CHAPTER ONE

It was a beautiful clear fall evening in 1994. I was driving down a rural road in lower Fairfield County, Connecticut. On any other day, it would have been a picture perfect evening. Beside me, a nine year old boy sat. In the midst of all this beauty, the daunting task of moving a child to his 11th foster home was before me. I began to speak as the radio quietly played in the background. The best communication with children takes place while driving but on this day, I’d be the one doing most of the talking. As I began this all too familiar dialogue; the one where I try and explain why another home is necessary at this time, the heavy words were met with silence. Although child welfare social workers continuously try and find “just the right words” to break the bad news, the words never seem to be there. How can we be part of a system, which seems to do more harm than good? Letting a few minutes quietly pass, I turned and asked, “Do you have any questions about what I said?” With barely a thought he replied, “Yeah, who can catch the moon?” At that moment, my personal belief about resiliency in children rang true. In my world, his life was falling apart but in his world, life carried on as usual. I swallowed hard and continued driving, trying desperately to make sense of his response. The idea to write a book was born from this brief life changing experience yet scribing out the thoughts did not happen as quickly. This book is an attempt to capture and share the many experiences I’ve had as part of the child welfare system. They have shaped who I am today-both personally and professionally-because the two are simply not mutually exclusive.

Who Can Catch the Moon?

“Lisa shares her personal story and professional challenges...creating a "map' to guide workers in their journey towards increased clinical skills and the tender use of self to heal those who hurt.”

MaryAnne Judge, LCSWFormer Staff Development and Training Manager-Casey Family Services

 

“I believe in Lisa Mazzeo's message and tell clients at least once a week in my practice that your body can be hurt, your feelings can be hurt but your soul will never die and no one can take it away. That internal flame carries many of our clients even if the "light of the moon" is dim in the world around them. Ms. Mazzeo shares her personal journey and her light in a way that all can understand and relate to. This book is not just for people in the profession, the general population needs to read these heartfelt accounts in order to understand the most neglected in this country: our children. "Who Can Catch the Moon" so brilliantly shows that it takes all of us together to make a difference in the lives of children. Even one caring, interested, and nurturing person can do it as well-if they are willing to go the distance between here and the moon.”Maria C. Castillo, L.C.S.W, contributing author in "Miracles Happen: The Transformational Healing Power of Past-Life Memories" by Brian L. Weiss, M.D. and Amy Weiss, M.S.W.

 

© Lisa A. Mazzeo, LCSW, BCD 2014.