Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Oscar thoughts

I did not watch the Oscars, and I do not tweet.  So it took a bit of time for me to hear about the flap at this years event.  To think that anyone would tweet anything so rude and crude about a 9 year old child staggers me.  I was still heated about it when my wife  got home from work last night.  Literally, ranting about it, which if you knew me in real life, you would know is pretty unusual.  I just don't go off very often.

But to me, it was a hugely race based situation.  I can not picture that same comment being made if a 9 year old white actress was being tweeted about.  As a parent, I hurt for that beautiful young girl. Today, ranting somewhat over, I think I am a teeny bit glad that it happened.

Not for the hurt that those words caused Ms. Wallis and her family.  But because in the name of humor, someone sure showed America that racism is alive and well. This is important to us as parents of children of  color.  I have black friends who have said that one of the hard things nowadays is that many times racism is sneaky.  The putdowns are less obvious, things are inferred as opposed to out-right said.

With a two term black president at the helm of our country, many white friends have told me that racism is dead in America. That we are truly a color blind society. Thanks Onion,  for reminding all of us of the work yet to be done.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Let it Snow!

The snow has arrived.  It is that heavy wet snow.  I have a love/hate relationship with this kind of snow.  It makes driving more treacherous in my opinion.  BUT it is to me a harbinger of spring.  Our true winter storms have lots of the dry fluffy stuff. When the water content is higher, spring and the maple sugar runs can't be too far off.

KC and I love to walk to the downtown Dunkin D*nuts when there is a storm. It is about a 1/4 of a mile each way but things are magical when the city is quiet.  This time Lissa came with us.  She did not find it quite so magical.  Snow in her eyes.  Snow in her boots. Skidding in slush grossed her out.  Brown snow from the sand trucks grossed her out (as opposed to KC who thought it looked like when we put cinnamon in a baking mix)  Ah me, the girl is going to be high maintenance.

They both enjoyed buying their bagels and coolatas though.  I got a coffee and after about a 30 minute eating break we headed back.  What a difference a half hour makes!  Suddenly the city was alive with plows, shovellers and such.  But it was fun, and with a little luck, maybe this is our last winter storm!

Saturday, February 23, 2013


You don't have to look far to find blogs where adoptive parents write of how difficult the onset of legal adulthood is for many adopted kids.  So  many choose to make separating from home a painful break--often though not always healed later.

I am hoping that we will have a more peaceful situation with Rob and frankly his actions and demeanor point to the positives.  He is interested in a college in a nearby state that has a fine culinary program.  I sent for info on the college today.  He is still a year away from graduating but I am thinking that if we approach this gradually--Rob like most of my kids does not like change thrust upon him-- that things will be a bit easier for him.

As we drove to his girlfriends house today I asked him if he had thought about whether or not he wanted to commute to a college or if he wanted to live on campus. He had not thought about that and I could see a bit of the deer in the headlights look.  I said that if he did go to the college he wanted info on, that it was close enough to commute if that was something he was interested in, and that he had lots of time to decide what he thought would work out best for him.

Though I did not say it to him, selfishly I sort of hope he wants to commute.  But deep down, I want him to choose the path that will be best for him and help him grow in to the fine young man that I believe he can and will be.

Friday, February 22, 2013


KC had his last dose of amoxycillan last night. . . and woke up with hives this morning!  Sheesh!  Could we catch a break here?  Actually, I feel silly complaining about something that was fixed with a couple doses of liquid antihistimines.

A friend of ours, age 35 had a double mastectomy today.  She has had a successful series of chemotherapy treatments, though the toll that type of "healing" has taken on her body and spirit has been huge.  After the recovery from surgery, she faces radiation.

In the grand scheme of things, hives are pretty easy.

We are also looking at another round of wintry weather this weekend.  If anyone sees the weather predicting ground hog, they should play "whack a mole" on him.  Clearly his prognostication skills are weak to say the least.  But in between the wintry weather I will take the younger kids bowling, the teen to his girlfriends, get the shopping, laundry, banking and postal duties done.  And (cue scary music) start the taxes.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Scrap Book Duty

Right now, I have had  evenings freer than usual.  Our piece work job is on hiatus till March some time.  I have spent the evenings getting the kids scrap books caught up. They were only at July of last  year.  Yes, I know.  I am hanging my head in shame.  I really hate when this gets away from me. It is important to them to be able to page through and have memories rekindled. So I have caught them all up AND they look great.  I don't just have 2012 done people, I have done right up through our trip into Disney on Ice this past Monday.

