Friday, January 28, 2011

le cirque

So my boss has been gone for exactly one week of the four weeks she is leaving me to fend for myself.  This is not the first time that I have been left in charge - but it is the one with the most happening.  We are undergoing some personnel shifts (nothing bad or unexpected knockonwood knockonwood) and on Wednesday we had a field trip to Cirque Du Soleil.

Cirque is a totally bad ass organization with a huge social and outreach focus (betcha didn't know that!) they are really, really fantastic and love what we do (bonus!) so they give us free tickets to take kids, primarily kids who are from the not-so-great neighborhoods who may not ever have the chance to see a Cirque show, to whatever show they have going on in the Chicago area, which means that there are kids who have been our program for six or seven years and so have seen like 10 Cirque shows - which makes them this rare breed of pretentious, snobby asshats who are also eligible for the federal free lunch program.

Anyway - in my life I have dabbled in teaching but have always backed out when things got to serious (life imitates life in that way), why?  because I am not a huge fan of being responsible for other people's kids.  Its fun and all to teach them neat tricks like pirouettes or forward rolls or plate spinning but once people want me to take more than a passing interest, I kind of fade out.  Is this terrible?  Maybe... I have found, though, that when placed in an administrative position, I am far, far more interested in the lives of the youth of America.  As long as the direct contact is kept to a minimum - I am more than happy to change your kid's life for the better.

So ANYWAY - we have this field trip to Cirque and since my boss is gone - I am left in charge.  The macadamia nuts  she sent to me from lovely Oahu were nice, but they do not really make up for the epic strain this has put on my psyche. 

Here's the thing.  I am an epic, epic worrier.  I find that the best course of action is to spend most of my time worrying about the worst possible things that can happen, so that when they do happen - I am at least anticipating them (and if they don't at least maybe I've burned a few calories with all the worry and hysteria).  So for the past week or so, I have worried about this trip: worried about losing a kid, about the bus not coming, or getting lost, or all of us getting stranded on the side of the road, or the tickets not being there, or me being shot before I got to to work that day (which is not, like, out of the realm of possibility in this neighborhood) and that messing up the trip because the tickets are in my name and then I ruin all these kids' lives and they become gang members and thus do not break the cycle of poverty.

That has pretty much been how my head sounded over and over for a week - and then the trip came and everything went totally fine.  There was some shenanigans over parking (that were totally my fault) as well as kids running around cracked out on free, unlimited popcorn and soda (fail, Sears Centre, fail) but the kids all loved it and they all got on and off the bus, in and out of the theater and picked up by their parents in one piece.

Which means my worrying was exactly what the doctor ordered, because had I not worried then terrible things would have totally happened. 

And so now I am back to my regularly scheduled worrying about normal things.  But, the blog posts for the next few weeks may be a little light as I attempt to do both my own job and my boss's (ta-da!).

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She's pint-sized and amazing.