mercredi 18 juillet 2012
I'm a counselor in a camp with French teens in England.
If I were payed by the number of sighs I hear from them daily, I would be rich.
When they thank me or any other counselor for something we did, I truly believe a miracle has occurred, and I am hugely gratified.
They don't even realize how lucky they are.
One kid was about to leave the boarding house with another kid to go to the swimming pool, and they both still had stuff written on their torsos from a punk "costume" they had made. I had previously demanded that they wipe off any makeup before going out in public. So this kid is about to go out of the door, looks right and left and says : "C'est bon, Anne n'est pas là" (it's ok, Anne's not here). He failed to look behind him, though, because that's where I was standing. I look at them sternly, point to their rooms. They reluctantly go back. More sighs. I feel ancient.
Some of them are alright. Some of them are golden. Those are the ones who understand that we counselors also belong to the human family.
All are dramatic. They sing at the top of their lungs. They have annoying laughs that they've fabricated to impress their friends. They're passionate: "I can't survive without music", "my social life is everything". For some, Injustice is at every corner. They want to be free and they argue against every little thing. They're devilishly smart and they know it.
They still look up to us, and they may, sometimes, fleetingly, think we're halfway cool.
They are almost always endearing - you can see two conflicting forces at work in them: childhood that they're leaving behind, and maturity that they're just starting to vaguely understand.
They'll be ok in the end.