Trumpets sound!  Angels are singing.  OK, really all I am doing is bragging. But aside from the bragging, I love listening to the kids chatter as they look through the pages.  There are more differences between the books as they have gotten older.  Rob's has a page devoted to he and his girlfriend T.  KC's has more of a dance focus.  Lissa has some unique facets as well.  The cool thing though is that despite the differences there is the thread of commonality and family that run through all the books. It affirms what we strive for--strong roots, and wings to spread and try experiences that speak to each of their spirits.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sharing Histories

Fiona called last night and we had a good talk.  She wanted to know if KC and Lissa ever asked about their birth mothers.  I said that KC had been searching for Y, his first mother, and that we had sent a letter to her but unfortunately thus far heard nothing back.  This is a similar situation to what Fiona has experienced with her birth mother and right now I am gleaning that Fiona is feeling very low about Mama J and her lack of response..

Jane said that they could try again and reach out to Mama J but that sometimes when people feel a lot of strong emotions about choices that may not have been the best, it is hard for them to get past them and start over.  Especially if they feel guilty or ashamed about a choice they made for or about their child.

I told Fi that KC was having a lot of trouble with the fact that Mama Y has not responded and that if it was OK with her, he might like knowing that he could talk to her about that.I explained that although I have always told all the kids I will help them connect with first families in any way I can (that is safe) I know that there are times when talking about the feelings of abandonment and adoption with me is not what they need. They need someone who can say with honesty "I get it; I feel that way too sometimes."I can say other supportive things. And I have the great disappearing dad in my life that gives me a sense of some of what my kids feel and I think lends credibilty  for me with  some of those tough conversations.

Jane was very supportive of the idea, and is also willing to be a resource and facilitate if the need arises.  She sees as I do, that this is a place where Fiona gets to be the big sister in a really supportive fashion. And they both get to emotionally be there for each other.  I don't think adoption pain is diminished by sharing it, but I do think as people we draw strength from being able to share our stories and from hearing the stories of others.

Interestingly my mom and I are somewhat at polar opposites on this issue.  I think she is afraid that KC's search and yearning is going to prevent him from feeling all the love that we as a family have for him, as we do for all the kids.  I may be Pollyanna again, but I don't see that as a problem.  I think he loves us very very much and knows that he is loved.  That knowledge doesn't negate the questions, the yearning and the pain. But I am having a hard time explaining that via email to a very doting gramma!

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Disney kind of Day!

Today the kids and I trained in to the Big City to meet Fiona and Jane and see a performance of Disney on Ice.  Thankfully KC and Lissa were both well enough to go.  KC still has a really bad cough but is not contagious if indeed he had strep. I am now sort of having doubts about that as the rest of this is all acting really viral.  But; I am not a doctor and don't even play one on TV. :-)   Lissa had no temp this a.m. or at any point in the day so she was a shoe in to go.

Fiona was so excited. This is an event she has wanted to do with us and it was not possible to do it when she wanted to in November.  It was important to me that we accomplish it, for a number of reasons.  First off, she had shared a desire for something and I think one of our roles in families is to try and support such things and help them happen when possible.  Secondly, it was a chance to show her that saying "not right now" is NOT the same as 'No, never uh uh, no way." When I told her not right now, she heard the latter and it was pretty ugly.  Today after the show I reminded her of our conversation  of November and we had a pretty good conversation on waiting, and keeping ones word etc.

