Thursday, October 26, 2006

Good Things To Know

Here is a list of things I have noticed since becoming a parent:

* I own and wear half as many clothes, but do twice as much laundry.

* I may be the same size I was at eighteen, but nothing looks the same.

* Drinking a beer has once again become a sneaky privilege.

* Going to the gynecologist has now become relaxing alone time.

* Breasts are merely functional, the equivalent of human udders.

* Driving a mini-van just makes good sense.

* Finding anything inside something else is never a surprise. A spoon in the VCR, Care Bears in the fridge, anything in the toilet... Just take it out and put it away. No questions asked.

* Poop, pee, vomit, boogers and sweat are no longer disgusting. Well, as long as these things belong to a member of my family. I'm not exactly inviting strangers in to share these things with me.

* Anything is edible under a thin layer of applesauce or cheese.

* Going to the store with my husband sans kids now sounds like a date.

* 7:30 PM is sometimes a reasonable bedtime.

* 5:30 AM is still never a reasonable hour at which to rise.

* Other people's children are still unbearable, undisciplined and loathsome in public, even if my kid is the one throwing chicken in the floor.

* Sometimes you just can't shower every day...or every week.

* Cleaning up a mess just means someone is making a different mess in another location.

* Sometimes you just have to suck it up and do it yourself, even if it is someone else's job.

Things I Have Learned Having a Teenager

* What I wear IS important.

* MySpace time is quiet time.

* Three boyfriends is not an entirely unacceptable number.

* I don't own enough belts.

* I should spike my hair.

* Using the call-waiting is optional unless explicitly told to "click over."

* Most people in authority really ARE out to get you.

* Most of the food I cook doesn't smell good, taste good or "look right."

* Teenagers do not take kindly to organic produce, tofu and turkey burgers and a house without mashed potatoes and gravy.

* There can never be enough hair in the bathtub, on the counter or in my hairbrush.

* Being a mom is great, but man, I'm tired.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

My Sadness

We have a new addition to our family. I call her McFosterBaby, even to her face, although she is seventeen. She is sweet and bright and beautiful. She is also breaking my heart. I cannot wrap my head around her life. I cannot understand why the people in her life who she should have been able to love and trust could have heaped so much hurt upon her. I cannot comprehend how she has remained so resilient, so functional and so well-adjusted regardless of these things.

But she is with us now. In definitely. At least until she finishes school and we ship her off to college. And already, my heart is heavy for it. She is already a part of this family. She is adjusted. She changed Helen's poopy diaper today. I told her it was initiation. Right now, she sits at the kitchen table with Luke telling what can only be the LONGEST story I have ever heard. She talks in a non-stop barrage of bubbly teenager. She ties up my phone line talking to boys. She has already done serious damage to our bank account, as I took her shopping for clothes. She wants a fish for her room. She is frightened and angry and sometimes consumed by it. But she got up and talked at church this morning, her first morning there. She is brave and strong and greatly in need of God's love. I am so glad to know that she can get it here.

The first night I picked her up, I took her to eat. She was SO hungry! And as we were driving home, she asked why we were doing this for her. For those that know me well, you know evangelism is not my forte. But I told her as simply as I could, that I do this because I was commanded to. Jesus left us very little wiggle room when it comes to feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, helping those orphans and widows. I told her that we were blessed by the abundance of God's love and through that we had an abundance to give away. And she was satisfied. It was nice. But it was hard. This gift I feel I am giving her. It comes at a sacrifice. I have schedules and regiments around my house. She sure is kinking those. And I am so tired. Not just physically, but so very emotionally drained. This past week... I sometimes fear I do not have the strength to stand up under it. But then I think of the overflowing abundance of the Lord's cup, and I know I will sustain, if only minute by minute.

But my heart...I feel it is forever changed by this. There is a sadness lurking in me. A sadness born of the human condition. The way people live, the way they treat each other...I thought I understood the magnitude of how far away from goodness we have come. But I had no idea. And the system is set up to protect no one. We cannot help. And most don't even want to help. And I do not know how to fight it.

Please pray for my sadness. And please pray for McFosterbaby. And pray for our safety right now. It is of the highest concern for the next few weeks.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Kids Say Mean Stuff

Helen got up very early on Saturday before 6. So I took her downstairs to the family room determined to tire her out and fall back asleep on the sofa. It worked.

She ran around some, and then came over and crawled up next to me and started to fall asleep. I hugged her and kissed her forehead and said, "Sweetie, you shouldn't get up so early. I love you, now go back to sleep."

She opened her beautiful, big blue eyes and looked up at me and said, "Mommy, your breath is stinky." And then she fell asleep.

What a freakin' angel.