“So. . .how do you two know each other?” the bank teller asked us (with slight skepticism) within a few minutes of arriving.
“I work at the Kennel” (we were at the bank on the reservation), “So I guess we are a weird kind of family,” I replied with a smile. My kiddo smiled too.
What the bank teller didn't know when she sat us down at her station was that she was about to be part of a most victorious event. This was the moment when one of my students was to open her very first bank account. It was most definitely one of the proudest moments of my mentoring career. We sat there in the bank as unconventional family trying to figure out all the details (like home addresses and billing addresses and all sorts of other important but harder than necessary details) and I watched my kiddo take this moment so seriously. She had just a touch of nervousness and excitement.
I realized what a big moment it was for her when we were setting up her savings account and she asked,
“Is that the kind where you can’t touch it?”
“Yea,” I replied, “You aren’t supposed to touch that account. You put a little money in it from every money you get and it stays there.”
Quietly she replied, “I always wanted one of those.”
When we walked out of the bank we were happy as clams and I could have sworn she was walking taller, with more confidence in her step. She had saved up her own money and she had put it in an account. She had made rules and modifications, told me what she needed and allowed me to be on the account with her. She had shown that she was growing up and I couldn’t have been more proud.
I texted her later and I told her just how I was feeling: “Chickadee I was soooo proud of you today!”
She simply replied, “Me too :)”
The small victories. The cycles being broken. The moments of movement. These are the moments that I live for.