Look what we found. In the park. In the dark. We will take him home. We will call him Clark. He will live at our house. He will grow and grow. Will our mother like this? We don't know...
I'm feeling a little Foster Mom-ish. It's something I've considered doing over the years. Before we had kids, I wanted to foster the HIV babies I used to take care of. Those babies were s.i.c.k. Bruce was like no way Chica, cause I'll get too attached and then they'll die and I won't be able to handle it. Good point. So the foster kid idea moved to the back burner for a while. We had kids of our own. Everyday I see foster kids at work. Some are with families, some are in group homes. And occasionally I find myself thinking... hmmmm....
For a chunk of time when we were teenagers, our house was the house. The house where everyone hung out cause our parents were cool. All summer long there would be a slew of kids in the front yard smoking cigarettes. There may have been beer, I don't quite remember. 18 was legal. nice rationalization whatever. we were kids. And it was fun to have the cool parents and have the house where everyone liked to hang out. Some kids would be there for days cause their family life was... rocky...
I've always wanted to be the cool mom. seems like maybe I kind of am. I think in a few years this may be the house where everyone hangs out sans beer and cigarettes thankyouverymuch
It's Spring Break and we have a revolving door this week. Jack and his posse are playing musical houses. They're awesome, respectful, responsible, good 12 year old boys. So that part's easy.
We've inherited a little girl. Found her in the park, we call her Clark.
But kind of.
Ty and Mia met her on Saturday. At the school park. She walked through our revolving door Sunday, and she's kind of been here ever since. She's smart and sweet and explosive and she wets the bed. She walked in the door and a something's not quite right vibe came off her.
Maybe it was the fact her mom dropped her off at 1 pm. Clark said my mom will come in and meet you when she picks me up at 6.
my oldest friend in the world old as in friends since we were 12 not as in decrepit was visiting from Chicago with her 17 year old daughter. We looked back and forth at each other and said it's a little weird, but she seems sweet
Bruce said good thing I'm not a pedophile
Well, she didn't go home at 6. At 6 her mom dropped off pajamas. That was the first night she stayed over. She was immediately comfortable. Not shy. Not self conscious. Bruce made a yummy dinner. Clark looked at him sideways and said you made this? it's very good. I like the texture.
OK. Then she cleaned out the neglected turtle's cage.
What? you bloggers say... we didn't know you had a turtle. exactly. That's how neglected Yertle is
so at 10:30 that night she cleaned Yertle's cage
Clark is confident and looks you right in the eye when she speaks. She's great.
And she belts out Living On a Prayer like there's no tomorrow.
Clark's mom picked her up at 10 Monday morning. This is when we finally met. I know this mom. This mom is half the moms I see at work every Monday Tuesday and Friday. This mom is young and obese and doesn't brush her teeth. This mom is overwhelmed and stuck.
I ran errands and Clark was back with us at 3. She stayed til 8:30.
Clark called yesterday evening and asked if she could come over for dinner.
11 minutes later she walked in. She said I'll just call my mom when you want her to pick me up. Then she handed me a cheeseburger from Burger King and said this is for you. it has extra pickles.
Mia wanted a sleepover at Clark's house. no way jose
Clark was like...ummmm... we don't really have sleepovers at my house. I usually sleep on the floor (my guess is because she wets the bed) my brother sleeps in the top bunk and my mom sleeps in the other bed. And my grandpa walks around all the time without his shirt on. He doesn't like wearing shirts.
All righty then. That's what I thought. Something's not right
At about 7 pm Clark's mom called to see if Clark could spend the night here. She didn't ask to speak with me. She said she had had a rough day and needed to rest. Clark said well her friend is like, harassing her, and she's really stressed out about it.
Is it her boyfriend?
No just a friend. But he's mad cause she's talking to this other guy.
I look her in the eye. Is it safer for you to be here?
She nods her head yes.
No problem honey.
My oldest friend, who's back in Chicago, said super sweet things via text about me looking out for Clark. About me changing people's lives.
Jordana said Clark is great, I love her... hide your valuables. I just looked at her the thought had crossed my mind. Then she grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me til I thought my head would pop off and said you can't save everyone
Bruce came home and said Chica, you need to have a conversation with Clark's mom. You need to set some boundaries, cause this could get really weird. I don't really want to have anything to do with someone who will just dump their 9 yr old daughter with people they don't know.
He's got a point.
But I know me. I'm not so good with boundaries in situations like this. If I have too much conversation with Clark's mom, she'll end up telling me all her shit and then I'll NEVER be able to say no. That's just the way I am. It's what makes me good at work. But at work I can walk out the door and leave them behind. They're not in my living room. This is in my living room. And if I know too much, shit's creek will be flowing right through my house. I'll be like Horton hearing a Who or sitting on that damn egg for ever and ever.
This morning I found myself making pancakes for 6 kids. I thought hey, I could do this. This is kinda neat. Maybe I'll take in a bunch of foster kids. But that would entail lots of laundry lots of cooking lots of refereeing. That's a full time SAHM kinda gig. But quitting work to take in foster kids is not an option. And I could never ask the most awesome babysitter to watch foster kids on top of the 17 kids that are in and out of this house already.
Then I got real and honest with myself and said shit. there's a reason i work 12 hr days. So I come home to a quiet sleeping house. and a clean kitchen. We all know evenings are the hardest. So I pay my most awesome babysitter to do three evenings a week.
SAHM I am I am not.
The hardest thing for me is working an 8 or 9 or 10 hr day, then coming home to dinner, homework, and baths. Some moms love it. I'm not that mom. But I do love the idea of a houseful of kids. The idea. Not always the reality.
Thankfully, I know Bruce will shut this shit right down. He'll humor me, and talk to me about it, and if I really pushed, he'd agree, cause he's never said no to me. But he also knows that once I sit with the idea for a while, I'll come to my senses.
OK. Time to go dig myself a deeper hole.
I'm kinda hoping Clark will just fizzle out when Spring Break is over.