Thursday, July 26, 2012

While I'm Away

The last time I left them alone, I came home to a large container full of very hard, very thick play dough. The explanation was, "We were trying to make a cloud."

Today I was gone a mere 1.5 hours. The moment I stepped through the door, I was informed, "Hey, we made a bubble." To my initial horror, I thought that I would find large amounts of bubble solution everywhere. Instead, I found this:

A bed sheet, tape and a room fan. Put it all together, and you have a bubble. At least, the Foster variety.

Add in a couple of Foster kids and 1 Angel Baby, and this becomes a rather ingenious way to spend the day. No clouds or play dough required.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Only In Small Doses

As a general rule, I try to only take out 1 or 2 of my Foster Children at a time. Unleashing them all together in public is just too overwhelming. To hold my humiliation to a moderate level, I even out the playing field in the number of my kids I take with me.

But there are the rare moments where I lose my sense of self preservation and I focus solely on my time constraints. That's when I lose my grip on reality and I let my kids loose all at once. It never ends well. I'm telling you.

#1 and #2 needed physicals. My rational brain told me to schedule them on different days and different times. My practical brain won out and I scheduled them both together. Mistake #1.

Wanna know Mistake #2? Letting them speak. Because once they did, I couldn't hold them back. I begged them to act normal, but they didn't listen. Vision results, height status, weight on the scale, all became a heated competition. The nurse stared at the scene mutely. Every so often his wide eyes would look to me and I would just shrug my shoulders. That's my usual response to outsiders who are alarmed by any and all Foster behavior.

I'm wondering if there is any kind of an etiquette school I could enroll them in. They just aren't listening when I tell them that you can't burp and fart in front of other people. Do they even teach that kind of thing? Maybe most normal kids already know how to behave. Somehow I have a sinking feeling that my kids are far, so far, from normal. But hey, at least they have good eye sight.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Where My Heart Lives

Home. 4 letters, 1 simple noun. Defining it is easy. Describing it, a bit more complex. But to search for where it lives, is a whole other matter. It's hard. Maybe it's supposed to be. Home lives differently for each person. Figuring out where it lives for you can feel daunting.

For the first few years that we lived in Texas, I often wondered about Home. I lived here, but still felt like I belonged there. I felt like I was living without an anchor. Home carries a feeling, and I couldn't seem to make that feeling move to the same state my house and family were in.

I think I kept waiting for some ground breaking feeling to tell me that Home had arrived here. Weird, I know. Or maybe I subconsciously thought that Texas would feel more attached to me somehow. I honestly don't know what I was waiting for.

For the first time in 5 years, we decided to travel backwards. We went back to where we used to live. We went back to the place we once called Home. It was very surreal.

Getting a chance to see those we love, but have missed, felt like breathing in fresh air. Having a moment to see the mountains and wear bare feet on soft grass felt like awakening sweet memories.

Once our trip was over and we were on our journey back to our regular life, I had a chance to think a lot about Home. The one I have here, and the one I have there. I realized that somewhere along the 5 year path, my heart figured out what my brain could not. Home lives in many places, all at once. It doesn't have to be confined to a house or restricted to a state. Home lives in your heart, whose boundaries are endless.

Home, for me, now feels here. The feeling arrived without fanfare. It has just quietly surfaced. This is where it's grounded. This is where it finds comfort. But parts of me, parts of my Home, will always be far away. Home is not abandoned for one place or the next. It simply lingers more softly once you no longer live next door to it.

I think I shall try to cherish Home more. In all it's locations. I've come to see that Home is a gift. One given and received no matter where I live. Embrace the Home where you are.

Monday, July 9, 2012

58 Hours

Road trips do something crazy to your brain. It slowly eats it away. Like a parasite. It almost feels like the longer you are in the car with your kids, the more your brain cells implode and wash away.

We have traveled from Texas to Utah and back (and many places in between). We have spent 58 hours in the car together. That's 3,480 minutes. No one should be together that much within such a confined space. It's not natural.

By hour 54 I started to feel uber-crazy. All family structure came to a screeching halt and I may (or may not) have yelled. A lot. I considered lighting myself on fire just so I could stop the pain of it all. I traded that thought for eating my body weight in fried food.

Now that we are home, I think I might need a recovery program. Preferably one that doesn't involve me getting into a car. I'm willing to walk. My kids are way to lazy to follow me. That fact alone makes me happy. That may just be my mode of transportation for the next week.