Wednesday, September 19, 2012

6 Word Love Poems: September

Continuing series in honor of our twentieth anniversary this December.

Math nerd. Hippie chick. Opposites attract.

Fight? Sure. But love deeper, always.

I don't think anyone could accuse Mark and me of taking the easy road. We got married knowing full well that our perspectives, styles, and opinions were very different. Our thinking was that our differences would make us a stronger couple, a better family. It also can make basic decision-making a challenge. We still love our differences, even when we still to accommodate them.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bottom, top, and middle

Last night I spent a couple hours in the urgent care with an irate little missy who has apparently sprained her wrist. It's a little ironic that the fearless girl who's been going down the slide solo since she was ten months old was injured...on the bean bag in the playroom. (No one is quite sure how it happened.)

She seems to find her soft cast very comforting. It doesn't keep her from hassling her brothers...

 ...perching from places where she could fall and break her arm in earnest...

...or showing her moxie.

Then this morning I had to be out the door early to visit college recruiters with Roscoe at his school's college fair. I am  having total cognitive dissonance over this whole sending my child to college thing.

Just to back up my point about Roscoe's specialness, yesterday I got an email from a friend who happened to be at Roscoe's McDonald's the other day and overheard some employees talking about him. Apparently he had invited one of them to church and they were marveling that he seemed to enjoy church activities on Sundays and on other days of the week too! My friend wrote, " It was obvious that they recognize him as being 'different' and I'm so happy that there are wonderfully 'different' boys out there who aren't afraid to be themselves and to live what they believe." So you see, it's not just me.

And in the middle, we have Jesse. Who last week started kindergarten. Again.

No less proud on round two, and possibly even more excited. He adores his teacher and aide and was really looking forward to seeing them.

Sometimes I think that schlepping to the car will be the only thing my children really remember from their childhoods.
Even though I've been talking about the option of two years of kindergarten for Jesse all along, even though his teacher concurred, even though it was clear that Jesse in first grade was not feasible, it was hard to make the call to hold him back. His teacher suggested that he stay in her class rather than moving to the school's other kindergarten teacher, so I told Jesse that Ms Z requested that he stay with her to be the "expert" and help all her new students. He seems to have bought that with no qualms. I think an extra year of childhood will be a gift that allows Jesse the time to develop all his imagination and enthusiasm into, you know, socially appropriate channels.

Jess has actually grown up a lot in the last several months, giving me hope that he will not act like a toddler forever. For the other kids, it feels like their preschool years were too short. Not so with my Jesse. It feels like I've been taking care of Jesse forever. Listening to his monologues about superheroes, negotiating him off tantrum cliffs, wheedling him into basic hygiene and routine. Thank the heavens he is so charming and handsome. And thank the heavens he wasn't my first child.

The Real Middle
Don't tell anyone, but Mark and I have always secretly referred to Levi as the Golden Boy. He seems to be the happy medium that combines the best from his two older brothers. I'm so grateful and proud and amazed that all through our foster care years, when each foster placement infringed on his spot in our family, he remained secure and able to share. (Remember our first foster daughter was exactly his age, and Haley is only eighteen months younger.) We've always tried to tell him that his middle spot in the family is a blessing, giving him the best of both worlds, and he's always agreed. "I'm the smallest of the biggest and the biggest of the smallest," is how he explains it.

It seems to be not so easy anymore. I'm a bit puzzled why this moment in our family dynamics is the one that's tripped up his equanimity. His view of his downtrodden position in our family just does not jibe with how Mark and I see him! We're just looking for ways to show Levi how Golden he is.

Like serving up cookies and milk after school:

Hm, maybe it all has something to do with that Logan, who insists on letting it be known that he is bigger and better. And look at poor Haley--she doesn't stand a chance with those two.

Levi does seem to feel that not being a teenager is a sore affliction. Case in point: last weekend he went on a backpacking trip with his brothers and uncles. His testosterone-fueled brothers bounded right up the mountain with full-size packs. But Levi, fueled only by determination and stamina, braved wind, rain, and snow to summit King's Peak, the highest peak in Utah. No small feat.