Mornings have a certain flow. Roll out of bed, grab a quick shower, throw on the clothes that (if I was smart) I laid out the night before. If I’m really lucky I’ll manage to get through all of this without hearing that knock and plaintive, “Mom?” at the door.
A girl can dream.
But when one part goes awry, well…that’s when the train really goes off the rails.
Foster parents are made of strong stuff.
They find it within themselves to open their hearts and homes to children in need, offering a stable life to young people struggling to find their way.
They work to maintain relationships between children and their biological families, often while those families are working through their own issues. They take charge over souls who have experienced unspeakable trauma and walk with them through the fire of recovery.
And they love these kids deeply, unconditionally, despite the fact that they might only be in their lives for a short while.
Picking noses. Dropping clipped toenails on the floor. Leaving dirty dishes in the sink. I’d say these are some pretty common annoyances across the general population.
I think we can agree that parenting brings its own particular brand of pet peeves to the party.
Lately I’ve been thinking about my younger days.
See that sweet face? (Yeah, BrightSide, too.) How innocent, how naive…ready to go along to get along, keep the peace, calm the waters no matter what.
Well, lately I’ve been thinking about what I’d tell that 20-something me.
Oh, the special joy of a winter storm. When a four inch layer falls overnight, covering your world with sleet and a bright fluffy snow that defies all logic for this area of North Carolina.
Children wake up bright eyed and fluffy tailed, ready to layer up and head out with sleds in hand. Despite the fact that it’s ten degrees outside. Regardless of their lack of proper snow boots (because, again, North Carolina). With barely a bite to eat they rush out the door, anxious to run madly through the snow.
And me? Well, I just try to keep up.
You will never guess where I am right this moment.
Well, at least eight of you will guess because you’re family and keep up with me in real time, but as for the rest of you? You will never guess where I am right this very moment.
In our nation’s capital. With Bear. And all the other fifth graders from her school.
That’s right! Less than two weeks after one of the country’s most contentious presidential elections…as protestors numbering in the thousands march the streets…while temperatures drop into the mid-forties for a high…we will be visiting Washington D.C.
Praise the Lord and pass the thermal underwear.
Watching them that day was like seeing unbridled joy collide with utter adoration. Love and delight shone all around them, brighter than the sun as a blast of energy exploded out of the water, spinning furiously through the air before crashing with a dazzling splash.
It was one of those moments forever frozen in time, precious for both T-man and Bear’s love for BrightSide and his limitless devotion to them.
Parenting is one long teaching gig. We’re tasked with raising up the little people until they’re self-sufficient human beings who will go forth and make a difference in the world. So it’s kind of a big deal.
Except the people can’t go forth and do that do-gooder thing until they’ve gained the necessary skills. Now at the risk of sounding immodest, I’ve always considered myself an intelligent woman as well as an adept teacher. It’s not that I didn’t think we’d hit a few snags here and there, but I have to say I’ve been surprised by some of the skills that have been challenging to teach.