Sam leaned over to me during the wedding and said, “I’ve decided, Mom – I’m going to get married between the ages of 20 and 25.” All right then. As we were leaving he wondered idly, out loud, about how wedding trends will change by the time he has his own. This kid is just his own little guy – very much a thinker.
Ok – time to catch up on the past two, three weeks? I don’t know how long it’s been.
I have started my new classes. They are separate classes, but designed to work together, and are taught by the same professor (whom I’ve had before). For one I have to put together a collection of my favorite college writings in a “creative” format. Hmmm… For the other, we’re covering literary theories again, which was the first class I had when re-entering college. I discovered this week that I already own the textbook that I bought for the class - had to buy it for my original literary theory class. Grrr... For the final project I have to write a 10-15 page paper applying a couple of different theories to some literature and do a live video presentation. We meet every Monday and Thursday night. Since I last had live classes, BVU has changed the system they use. Before, when we’d meet, we’d usually just type our responses in a side bar. My British Lit class last fall required actual talking, which I wasn’t crazy about, but I did it. But now, with this system, we’re all on video! I can turn it off, but then I feel dumb because there are only 5 of us in this class and everyone else has their video going. So I’m spending all kinds of time trying to figure out the best way to prop up my laptop so it doesn’t give me a double chin because I’m actually slouching against my headboard during class. It appears that everyone else is sitting at a desk, but my class goes until 10 those nights and I want the comfort of my bed during that time! But every time I eat or sneeze or yawn I have to remember to turn the screen away from me! And now I have to fix my hair and put on lip gloss before class. Argh!
David had his prom alternative last weekend – his last one, of course. He had a nice time. They went to Kansas City to Worlds of Fun. They always honor the seniors and present them with a gift. I always get a phone call prior to the night asking me for gift ideas/interests. I thought to myself what a blessing it was to be able to tell his youth leader that David’s #1 passion is Christ. And I wasn’t doing that to make he or I look good. But while David loves his Dallas Cowboys, Iowa Hawkeyes, and Marvel super heroes, Jesus is the thing that gets him most excited. So they gave him some Cowboy things and then a nice gift card to the Faith bookstore.
Tonight Ben is at a dance in Pella – or is it Ottumwa? Maybe Oskaloosa? Actually, I have no idea where he is. It’s a dance for special needs adults – modeled after Night to Shine, I’m guessing. He went with his friend, Marissa, one of his Sp. Olympics teammates. I was at the wedding, so her parents picked him up and her dad got Ben’s tie on for him. My friend, Maureen, sent me pictures and they look so nice together.
I made a chicken and rice meal the other night, where the rice was cooked separately and then the chicken and sauce is put over the top. Lizzie was dishing herself up some and commented, “I remember my birth mom used to make rice. James (brother) and I and she would sit in front of the tv and eat it. But it didn’t taste like this – it was sweet. It was so good!” I was astounded that Lizzie even had this memory because she had just turned 2 when she was taken into state custody. There was a 3 day period when the kids were returned when Lizzie was 3 ½ so it’s possible that’s where the memory comes from. But still – that was quite awhile ago. She was so matter-of-fact about it and didn’t seem the least bit sad. She was just sharing.
We had a close brush with a tornado last week. The last time something like this happened was shortly after we moved here – within the first year or two. I’ll never forget it was the middle of the night and Paul and I woke up at the exact same moment. There was this eerie stillness to the night. He jumped out of bed and flipped on the tv and Ed Wilson on channel 13 was saying a tornado was headed straight towards Swan. When our tiny town gets mentioned on the news, you know it’s serious! We’re not even on every map of the state that’s out there!
Ellie continues to weigh heavily on my heart. I’ve had a lot going on with her, lately. It’s the same old dynamic that I see over and over. When one girl is doing well, the other isn’t. And right now, Ellie is “down.” Only, she’s being destructive again and I haven’t seen this since before we started therapy 18 months ago. The other night she attempted to break the air mattress with a barrette. When that didn’t work, she took a pen to it. A couple of weeks ago she stabbed Lizzie repeatedly with some sort of stick. A day later she walked up to Lizzie and deliberately ripped a scab off her sister’s foot, causing it to bleed heavily. After David’s party, I am moving Lizzie into the spare bedroom. I was going to wait until I got it painted, which is on my agenda for this summer. But I can’t wait that long, not with Ellie’s abuse of Lizzie. Actually, it’s kind of neat – this is a side note: I’ve asked Lizzie a couple of times what colors she would like for her new bedroom walls and she’s never had an answer. In fact, she’s only asked, “Well, what colors do YOU like?” This week, my friend, Jenny, out of the blue, texted me and told me that she had a complete pre-teen bedset that her now 13 year old had used. They’re moving and she wondered if I could use that for one of the girls. David brought it home Wed. night from church and Lizzie is over the moon with excitement – it’s got a comforter, throw pillows, sheets, curtains, and even a little canopy for over the bed. So, now we have the room color question taken care of! (light pink, hot pink, green, and aqua).
But then, there are good things with my children. I know I’ve written lately about some of Lizzie’s struggles. The early puberty onset has definitely not helped. She’s a little RADish too, and likes to be in control and have the last word. But her heart is more tender. I was so pleased this week when she told me of a school incident that had happened. One of the boys in her class – who tends to be a troublemaker – got angry during art class with another classmate and slammed this boy’s head into the concrete floor (Why do I have my children in public school? Incidents like cause my mind to race, wondering if there is some way, any way that I could homeschool again). The injured child is ok, and the little perp has in-school suspension for the next two weeks until school is finished. The kids’ teacher explained to rest of the class what had been decided and then commented that he was disappointed, not only for the incident, but because he wanted to get some sort of testing done all at once and now he couldn’t because of the suspension issue. Lizzie told me that when her teacher said that she thought to herself, “Well, that’s what sin does. It hurts other people, not just the person doing it.” Yes! I have said this so many times to my kids. She got it – she knows it and she remembered it. And, I think she’s living it. She’s conscious of it and is slowly learning to model her life after Christ – despite the very imperfect example she has in me. This is a child who had a very rough start to life, but the instability and loss and grief she’s experienced is defining her less and less.