of his skull.
I adapted to this pretty quickly, there was one occasion where his hat flew off when I was returning him to school and I heard a couple kids say “What’s wrong with that kid’s head?” It seemed to embarrass his mother a bit, but Brandon never seemed to notice.
This was my first real sense of responsibility, even though it was only for an hour each day. I remember taking a lot of pride in doing everything I was asked, and doing everything I could to take care of Brandon. There was also the allure of not having to stay at school, but I think I did enjoy the idea that I was trusted by someone with something as important as their child.
On one occasion I was leaning up against a cabinet in the basement, and I heard the glass crack. I got the feeling like I had done something terrible, and became petrified to share this information with my employer. Brad encouraged me to do the right thing, and I figured she would soon realize what I had done anyways.
When we took Brandon back to school I remember starting my confession, and the look she had on her face in anticipation stood out more than anything. She had a look like I was about to tell her I burned her house down or something. When I did get to the point she told me it was already broken, and not to worry about it.
This whole story just reminds me that even as I grew more frustrated and confused in some aspects of my life, there was still a part of me that wanted to be a good person, and do what was right. I think that part of me never really went away, and tapping into that later in life would prove to be my salvation.