Believing in Mantras
I am constantly reminding myself that "Cameron will be okay." This phrase has become somewhat of a mantra (and I'm actually starting to believe it.) My mantra came in handy while sitting in the ER with Cameron last weekend after his accident on the way to work. The mantra rang true when Cameron rejected my suggestion that he take the following weekend off from work, so as not to have to hobble around the restaurant on his broken foot. Cameron was adamantly opposed to taking two weekends off in a row, and soldiered on, big clunky orthopedic boot and all. With his desire to work, Cameron may very well indeed be okay.
But then I think, "Will he be okay? Will he really?"
Since the beginning of the school year, Cameron has been happily participating in his third internship in as many years. This internship is part of his regular school day and is arranged for by the school's Transition Department. These internships have been great for many reasons beyond the obvious work experience he is gaining. Cameron has already built an impressive resume, with three work experience entries of 9 months or more. I'd say that's impressive for any 18-year-old, regardless of his learning profile. I don't think my own resume at that age would reflect such longevity. And let's face it: for the type of employment opportunities Cameron will likely be seeking, length of time with employer is a key consideration for hiring managers. But I always worry that not only does Cameron need the right kind of job opportunity, he also needs the right kind of manager. I worry that not all employers will be as sympathetic to Cameron's challenges, and that he's just been lucky so far.
The school recently asked Cameron's current internship manager for an evaluation of Cameron's performance. Cameron's transition teacher immediately shared the results with me via email. Cameron received the highest rating in every category, and the manager made glowing comments about Cameron's work ethic. So, yeah ... maybe Cameron actually will be okay. I mean ... yeah, Cameron will be okay. (Deep, cleansing breath.)
Many of my fears about Cameron's coming of age have already been tested. I had feared a medical emergency situation in which Cameron had the right to make his own decisions, and made the wrong ones. Last weekend in the ER, no one tried to shut me out of the decision-making process and I was still the person whose signature was sought. But even if Cameron had been left to his own devices, and I had been told that it was Cameron's signature they needed, I'm confident that Cameron would have made the right choices. And when given the opportunity to stay home from work, not only does Cameron not take the opportunity, but he avoids missing work at all costs.
So, yeah. Cameron will be okay. I am firmly convinced of It ... At the time of writing ... As I push troublesome scenarios from my head while I try to close this column on a happy note. No, really. I mean it. Cameron will be okay.