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The Clock is Ticking

20150429_201143I’m trying to wrap up time of mentoring with Nathan. We have 6 of 50 hours to go and we’re struggling to schedule time. He’s been ill. I’ve been ill or gone and the clock is ticking. Perhaps if we’d met twice a week we wouldn’t be in this bind. We planned for missed days and weeks, but not this much.

With deadlines around the corner, senioritis sinking in, and English class gnawing at his heals, Nathen would have been better off to have completed the mentor time a month ago. But this is life and life is not on any ones particular schedule. Can you believe that?


Today was supposed to be that last six hour push. Last night we met for our usual 1.5 hours and decided this was the best plan. He needs to finish and focus on English. I would like to finish and get back to editing my work in progress and start two more young adult books.


But life seems to keep bumping us of course.

I feel frustrated and I know Nathan does too. He’s a longtime family friend and I want to see this to the end. For him and his great-grandmother, who was my mentor, may she rest in peace.


Six measly hours to go. He’s running out of time. My mind slips into mother mode, but I can’t hold his hand and walk him down the path. He’s eighteen. A legal adult. He needs to make choices and be in charge. He made the choice to stay at school and finish his English instead of meeting me for the last 6 hour push. A great choice. An important choice. But we still have a those hours to fill. And time is running out. In June he’ll be on his own. A man. He doesn’t need two mommies. I have to let him struggle and find his way just like a caterpillar has to struggle out of the cocoon in order to spread his wings and fly.

Yet it’s my schedule that is getting tighter and tighter. I only have so much time to give.

Nathan will get there I know.

“I was once your age,” I told him when we met yesterday. “I know how it feels to be a senior and having to meet with me instead of hanging with your friends. I get that.”

But we need to finish these 6 hours. I pray we do. The clock is ticking and he has a deadline. We have three days of two hours or one day of six. He chose one day of six. We rescheduled for next week.

I am proud of him choosing to stay and edit his final piece for his presentation instead of shooting hoops with the guys. I read the disappointment of his face. The days are longer, and the sun is shining. But there is work to be done. And he works hard when we meet.


I understand. I’ve been there. It’s hard in these young years, the transitions from dependence to independence. We’ve all been there.

He’ll make it. And so will the next student. Sometimes we have to gather around the tipi and support our youth, but if we can change one life, it’s all worth it. Nathan’s worth it.

One student at a time.


Perseverance, n.: A lowly virtue whereby mediocrity achieves a glorious success.

– Ambrose Bierce


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