The show was fantastic. I am a kid at heart so I was as captivated as anyone with the lights, the skating and the music.  It was too cool.  The prices on souveniers however was insane.  I gave each of the 3 kids that are at home with me the opportunity to bring money from their bank accounts. they each brought $20.00 I explained that anything they wanted at the show would come from that $20.00  Rob didn't want anything, so he came home with his.  I think he wanted extra money for his trip with the teens tomorrow.  Lissa spent her entire $20.00 on a slushy in a commemorative cup and a bag of cotton candy with a foam commemorative hat.  KC spent only $12.00 of his money on a commemorative statue of Mickey the Mouse for his bedroom shelf.  I bought Fiona her commemorative program which came to $20.00 and also came with a rose.  She had no spending money (due in large part to the fact that she is still paying restitution for the damages she caused to the schools entertainment system in December)  I understand the need for restitution, but I also feel that she probably doesn't remember much about the event or frame it intellectually in a context that makes rational sense.  At any rate, I would never have all my kids but one get spending money so she had the same.

After the show, we hung out at the venue which is also where we wait to take our train home from the city.  It is a large station that the kids and I know well and the kids enjoyed showing Jane and Fi all around. The best eateries, where the bathrooms are, where you get your subway pass or commuter ticket etc.  We told her about the silly game we play of guessing which track our train will leave from and some of our other little odd habits.  It is good as now she will have  a better mental picture of what we are doing when we leave after a visit.

Tomorrow is back to the work world for me. Tonight, Rob is at a friends and tomorrow he goes to the Big City again with a group of friends from church.  Spreading his wings, standing at the edge of the nest, my Rob!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

And the Germs come marching in!

This has been an exhausting week.  I had many plans and most have gone awry.  That would be because Tuesday  night KC became ill with what eventually was diagnosed as strep throat.  He is on an antibiotic and is improving. However he was too ill for me to take Rob to his girlfriends house as had been planned. He was too ill to enjoy Valentines Day. He was too ill for any dance classes this week.  Now he is improved but has a horrible cough. Cough is not symptomatic of strep so I don't know if that means he really didn't have strep (many kids are carriers and will always test positive) and he really has some viral thing or what.

Yesterday Miss Lissa developed a fever in the afternoon. Not too high,but she had chills.  She had the fever again once today, same thing, presenting with chills.  However her appetite has remained good and her sleep has not been (knock wood) impacted. This is also why I am wondering if this is  a viral thing.   KC on the other hand has been beset with the coughing interupting his sleep, bad dreams which he gets with fevers and several days found me running pretty much on caffeine and 2 or 3 hours of sleep.

They are both in bed now and I hope that they will be well enough tomorrow to go to the Big City tomorrow with Rob and I. We are set to train in and meet Fiona and Jane and see Disney on Ice.  I am crossing my fingers that having had a quiet weekend and lots of rest will make this possible for them.  Then, Monday night, Rob goes to a friends house to sleep over because he and his teens are going back to the Big City on their own the following day.

X your fingers for us.  I am so ready for spring to come and germs to leave!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Uncensored hip hop and promise rings

Tonight I stopped by Facebook for a quick check in, and found that Rob's bio-brother D had just posted that his hip hop group was going to be on a web based radio station.  I frantically worked at finding and connecting to the station.  I imagine for most people that is fairly easy.  My arthritic computer did not want to cooperate and I am a bit challenged in the technology arena, shall we say.  At last I was connected and I explained to Rob what was up.

It was interesting as he did not rush right in to listen--which may have been a good thing as the first cut played on the uncensored station was I wanna have p*rno s*x.  Uncensored in every sense of the word.  LOL Glad that KC and Lissa were holed up in the living room, i left it on, waiting to hear D and his group.  And we were rewarded.  His rhyming ability is really good.  It is raw. These are young men who write very explicit lyrics, but also have stories to tell and the talent to do it with.   I honestly enjoyed it.  I think Rob did too. He eventually came in and listened with me.  I am struck by how all of his siblings have very creative abilities.  I am actually kind of in awe of that.  And definitely in awe of the poise that D and his group showed in the interview they did with the DJ and the impromptu song session the DJ set up.  I can't imagine handling a situation like that with the artistic maturity that they showed. I was joking with K the other night that my unusual musical leanings are really a good thing as I have a lot of common ground with my kids. Well except for the one who is all about Bieber right now. LOL  When I was in high school MTV and BET were really popular.  I was the only white kid in our area I think who watched BET way more than she ever watched MTV.  I remember my mom being utterly bemused by it,( but, darling, you aren't you know, black")  but the music there always always resonated more with me than the rock and pop of my peers.  I did love certain rock groups, but my early record collection had a lot more Rick James, Diana Ross, Lionel Ritchie, Whitney Houston etc than anything else.  I was also a huge fan of old Motown.  Later, as a young adult, I was introduced to reggae by a co-worker and found a new musical passion. The point of all that rambling is that I am not faking it when I tell my kids I like a certain artist or song and it gives a good jumping off point for discussions on many occasions.  D wrote back to me afterwards and thanked me for helping to get the word out on social media about his group, and said the support meant a lot.  I wish we were able to be in more contact with him; I think he is a great kid, but this long distance reminder of caring seems the limit of what he can tolerate.

