One good thing about ending a job working with difficult children: you have fewer bite marks.

But I’m going to miss so much about that job. During my last week with the kids, I completely assumed the role of that boy in middle school who told everyone he was moving away so he’d get all the attention. The problem with my tactic was that these kids…well they just didn’t really care all that much. They inadvertently pulled this reverse psychology on me and it made me want that love even more.

I straight-up had a conversation with one of my favorite kids while I was driving. I didn’t sugarcoat the fact that I was moving far away and that he better get emotional to show how much he cared. It didn’t really go as I planned.

So bud, this is going to be our last day together.

So I’m not going to see you?

Well, I mean, I’ll be in Maine sometimes, but it would take a real coincidence for us to see each other again.

Oh.

So, what should we do?

Let’s tell our secrets.

YES! That’s a great idea! Ok, I’ll go first. I’m… afraid of skunks.

[he laughs]

Ok, now it’s your turn. What’s one of your secrets?

I don’t have any.

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And that’s how I got bamboozled by a 10 year old. The kid completely took advantage of me and laughed at my fear of skunks while he kept his secrets to himself. Who hoards secrets at that age?

The week went on though and I did have some wonderful moments. I found myself at a recreation center that must have been opened up by an 80s kid. TLC and Boyz 2 Men CDS laying around and some of the best board games ever invented. None of this Candy Crush crap. They have the good stuff. So during “my choice” where I literally choose what I want to do in a selfish way of teaching them to accept “NO,” I chose my game: GUESS WHO.

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If you don’t know this game, I don’t want to know you. I’m not sure what made this game so enjoyable. It was a guessing game and really, once you figured out the 3-4 questions to ask, you’d have to be an idiot not to figure out the secret person. I do know that I loved how in the commercial the narrator would make sure to whisper “game pieces do not actually talk” in case some ignorant slut sued them for false advertising? Hey Milton Bradley, I think we know Maria the French-looking chick who is ON A CARD does not actually speak but good for you if you want to cover your bases. Maria was the hottest one in the game but I digress. I decided to pick my card randomly and I ended up with:

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MAX. Might be the worst guy in the bunch. Even worse than that redheaded freak show, Frans.  Max with his Mexican moustache and gigantic lips, though! Looked like a music teacher who diddled kids with a recorder. Not a tape recorder—the instrument, obviously. It was OK getting Max though because the 14 year old I was playing with made up for it with interesting tactics and strategy. He’s a very bright kid but for some reason he didn’t really understand the simple rules of this old-school delight. Maybe it’s generational or maybe it was the autism. I’d ask the standard questions like “Is your person a girl?” and he’d respond with his questions…”Does your person have sad eyes?” I laughed at first because it was such a specific/odd question but figured out what potential people he was talking about. There’s definitely some sad eyes in the bunch. Either way, I won. When I guessed his card he thought he won which was just all sorts of anti-climatic. Nothing worse than when you win a game and your opponent is happy for you. It’s kind of like telling someone a secret and having them not tell you one back.