She's trying to become emancipated from her parents. Toward this end, she has moved in with my friend and his wife. Since my friend's wife is one of Ericka's PCAs (one of the few competent ones) this mean that Laura (the young woman) ends up at our house some times.
As a result, Ericka and I have agreed to become back-up parental units for Laura. If my friend and his wife should not be able to supervise Laura, we'd do that on a short-term basis.
To help with the whole process, it was decided that we'd apply to become foster parents. Not that we actually want to be foster parents but that if we clear the hurdles with Hennipen County, it shows courts that we're responsible people who have had very thorough background checks. We went to an information meeting this evening that was, fairly clearly, designed to scare people who are considering becoming foster parents; that is, to weed out those people who would not be approved by the system or think that having foster kids is a way to make money or any other weirdos.
I don't want kids, never have. I don't think I'd make a good father at this stage; I've got too much of my own shit to wade through and don't want to dump it on some kid. Laura, however, is about the perfect age for what I like in younger friends. She's articulate, bright, and inquisitive. She reads (a big plus) and is capable of having an intelligent conversation.
And I find myself wanting to be a role-model for her. A confidant. A person who's going to be there.
So if I turn up somewhere with a teenage girl: a) don't be surprised; b) I'm not dating her.