I also noticed this evening that Rob was wearing a very pretty simple white ring on a chain around his neck.  I said how pretty I thought it was and he very proudly told me it was a  promise ring, and they T has one as well. The relationship is definitely growing and deepening I would say!  I am impressed with their commitment to each other and the respect that they show each other.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Why I don't love geneology

I bet most folks seeing the title will automatically assume there is an "adoption" angle to this post.  Indirectly there is, and I'll probably get to that by the time I finish rambling.  But the truth is, I hate the whole geneology thing and always have.  I started hating it when my grandmother and mother decided they wanted to be members of the DAR and there was all kinds of fuss and kaffuffle over properly documenting some ancestor or other to make our lineage worthy of joining.  Really?  For a while it seemed like the proper documentation was not forthcoming and one would have though the world had ended.  Even at 9 years old, it all seemed silly to me.  Life should be about the doing, not the looking back and certainly not about feeling all puffed up about who is on what branch of the esteemed family tree.

OK so that details my first issue--those who delve into geneology for what I would term pretentious reasons.  Then there is what I call us, messy families.  Even without adoption, my family qualifies as supremely messy.  First off, my marriage is only recognized in a limited number of states.  So do I create a family tree that shows my inlaws when they are not legally my inlaws everywhere?  My father, with whom I have no contact has remarried numerous times, my mother is now widowed but was married twice. My sister has been married multiple times and has had children by several different spouses. Darn it but ours is far from a neat and tidy "family tree."  I have the feeling if I ever bothered to try and draw it out, it would look more like a rambling thicket.

Then, yes, there are my children.  All adopted.  And I only have any substantial geneology available thus far for one of them. One of the branches of our tree stretches across the globe to steamy India.  Two branches stretch to the heartland of our country and one branch has roots in the East Coast. I have amassed as much information as I could for each of our children. It is part of the giant scrapbook collection that will be their's to take with them when they choose to leave home.  Their biological connections--whatever I know about them--is ALWAYS part of the first scrapbook.  It goes before all the coming home stuff. All the adoption announcement stuff.  It is my way of showing that I know their life began before we became a family.

I absolutely support any and all of my kids in their connections with the rest of their family.  The first ones, the ones whose connections are blood and genes.  They need to know if they can, if they share traits, interests and abilities.  Likes and dislikes. Medical issues.  Ironically I probably have the most connections for my son Rob and yet we were blindsided with a glaucoma diagnosis when he was about 6 or 7 years old. This is a genetic legacy from some family member but apparently it is on his paternal side and I have no connections there.

But for all that I support and embrace all of my kid's family, I still don't want to do a family tree.  Nor do I want my kids to feel that they have to.  Wanting to. Exploring for themselves. Those are good things.  Being forced to explain the complexities of their life and ours is not okay with me.  It is something that needs to happen when they are comfortable and each of them has shown me in different ways when they are ready to share and how much they are willing to share, with the wider world.


We have a little valentine mailbox in our dining room that has been getting steadily more full with each passing day.  I have always loved this holiday.  My wife has typically decried it as a marketing holiday.  Which I will concede there is a component to it that is , but Hallmark did not invent the holiday. And any day that reminds us to stop and share love with one another is a good day to me. I have to make my valentines tonight when folks have gone to bed. The other part of our tradition is that they are home made.  Always.  Without exception. There are also very small gifts, a small box of candy, a tiny stuffed animal, bubble stuff, that kind of thing.

