Monday, June 15, 2009

Recipe for Preserving Children

This is from my favorite "Mom" book, Mitten Strings for God by Katrina Kenison:

1 grass-grown field
several dogs and puppies (if available)
pebbles and sand
1/2 dozen children or more
1 brook

Into field, pour children and dogs, allowing to mix well.
Pour brook over pebbles until slightly frothy.
When children are nicely brown, cool in warm bath.
When dry, serve with milk and freshly baked gingerbread.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Essentials for Summer

With 2 1/2 days of school left, summer break is rapidly approaching. Time to stock up on a few summer essentials:

Mayonnaise Jars
To catch lightning bugs in. With holes poked in the lid and bits of twigs and grass inside.

For all the scraped knees from climbing trees, riding bikes, and playing kick-ball in the driveway.

A New Broom
To sweep up all the dirt tracked in the house dawn to dusk from their dirt-encrusted bare feet.

New Tupperware
I can kiss my old stuff goodbye. It will be pressed into service to catch bugs, make mudpies and hold cherries they've picked.

Lots of Ice Cream

To soothe the itchies from the Poison Ivy they were supposed to stay away from and the mosquito bites they got when they forgot to zip the screen on the tent.

Wire Coathangers
To bend just so to roast marshmallows and hot dogs.

Those Sparklers That You Light And Run Around With Till You're Blind Or Poke Someone's Eye Out
Because they're fun. And it's cool to write your name in the air with them.

Good Books, Lots of Art Stuff, Movies and Popcorn
For snuggly stuff to do on rainy days.

Watermelon and Roadside-Stand Corn on the Cob
Because it's summer.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Got word last week that an article (essay?) of mine has been accepted for publication! It will appear in the September issue of Adoption Today. I figure this is not only good for me, as I've discovered I truly enjoy writing, but good for adoption if I can get some of my views out and be an advocate of sorts.

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Week In The Life ....

Drove one kid to an appointment in the morning.
Drove another kid to an appointment in the afternoon.
Picked strawberries with my 6 kids plus 1 friend. Took home way more than we needed.
Dropped kid off at the Ashland Nature Center in the morning for a two day, one night field trip.
Picked two kids up from school at 5pm after their all-day excursion into Philadelphia with the rest of the 4th graders.
Got an enthusiastic demonstration (the whole car ride home) from one of how her duck-quacker worked that she got from the Duck Ride Tour.
Arrived at Ashland to pick child up, but she asked if she could go to her friend's house for a few hours, so I headed back home in time to get the other kids off the bus.
Out again later to pick up from friend's house.
Tried to get some yard work done but the weather wouldn't cooperate.
Kept kids apart as much as humanly possible. With only two weeks remaining till summer break, they're all fidgety and restless and jumping down each other's throats.
Took child to a play at the school we're considering for him next year.
Mother-Dtr Book Club arrived for the end-of-year bash. The girls jumped in the pool while the Moms tried to keep out of the rain under the umbrella. Then we ate, talked about the book Twilight and watched the movie on the couch. Hard to believe this is the same group of girls that first started meeting as 2nd graders. From Junie B Jones to Twilight in three short years. Sigh .....
Oldest got all dressed up and headed out the door to his 8th grade semi-formal dinner dance.
He and his friends had made plans to go to the movies afterwards and he said he had rides there and back with parents. But at 2:15 in the morning he wasn't home yet. Only then did Fred and I realize we didn't know which Mom was driving, which theatre he was at, and that he didn't have a cell phone for us to call him. We wrung our hands and paced the floor and wondered whether we should start calling parents of friends but decided to wait a bit longer. He got dropped off around 2:45 with a smile on his face, his tie askew and carrying a bunch of balloons from the party. We are soooo not ready to be parents of teenagers.
Fred's annual surgical resident's party in the afternoon.
Got the worst of the weeds pulled and the pool spiffed up just in time for the guests to arrive.
One of the kids' friends cut his knee pretty bad. Good thing there was a houseful of surgeons. Didn't end up needing stitches, though.
Another kid puked bucketloads of food all over the pool patio. Got her cleaned up and taken care of, then began hosing down what remained of her lunch. Watermelon and tacos does NOT look pretty revisited.
Four friends slept over.
Flipped a few dozen flapjacks to feed 10 kids for breakfast.
Played lifeguard most of the morning while all the houligans swam off their energy.
Hoped I could retain some of the sun's energy myself, to prepare myself for next week's round of appointments and chores and parties and fieldtrips and field days and .......

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Things kids shouldn't know about ....

I was sorting strawberries with James and Julie a couple days ago, after picking a boatload of them at a local farm. As often happens, when their hands are busily engaged with work, their tongues move more freely. They shared with me some of the atrocities they've seen over the years at their orphanages. We adoptive parents like to think that, although not the same as a family and home, the orphange is not too bad a place for the kids. They keep them warm and safe and dry and fed. But when the love of a family is missing, terrible things can happen.
My kids told me of children slicing their arms with knives. Pushing needles into their bellies while being kept in "solitary confinement". Looking out the window to see a classmate swinging from a tree, rope around his neck and chair kicked out from under him, and having to run out with teachers and students to rescue him. They both knew of many kids who had hurt themselves, attempted suicide, or ended their lives violently. This is not a case of knowing someone who knew someone who tried it, this is being able to count the lost souls of kids you once knew.
With both hands and voice trembling, I assured my sweet kids that here they are safe and loved. I let them know that they could come to us with anything on their minds. Told them if they feel angry or sad we can talk with them and help them through their feelings.
At some point, when they have a little more English under their belts, I will take them to see a professional who can help them deal with the many things they've seen and experienced in their short lives. But for now, I hope lots of hugs and kisses and talking and snuggling will do the job of making them feel safe and secure and loved.
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