This is social work:

* lining up matchbox cars so the six year old can crash his toy helicopter into them, the crashes getting bigger each time.
* one reading of Sponge Bob Squarepants.
* discussing the finer points of Pink Floyd in 100 degree wheat field summers on the front porch with the 13 year old.
* miniature 2 year old arms wrapped around my neck, little head pressed against my cheek.
* two toddler "i love you's" when I leave the home.
* i will do social work forever. i will love these kids forever.

This is social work:

* endless conversations with service providers that conclude we don't know as much as we'd like to believe. sighs. breaks in the conversation. what are the family's resiliency factors again?
* awkwardly supervising a visit between parent and child. everybody's on their best behavior. love and risk and hurt and power so thick you can reach out and touch it.
* staring at the computer, wishing so hard you can make your words really align to what you're thinking for that court report that's due today.
* i cannot do social work forever. i will love these kids forever.

When I write those reports, I listen to Massanet. Beethoven. It's just complicated enough without being dark. I cannot listen to Mozart or Siberius. They mock the complexity of my recommendations with their simple little melodies.

What people are capable of can astound you.

Both ways.


  1. meg on July 25, 2008 at 9:28 PM

    Again, I am in awe of the burden you carry & bless you for doing it.
    Discipline I have for things I love to do- self-control over what I should not do, not so much :-S

  2. Jorge on July 26, 2008 at 3:35 PM

    It's nice to see another who's out there doing work that matters, work that needs to be done, work that is done with care. Be well,

  3. t i m on July 26, 2008 at 3:42 PM

    I always have great admiration for folks that do a job that makes a real different to people's lives.

  4. Caleb on July 27, 2008 at 11:04 PM

    Your title alone gave me something to think about; thank you. It is going to be so interesting to be able to look back and see all the different people you have positively impacted.

  5. chelle on August 2, 2008 at 3:22 PM

    You are one beatiful/amazing woman, Lisa. I love both the truth and depth with which you percieve life. Thanks for writing it all down and then sharing it with us.


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