This year, instead of a  Valentine party at supper we will be having a Valentine breakfast.  I will get up a bit earlier and make their favorite muffins in heart shapes and we will do our valentine exchange then.  This is because my wife now works in the evenings.  She is home  by 7:30 but that is still too late to start festivities when one is newly 6 and one is 8.  The fall out would be enough to negate the fun of the celebration!  Also, on Thursday night, KC has hip hop.  Tonight he made his valentine for Miss Laura his teacher.  It is a big red heart. He had me print a pair of hip hop shoes off the computer and pasted those on the front with a message  for his teacher. It was really cute.

Tomorrow I will be on the road as I have to get Rob to his girlfriends house for a slightly early Valentine soiree. . . so happy Valentines Day everyone from our house to yours

Monday, February 11, 2013

Ug At and Op!

In the on going efforts to help Lissa's reading continue to blossom I have found a nice set of easy read books at the library. We get out one a week. The majority of the words in the book focus on word families.  Like 90 per cent will be words that use op in last weeks literary masterpiece..  As in hop, mop, top plop etc.  When we finish the book, I have been making simple board and card  games that keep the words in use for her.

It seems to be working pretty well.  I am still a bit concerned that retaining words is clearly much harder for her than it is for any of my other children, except for Fiona.  It is this facet of her learning abilities that has prompted me to have as many ways as possible to use/play with the words that we learn. Remembering the sounds of letters is still hard for her sometimes.  I have   verbal mini games I do for that too.

I have yet to find a good way to learn the more traditional sight words.  They typically are less phonetic and are harder for her to retain. But we are making progress and what we are doing she feel really good about.  Despite how challenging reading is for her, she has a very thirsty mind. She is very good at math and able to do things with numbers that surprise me.  I know too that reading readiness and mastery is most typically on a continuim.  Although our society pretty much expects full reading capability by 6, studies have shown that many children are not ready to read till later than 6.  And Lissa only turned 6 2 months ago.

As with all my kids, I fret over anything like this.  Does she have a learning disability that I should be looking into more closely?  Is this a legacy of the substances   that she was exposed to daily in utero?  Am I doing the best possible thing working on this with her myself or should I be turning to professionals?  And as usual, I can only say, I. don't. know.

I do know that at my core, I believe she is learning.  And that in a more traditional learning environment, her self esteem could well be at risk.  Here I have been able to protect that self esteem, to ensure that she remembers the things she is good at.  And that I also believe that in large part, people blossom in their own time.  I call it the Leo the Late Bloomer syndrome.  It is my favorite Leo Leonni book.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Happy Birthday!

 In addition to the big 29 inch dropping snow storm of yesterday, it was also my wife's birthday.  She considered the blizzard a birthday gift, lest anyone be feeling badly for her.  She is a weather junkie extraordinaire AND it also ensured the day off so we were all together the whole day.  Because she loves to eat Chinese food on her birthday, we chose a Chinese New Year theme this year.  Above are the placemats the kids made.  According to google that is the kangi for love.
 Party favors with pencils artfully arranged to look like chopsticks in faux take out boxes. . .
 Goofy older boys ready to chow down on Chinese food and have party fun . . .
 Eek!  It's the year of the snake!!! Can you tell which one of my children willingly held a real python at a young age?
My wife showing off her garden ornament , not knowing that KC was making bunny ears behind her.
And the cake the kids helped decorate.  KC and Rob did the painting of the roses, and helped with the "scrollwork" on the sides.  KC put the birthday letters on top.  It was lots of fun.  Now all that lovely snow can melt so we can start garden dreaming in earnest!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

We survived Snowmagedden!

The Blizzard was a big storm, but not awful for us at all.  We got about 29 inches, less than my mom in Maine where her little town was mentioned repeatedly on the Weather Channel.  They topped out at 35 inches or so I believe.  But we did not lose power, she did not lose power and over the course of the day we moved the snow.

