I hadn't seen her in over a week, and we were so off track with her studies. It had been a painful process to get her to finish that research paper... disappointment, broken promises, frustration, late nights, excuses... and then she went on vacation. And then she came back and couldn't come in the next day since her mom was sick and couldn't bring her. And even though it was Friday of Halloween weekend, I was determined to get her in that day so we could get some momentum. I never do this, but I offered to pick her up. "That will work," she texted around 12:30. "Great, I'll see you at 2." I wrote back. I added on before I sent it, "you should be in costume, btw." Just to be fun and lighten the mood. It's better with us when the mood is light and she feels like things are okay.
At 2 I pulled up and texted that I was there, and she sent back that she'd be right down. The car was in park and I sat fiddling with my phone as I waited another couple minutes for her. I was still looking down at my phone as she came to the door, opened it and sat down, and I said hi and reached to put the car in drive before I looked up.
She was a Wild Thing. Furry goat-like costume, brown animal ears, face makeup, ripped tights and brown boots. Her sheepish anticipatory smile on top of it all, waiting for me to react. I burst out with laughter, genuine delight and surprise, and she started laughing too... I hadn't expected her to actually be in costume, and I don't think she had much reason to be for a couple hour tutoring session... She did it for fun. And, I think, to join me in wanting to lighten our mood.
The short car ride was fun and full of stories. Something about sitting side by side in a car lessens your boundaries and pushes you towards camaraderie. I wasn't in costume for work but I put on my short choppy black wig I'd had in the car once we got to the center. And then we had one of our best sessions ever.
Inside both of us, a young and younger Wild Thing, is hope. Keep your fingers crossed.