The Home Portion of a Home-Study
This Saturday, our social worker (“SW”) will be coming to our house to check out things. She told us that we didn’t need to babyproof or clean, *but* that she would flush our toilet to check for running water. These standards are pretty low: running water, indoor plumbing, food in the fridge— at least for middle class Americans. Of course, even low standards set off some fear response. Even if you are the most boring, law-abiding person on the planet, you have those moments of paranoia where you wonder if someone will figure out something about you that you don’t know about yourself. Well, at least I think that way. Perhaps, she’ll see something in the way that we live that is just fatal.
To comfort myself during this time of stress, I have decided that I will envision many things that other people probably have done wrong in front of their SWs. Our SW is coming at 9am. How wrong would it be to offer her a mimosa? And as she tours the house and goes over our financials— we could ask her how soon little Delilah can work to support the family. Or how about showing her the garage and saying that the other immigrants we stashed there found it to be a safe and enjoyable bedroom?
You probably don’t want to have a sense of humor with your SW. You just want to get through the process— but when you can’t, I find comfort in knowing that the world is full of much worse parents than I could ever be and they aren’t even trying to be funny. In fact, it’s very much the same thing that I tell myself about teaching when the days are bad— that I don’t suck as much as some other people (even where “n” is small). It’s not the most optimistic or supportive way to view the world around you, but it works.