I was actually lazing around this morning as I knew i could not shop, dance was cancelled and the bank and library were closed.  So I meandered downstairs at 7:20 a.m. (seriously late for us!) and put the tea on. I had plans to do a light breakfast in bed for my wife as today is her birthday but there was a knock on the door. The plow guys from next door needed to have me move my car so that they could plow.  I don't park in our driveway as I own a space next door.  So out I went in boots and my PJs to try and move the car.  they had thoughtfully cleared it off for me, but must have thought my Scion had Hemi power or something.   There was a ton of snow behind the wheels and that poor little hamster powered car wasn't going anywhere. Between the three of us, we eventually got it out and to the side of the road. But it took so much time my wife was up and had gotten her own breakfast. :-)

Over the course of the day, the kids and I shovelled. We did our driveway, behind my car again after the plow went thoughtfully by, and the boys did our elderly neighbors across the street.  The littles "helped" which means they went along throwing snow back into the areas where we had all ready shovelled. But it was fun, despite the wind and the cold.  When we finished our shovelling we celebrated in a truly unique fashion--Rob, KC and even I jumped off the railing from our high back porch into the giant snow piles below.  Yup, we are crazy folk!  Later I'll post pics of K's birthday which was also today.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The storm called Nemo

I think naming snow storms is weird!  Then again, I am not a "weather junkie."  My wife is. Her idea of fun is looking at a United States map of wind patterns.  Um, go ahead, dear!  LOL But if I WAS going to name this storm that is arriving tomorrow, I would name it Hysteria!  Folks are in such a dither that it is silly.  I suppose it is partly because this is coming around the anniversary of the great blizzard of 78.  (sadly I am old enough to remember that one!) And perhaps the fact that we have had a relatively snow free winter is a component as well.  But this is New England.  It snows.   I don't like it all that much but it is a fact of life here. I got the last few items for K's birthday party on Saturday.  She might have it sans Chinese food (unless she will settle for a home made stir fry) if there really is as much snow as they are forecasting.  But we will see.  At any rate, we will have fun. We will all survive. And I will not go to the grocery store to buy their last dozen eggs!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Soulful Sundown

I checked my Facebook tonight and Rob's girl friend had posted this picture of the two of them.  They are such a cute couple--but I am biased !  They are good for each other.  His low key demeanor balances her high energy drive.  It was her second picture that floored me though.  I would have happily posted it but it came out kind of dark.  It was of my son, reading in the evening service at church.

Rob has always hated public speaking and once we got out of the public school arena, I have not forced it.  He has blossomed slowly but steadily over the years, speaking in small groups but always avoiding any large public audience type setting. More typically he participates in other ways--letting his beautiful piano playing impart his feelings, or helping others with tasks in the service. Yet apparently last night at Soulful Sundown he read a long piece of some significance. I had opted not to go back to church for this, even though I really love these twice monthly evening services.  They are more contemporary, the music is a bit different, and the church looks lovely in only candle light.  In true Rob fashion, he didn't brag about it. Didn't mention it.  Came home and watched football with me  instead. I suppose some folks might have been upset by that, but I'm really not. I want my kids to do the things they do for them--not because they think I want them to or because they think that is a way to get my approval.  That he was brave enough to stretch past his comfort zone, because he wanted to, that is exactly what I want.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sunday Morning Successes!

This morning's experience at church was so great!  It was an intergenerational Sunday morning, meaning the kids stayed in service for the whole time, not breaking out mid way to attend classes.  The focus of the morning was the story of Stone Soup, of all of us giving just a little and something great coming out of it. The story was acted out in an exuberant fashion but the kids as well as adults were also part of the rest of the service.  One of my favorite moments was watching my Rob help a younger boy light our flaming chalice.  Rob has been a "special buddy" to this  young man since his family began coming to church this fall.  I taught the class that this lad is in and he is, um a handful.  I am sure there are myriad issues there but am also sure I am not asking. When you have a kid that is different, you get asked enough.  Parents and kids need a break from that.  However the class also needs to be able to function and what the program director tried doing and which is working wonderfully, is having Rob be a special helper for this little guy.  There is less classroom disruption as a result and Rob's quiet demeanor is a great match.  Also, let's face it.  Rob not only has a tender side that draws young kids to him.  He also has day to day experience from Chet, understanding that we all process the world we live in differently.

