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Hoping Against Hope and Reason

Posted Sep 28 2006 12:00am

I took this picture the day after Mike came home when we were at a picnic. He doesn’t know I took it. Salinda chose not to come to the picnic, so Sadie had to take over her roll as his shadow. I think that most of their actions came from compassion, but whenever he returns to our home, they treat him as one would treat a war hero.

So this particular day his interractions with the rest of the people at the picnic the way this picture depicts,. He really was demonstrating that he wanted nothing else to do with the other people who were there. As the night wore on, he got a little better, but for the most part we (a group of families with special needs kids) were too “normal” for his liking.

Mike has always been drawn to people who look and act “counter-culture.” I’m not sure if it has been due to necessity because others would not accept him, or just what he believes is his “style.” He’s already given himself many tattoes without our blessing or approval, and the only thing that is keeping him from piercing every body part imaginable is our “nothing but your ears until you move out of the house” rule.

Today Mike has a second interview at Carlson Craft , one of the most reputable companies in the business. Bart had to rely on some connections in order for them to give MIke a chance, and they are treating him very well. Since he is a very talented artist, and computer graphics is what he says is the field he wants to pursue, he could not have a better opportunity than this.

First we’re hoping that he will get the job, but that is the easy part. The person we know at the company is committed to kids like Mike and giving them a chance. So, we’re hoping he gets it, but we’re also hoping, against hope, that he can keep it.

The first position he holds there might very well be cutting up boxes. He heard that in his first interview and was relieved because he knows he can do a job like that. And hopefully, if he consistently does a good job over the next five months or so, he may be able to move into something more challenging and higher paying when he turns 18.

The company offers full benefits and much opportunity for advancement.

But my fear comes not only from Mike’s track record of failure upon failure in nearly everything he has attempted, but that this job may be too “normal” for him. For someone who has dreams of being a tatoo artist, doing computer graphics for a reputable company doesn’t seem like something he’ll be that interested in.

So those are all the thoughts that I“m dealing with today as we anticipate Mike’s second interview and look at his future. To me, this is a perfect opportunity, a no-brainer that he should put forth as much energy as possible into turning into his own personal success story.

But as I am learning the hard way, Mike is not me, and I am not him, and no matter how hard we try to steer him into a direction that seems logical, right, even perfect to ME, it may not be who he wants to be. But part of me, again, hoping against hope, that maybe who he really is, deep down inside, is a successful computer graphics professional encased in a tattoo artist wannabees body, waiting to break free.

Sound a little ridiculous doesn’t it?

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