“I didn’t know what to do with them.”
At the end of the school year, I was on our Bismarck campus for board meetings. In between meetings, I was walking through the school when I heard my name from one of the classrooms. I stuck my head in the door, the teacher nodded, and a trim boy in a suit and tie came into the hall and gave me a hug.
“Hi Joy, It’s my last day of classes at the Ranch as a Day Student. In the fall, I will go to the school where my mom lives. I dressed up to celebrate, and they said the 'Board' was here, whoever they are."
I smiled. He looked so handsome. White shirt, black pants, black jacket, tie… obviously second hand but clean and pressed and sharp looking. His hair was styled, his glasses clean, and he had a big smile on his face. He was a long way from the sullen boy who came into residential care over a year ago—a boy who was quick to anger, disruptive, unsmiling, argumentative, and destructive. He broke more than one window in his first couple of months here.
But he was so smart. He worked hard. He asked lots of questions and challenged our staff to stay ahead of his moods and mood changes. He asked lots of questions about God and “why” and he interrupted. He slowly got better. He transferred to our Bismarck campus so his mother could more easily be part of his healing. Eventually, he left residential care and became a Day Student, going home at night. He did well.
Now he stood in front of me looking pretty awesome… except something was off. His jacket had no lapels or collar but was really bunchy where the lapels and collar should be.
He had turned them inside the jacket.
“Um,” I said, because I am always so well-spoken, “did you mean to tuck in your lapels, or was that an accident?”
“Lapels? Huh,” he said. “I didn’t know what to do with them. They seemed extra.”
So I helped him turn them where they were supposed to be and told him to look at the male board members and staff who were wearing jackets at lunchtime. I was pretty sure he would see lots of lapels. Technically he’s right, you know. Lapels are extra.
He can put that down to one more thing he learned during his time at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch.
Lapels go on the outside.
Please keep our kids and staff in your prayers.
In His love,
Joy Ryan, President/CEO
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch
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