None of my friends want children. I want them. At least I did, until I spent the last three days herding twenty-one three and four-year olds around. They’re adorable, I swear, but oh my goodness, so many tears. So many bathroom breaks. Such a challenge to keep them happy, make sure they all have their stuff, and then on top of that, try to keep them entertained.
I don’t know how parents are able to work eight hours (or more) a day and then go home and be rockstar parents. I have enough trouble trying to manage the work-life balance myself (apparently a glass of wine does not count as dinner and cleaning is something you have to do 24/7).
But they’re so cute. During the nap time that wasn’t, I was playing with a little boy who had a stuffed zebra. I would make kissing sounds and “kiss” him with the zebra on his face and arms. He took the zebra and did the same thing to me, laughing. Zebra kisses are the best kind.
Another little boy was telling me all about his family. “Mommy said that some daddies don’t want to be daddies and that some mommies don’t want to be mommies,” he said, so matter-of-factly. I hope that his mom also explained that being adopted means that your biological parents wanted the absolute best for you and made a brave and beautiful choice to give you to another family. (Or as Avery, my neighbor would say, traded you in.)
My brother is a fascinating human being. Very wise and observant. The most kind-hearted individual you will ever meet. The kids in South Africa loved him and I have no doubt that his group of middle-schoolers loved him just as much. Mike was thrilled at the prospect of being able to do some field research. Both of us were adopted, and Mike is studying sociology and biology in college. He wants to focus on the nature vs. nurture question that plagues us all. (Does it plague you? Perhaps not. But I see so many similarities between myself and my birth mother, but also a great many similarities between myself and my mother.) He was excited to see how adoption has played a role in the lives of these children, particularly because of the race difference between them and their parents.
Camp was great. I hope that the parents got a lot out of the sessions, and I hope that all of the kids had enough fun that they’ll be willing to come back next year.
After camp, I babysat. (Child overload, mind you.) We went to Chuck E. Cheese. (Ha, the middle child used to call it “Yucky Cheese” before she could pronounce it. I find her description to be rather accurate.) Flashing lights, colors, the smell of pizza, the terrifying guy in a Chuck E. suit (mascots are one of my biggest fears – no idea why). The girls were thrilled to go home with tiny prizes – a ring for the baby, a magic trick for the middle one, and a bracelet for the eldest.
The mom and dad are some of my favorite parents. They’re always asking me about my life, and have been so incredibly supportive (and curious about) my ADHD diagnosis and the ways in which I’ve chosen to address it. (They’re dealing with it too.)
The mom was like, “What’s your boyfriend’s name again?” I started laughing. “I guess [her husband] didn’t fill you in….” I said, and proceeded to give her the quick update. Unlike a lot of people who give me endless amounts of crap about my dating habits, they’re fully supportive of them. She’s always reminding me that this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing at this point in my life. I love it because instead of feeling that what I am doing is a negative thing, they totally see that you date, you change your mind, and you find something else more exciting, challenging, and fun. It’s so good to have people in a happy marriage who support me so much.
She also said some things that made me glow inside. She told me that they think I’m adorable (surprising, considering that I show up at their house on a weekly basis with no makeup on and generally disheveled), and she pointed out that she sees me as being more mature than my peers, and said that she absolutely understands the frustration that comes with trying to date within my age group.
Agreed. But all the old ones are a touch crazy: a 43-year old once asked me to dinner – which I was totally down for – but then told me that his wife left him for the tennis instructor (note to self: never let my husband get a tennis instructor) and texted before our dinner to tell me that he had some weird “viral rash” and that he was fine, but uncomfortable. First of all – what’s a “viral rash”? and second, this is a statement that falls under the “way too much information before the first date” category. Obviously, you can imagine my reaction: there was no first date.
That was a terrible story to end such a happy, rambling blog post.
So here’s this: My first task upon returning to my desk: looking into buying 500 units of logo-branded silly putty. I love my job.