FSN Family Resource Aide Amber Rushton plays with her son James. Photo Courtesy FSN
BY AMBER RUSHTON
Family Resource Aide
Family Strengths Network
I’m not going to remember much of the details of being the Family Resource Aide. I don’t mean that in a negative way. It is a delightful place to work. We sing silly songs with Rachel. We share delicious food from Russia with Regina and Polish perogies with Maja. We glue cotton balls onto paper plates and paint the bottoms of our feet. We race ducks and paint faces and clean up messes.
These little things build community. Community for those who come with tears to overflowing from the stress of an unexpected pregnancy during graduate school and the necessary move across the country–who leave with a smile, a bouncy seat, and a hiking date.
Community for those who come from foreign lands trying to figure out school systems and medical systems. Whose developing English makes scheduling necessary appointments intimidating. And whose payment comes in a smile of relief when we offer to make a call on speakerphone while appointments are made.
Community for the dreaded task of potty training! Oh, how we need a voice of reason as we struggle to understand how something so natural is so foreign. How something so simple can be so traumatic.
In time, I will forget Cogran and its tedious transition. I’ll forget the grandmas who visited while their children moved, had a baby or went on a well-earned getaway.
I will forget how many times I put away fire trucks and cleaned up potty training messes.
I cherish time spent holding babies so mommies can go potty “all by myself!”
What I hope to remember is how the sum of so many seemingly tedious tasks, so many silly songs, so many crazy crafts truly empowers families and builds communities.
Early into my reign at the front desk, I connect with FSN’s founder to get a glimpse into her brain when she first opened the doors. I wanted to see how FSN stayed true to her vision and how we evolved to meet continuously changing times.
Her vision: Child Abuse Prevention
“Child abuse prevention!? That’s not what I do!” I thought.
But only for a moment. Because then I recognized that EVERYTHING we do to support families and build communities does just that. Family Strengths Network is located at 3540 Orange St. Los Alamos, www.lafsn.org, email@example.com