Thursday, July 18, 2013

Salina - Seattle

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There definitely wasn't a Starbucks in Salina when I cruised into town back in nineteen ninety something. I had driven in from my office at a children's in-patient psychiatric hospital almost halfway across the state in Kansas City for a business meeting. It was the farthest I'd ever gone for a meeting. I met with a judge in his chambers and told him what I thought about one of my charges, little Daniel. Bright. Adorable. Loving. Violent as hell. Nowhere near ready to go live with his dad. Later on, I made it back to Kansas City, probably with a Diet Coke from McDonald's along for the ride, way before the words "tall soy no foam chai" were regularly crossing my lips. Daniel and I worked together for another year. He even progressed enough to make it to the group home across campus, Kiley House. I wonder about him sometimes. I wonder about several of the kids I used to work with. I even seriously considered adopting a little girl back then, a 10-year old named Chelsea. But my own little girl was so young and I wanted to pour everything into Shana that I could, keep her safe, keep her away somehow from the horrors those kids had experienced.

No longer a little girl, Shana headed off today on her first out of town business trip. After just one year with her company, they sent her to Seattle, Starbucks' mothership, to drum up some more biz. Plus, it seems she's already created such a good relationship with her Starbucks contacts she's skipping an evening Fifty Shades of Gray tour because the coffee peeps have invited her to dinner after the meeting.

I know for just a few bucks, she could have driven herself to the airport and I could have slept in, but I got up early for the drop-off anyway. I thought I may still have something left in the mom cup to pour in, a little business trip advice on the 101 southbound, possibly. Watching her this morning, all dressed up and rolling her bag behind her, I realized she would have done just as well no matter how many troubled kids I brought home.

Now, hopefully, she'll bring home a chai.
Tall. Soy. No foam. Thanks.

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