My main objective for our weekend visits is to provide her with a carefree environment; walks on the beach, brunch dates, visits to the latest exhibition at the De Young, silly movie nights, window shopping down town, etc.. The irony is that as shallow as these activities may appear, they provide for an opportunity for my mentee to grow deeply. This growth didn’t result from long personal discussions about her past or present but rather, by simply exposing her to happiness; i.e., lot of dance sessions while driving, belting out Beyonce even though I’m a horrible singer and laughing at ourselves.
While I haven’t inspired her to actually dance in front of me, she does laugh freely at my goofiness and if she’s genuinely laughing, she’s relaxing…she’s allowing herself to let go of the worry for a minute. Like anything in life, when too much time passes between our visits, it takes a bit longer for her to get to a safe place again with me but we work at it. We start over sometimes but we keep going forward. She is such a strong woman, she knows that she ought to laugh and so, slowly a smile will curve up her lips and a giggle will cough out her throat and soon enough she’s actually laughing. I’ll continue to sing Beyonce as long as she’ll need me to, but I’m fairly confident, my mentee is about to hit her stride in a big way as a Freshman at SFSU this year.
I’m so grateful for her and cannot wait for to see what she thinks of college.
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