This will be Riley’s fourth year of music camp. From her first summer there she’s had her eyes on the prize. She wants to be a camp counselor. One of her music therapists heard of this dream a couple of years ago and encouraged her. Why not? It was a long way off. Her view was why put limits on her? Another music therapist she had very early on heard about it and was like, “hell no.” I mean, she didn’t come out and say that, but she was skeptical. She’d had Riley when she was still a screaming mimi. She didn’t want to encourage this. I backed off and let it go for a while, but Riley never did. She wants to be a counselor.
The music therapist who was championing her found a new job.
The organization that runs the camp got a new director last year.
I popped in to talk with the director today. I needed to know how realistic our chances are. Riley talks about being a counselor, a lot.
The director told me she was so moved watching Riley as the lead last year in the musical production. They had just two weeks to put together the play and they needed someone with a good memory to learn the lines. Riley did it, and she was great. She said she’s had her eye on Riley, and she’s one of the most empathetic campers they have. This is an inclusion camp, mostly typicals, and several kids with special needs. She told me not to do anything to discourage her dream. She told me Riley has touched her heart. She told me she prays for my little girl. She told me, “She’s going to be alright.”
She flat out made me cry.
We’re going to work together and figure something out. It’s still a couple of years away before she can even be a counselor-in-training. Maybe she can be a helper or an assistant before she is a counselor-in-training. Ease her in a bit. Maybe we have an aide unobtrusively shadow her when she’s a counselor, just in case she needs help.
I know Riley can do it.
I love that she wants to do it.
I love that there are people who care about her and want to support her in her dream.
I love my girl.
*Riley in the role of “the teacher” in last year’s summer camp production. Camp starts in less than three weeks.