After service, we all adjourned to Fellowship Hall where in lieu of the typical coffee and finger desserts, we had our own "stone soup." Everyone had brought a one cup portion of soup ingredients.  Mine was a cup of finely chopped carrots, parsnips and a little frozen corn thrown in as well.  The melange that was created was heavenly.  There was barley, mushrooms, spinach or chard, every veggie you could think of in this pot!  And it was well seasoned and really delish.  With it was fresh bread, a nice salad and lemonade.  A dessert table rounded out the meal.

The hall was packed and my one regret was that I could not really effectively circulate and be as welcoming to newer folks as I would like.  However I had welcomed in a couple of new families at the start of the morning and that will have to do. When there is hot soup being carried around in close quarters, I am hesitant to do much traipsing about.  I suspect this stems from a hot bowl of soup that was dumped accidently down my shoe when I was a kid in school, but I digress . . .

The other thing I am excited about is that gradually but very noticably, our congregation is becoming more colorful.  One of the new families today was a young black  mom with three little kids, her daughter a bit younger than my Lissa.  They had almost the same 'church hair' going on and looked like an easy friendship was developing. Maria and I hit it off well and I hope she returns.  Unitarian Universalism has had a challenge reaching out beyond the realm of the white educated professional, but more and more there is an awareness that we need to be relevent to all. We have I think always been welcoming but there is a difference between welcoming and relevent.

 This is of course of paramount importance to me, as a parent of children of color.  When families of color begin coming, we sort of find each other quickly--it is kind of funny really.  But I love meeting new folks always, and my kids are good ambassadors for the top notch religious ed program that our church provides.  Especially having kids in all aspects of the program at the same time, I can speak to almost any aspect of R.E. with some level of authority.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Dress Shirts and Daffodils

It's one of those crazy Saturdays for us.  I have been fighting a migraine for days now.  Being more than slightly off put by the side effects of migraine meds and more than slightly western medicine resistant, I tend to just tough it out.  Today was a "sunglasses day"  Indoors and outdoors.  My kids know when they see that the level the headache has risen too.  They tend to try to dial it down a notch in the noise department with varying degrees of success.  I don't say too much about the head pain. My mom had chronic health issues when I was growing up (ironically not migraines though!) and  I remember being very fearful of her health.  Worrying for her and about her.  In retrospect I think I knew a bit too much about those things.  I seemed mature, but I was still very much a kid  as well.  The bottom line is, it is my head, my pain, and I don't want my kids worrying about it.

We had fun at dance class today and then later there was the bank, the library and meeting up with a friend whose troop (and daughters) were selling Girl Scout cookies.  I have to tell you that buying Scout cookies is a testament to friendship as I am a scratch cook who avoids store bought cookies like the proverbial plague. But I balance that with the fact that in my past I was also a Scout leader and I know the funds this sell-a-thon brings in does much good for the kids and the troops.

Then it was time to get Rob to his girl friend's house for the afternoon.  Not a day I wanted to drive but absolutely needed to.  I respect the way these 2 young people have handled their relationship thus far.  T is a lovely young woman who is also blessed with a lot of ambition and various interests, all of which are good fodder for Rob to be exposed to. Rob is also a very patient big brother who deserves a few hours when he is just with teens.

While Rob was at her house, I took some of his outgrown dress shirts and dress pants to the local consignment store. Rob is a sharp dresser and in the past few years grew so quickly that such clothes were maybe worn three times max before they were too small.  Unfortunately the store won't accept long sleeved shirts this time of year (Why?  I asked, since Easter is early, people would surely need them)  But rules are rules, so I consigned a portion, "bought" the littles some things they needed with my prior store credit, and will Craigslist the shirts.  Even if I get $5.00 each for them I'll be happy.

At the grocery store this morning I bought 2 little bunches of daffodils.  I love buying these. They come tightly budded and unfurl in just a day or so in the comparative warmth of our home.  However as I was prepping them for the vase I saw that this  years bunches come from Ireland.  I love all things Irish but sheesh, that is too big a carbon footprint for me for a $3.00 bunch of daffodils.  Guess i'll have to wait for the real thing to pop in our garden from here on out.