Friday, February 13, 2009

Vanilla and the Lean, Mean Righteous Machine

I spoke with our foster care worker two times yesterday, and they all seem to think we'll end up with a little eighteen-month-old in a couple weeks. (Although they also thought we'd get her last week, so don't hold your breath.)

The worker said, "Well, we saw her in court...and she's not Caucasian!" As if this comes as a shock? "She's African-American--I just thought you should know."

Well, it is nice to know.

She has an unusual name that in Haley and Jesse's mouths comes out as "Vanilla." Mark is horrified at the prospect of a white family with a black daughter called "Vanilla." I kinda like it.

The worker also reported that Vanilla was running around the room during the last court hearing and has "plenty of energy." As the mother of several "energetic" children, I happen to know what that euphemism really means. Oh, dear.

The implications of adding a little toddler to the family are starting to sink in. Like wrestling two squirmies into car seats. Like I can't carry Jesse and Vanilla. Like we need another chair at the table. Like the inevitable uptick in chaos. She's a year younger than Jesse. Why are our kids getting closer and closer together when normal families do it the other way round?

Last night Roscoe said something funny, and then said, "If you write that in your blog I will run away and stay away for a long time…and then come back."

I said, "So what if I write that you just said that?"

Roscoe: "Then I'll stay away even longer."

Actually, Roscoe’s not ready to run away at all. The prospect of becoming a teenager doing all the things you do to become an adult is stressing him out. So instead of running away, he went with me to a big pow-wow with the academic counselor at school about his high school schedule. There are a million awesome programs where he can learn a lot and practically finish college by the time he graduates from high school--but how stressed out a teenager do we really want to have?

In 5 years, ready or not, Roscoe will have finished high school and, almost certainly, our family will be complete. It feels like these years are the power segment of our yoga routine--the time when you hit it hard and man does it burn but you push on through. We’ve got to be a lean, mean righteous machine, meeting the needs of little kids, big teenagers, and everyone in between and cranking out righteous and happy young adults. We are smack dab in the middle of it all.


  1. I'm anxious for "Vanilla" to join your family so we can get to know her better!

    I've "heard" Mom's of older kids discuss before how hard it is to blog with a teenager in the house because you want to respect their desire for privacy. Poor Roscoe - he has a loving mother. How embarassing.

    Only 5 years? Wow!

  2. I'm excited for your family and Vanilla!

  3. Exciting! Yeah, it'd be cool if the momma got it together and could keep her, but what could be better than being on the same team as the Michael Jordan of motherhood? BTW, Vanilla IS a terrible name for a black girl in a white family. You know how cruel children can be to one another.

  4. I hope you get that new girl.

  5. Sounds like you have the energy to do it all, woman. I'm stretched just between the needs of 5 year olds to 14 year olds. But then, what every little kid needs is an even littler kid to put life into perspective.