Yesterday, as part of the summer reading program at the library they had a dude come in and do a magic show. It was great and the kids really loved it. I came away with different thoughts about each of my babies from watching them. It’s a sense of pride to see them interact with the mass public and know that I had a lot of influence on how they interact.
Today is the 1 year point of our kids’ adoption. For one year, they have been forever OURS. I love that watching them interact and respond to things, I see Shaun and myself. They’re listening and growing and they are part of us. Our little family of 5 – we’re US.
LJ sat in between Chickpea and E. He smiled when something was cool and he would lean forward and plug his ears with his fingers when the little kids would laugh and scream. He doesn’t like large groups of people and I don’t blame him! Afterward, he sat in a chair, expressionless until all the people cleared out. When only a small group was left, he got up and started playing with the other kids. He didn’t freak out or cry, he didn’t show that he was scared, he just pulled into himself until he was comfortable. I was so proud!
Chickpea was totally immersed in the program. She would sit up on her knees and stare at the magician without blinking. She was looking to see if he was doing it “right.” When he did something funny, she roared with laughter right along with the other kids. At one point she raised her hand like she wanted to ask a question. She noticed EVERYTHING and studied everyone and everything around her. A couple of times, she turned around and searched the sea of grown ups for me and smiled when she found me. God, I love that little girl!
After the performance she asked if she could go talk to the magician. It worried me but I said she could and asked what she was going to say. She said “he said his baby magic wand didn’t have any magic – but IT DOES. He shouldn’t underestimate the baby just because it hasn’t finished magic wand school yet.”
I wanted to laugh so badly but she was so serious! She went up and scolded the poor man while I’m having flash backs to my childhood where I was just like that. It made me smile when I realized the magician was picking obvious pre-school students for his volunteers. They’re less likely to be like my kid.
E is the world’s biggest pre-schooler. He’s starting Kindergarten in the fall. He’s 4 foot tall and almost 70 lbs. He still moves like a very young kid – all awkward and sort of floppy. He doesn’t have that grace that comes with growing older. He has such a charm about him – he collects grandmothers like its a hobby. He’s all big eyes and toothy smiles with that little kid innocence and it’s almost impossible to not squeeze him.
He’d rather charm the people around him than watch the show, but yesterday he got into it and laughed and pointed with the rest of the children. After the show, he was jazzed up. He didn’t calm down until right before bed time. He didn’t care about telling Daddy every line of the show – Chickpea does that part with input from LJ – he cared that he figured out how to make his markers “splat” if he smacked them on the paper really hard.
Before dinner, he was laughing at something he thought was funny and just rolled in the floor and laughed. None of us knew what he was laughing at but it’s impossible not to laugh at him. Pretty soon we were all cracking up laughing at absolutely nothing.
E is the maker of chaos and disaster where order and peace were. If everyone is quietly reading or playing a game, he’s the one throwing couch cushions with deadly accuracy. If no one is playing with their food at the table he whispers to Chickpea “throw a chicken nugget at me, it’s funny.” He knows all his letters and numbers and can read and write, but he won’t do it if he knows he’s being watched. How do I know? Later, I find a picture of a fish with teeth drawn in his minimalist fashion and underneath it says “pirana etes met.” I can hear him count to 50 through the wall but if I ask him to count to 10 for me, he leaves out half of the numbers.
I can’t be mad at him because it’s funny! He’s going to be a hellion in school but I know he’s absorbing the information somehow. He just doesn’t feel the need to show anyone. He’d rather be funny.
Then I have to tell him that if he’s going to be BAD, he needs to do a better job at it! There’s this pesky thing that’s called evidence that shows me the truth of who has been doing science experiments in the bathroom. If he’s the only one soaking wet and smelling like Purell, then I know who did it.
I have to say that I’ve been wondering lately if it was a wise decision to adopt them with as sick as I’ve turned out to be. I didn’t know it was going to be like this when we started but again, hindsight and good vision and all that.
I was afraid yesterday that I wouldn’t be able to get off the floor where we all were sitting to watch the magician. I had taken my meds before we left the house but still, my body was screaming at me 10 minutes into it. I was trying my best not to cry. I was trying my hardest to enjoy the show and ignore the pain and the people bumping into me and squeezing in closer. I was trying to breathe through the raising temperature of the room.
But I watch their faces – their body language – and I know that Shaun and I did this. We made their lives fulfilling and opened doors and opportunities that weren’t possible. This is worth it. Even if they have a sick mom and a mom who can’t do certain things, they have a mom who is PROUD of them and who wants the best for them. They’re strong enough to work through the rest.