You now how sometimes things are just so awful that you’re overcome with inappropriate giggles and can’t stop? That was this past weekend. And by weekend I mean from last Thursday, through to last night at about 7:27pm. So six days of weekend, with me suspended in that high-pitched, wide-eyed, omigoshthiscannotbehappening state of internal disbelief.
I won’t get into the specifics, except to say that it will never NOT be weird to drop off the children you’ve spent the past four years raising for a visit with their real mother (who considers you just some random babysitter hired by the state) and then spend the next 9 hours not knowing where they are, what they’re doing, or what they’re being told. Steve and I know that this is important for the Cherubs. No need to lecture us on that. But it’s also costly. Super, duper costly.
This year, one Cherub came back, got some sleep, and then resumed his life. The other Cherub came back, picked up a (metaphorical) wild axe of flaming fury, and tried to take down the house.
Let’s stop here for a tip: Current & future adoptive parents (Moms in particular)? Get thee to the gym. Do ALL the squats and planks; build up those core muscles. Because at some point, the entire weight of blame for your children’s past will be slammed down on your shoulders, and you need to be able to handle it. It’s too heavy for them to carry, and no one else will take it. Tag, you’re it.
When this happens here, I don’t always know how I’ll respond. Sometimes I shut down, sometimes I’m super creative/responsive, and other times I’m just scanning the world around me for some sort of break from the madness. Which is what happened Monday, when, after an epic three-hour round of verbal wrestling insanity with the axe-wielding cherub, I realized I’d missed a webinar I was scheduled to take. The Title? How to Kick Ass in High-Stress Environments.
You guys, that’s funny.
Worst/funniest of all, I’m doing that thing I told you about last week were I have to find 3 Good Things in every day. EVERY DAY, you guys. That’s too much. I’d already used the thing about Steve’s socks. (Here’s a pic. Don’t they spark joy???) But that was last week’s joy. I needed new joy, and I had nothing.
Then, last night at 7:27pm last night, we were at #2 Cherub’s 8th grade concert. First the band played, and then we were supposed to hear from the orchestra. But there was a 10 minute lag where three people were up on stage rearranging the chairs. They didn’t have enough people, or the plan, So they just moved the chairs around and around while someone rolled the big bass drum back and forth trying to get it off the stage. The house lights were down, the room was warm (it’s been freezing here), and we all sat in hushed silence, watching this unfold. After about seven minutes, I turned to Steve and said, “This is the most relaxed I’ve been all week…” We burst out laughing. Because it was totally true. Those fine band educators and volunteers could have moved those chairs for an hour, and I would have sat in the warm dark peace of it all as my jaw unclenched and my shoulders dropped down from around my ears.
That was my good moment.
And then, in an abundance of good-moment riches…after the chairs were settled, and the orchestra played…the 8th Grade Chorus finally made its way to the stage:
And they were really, really good.
Wow, is there a difference between 5th grade and 8th! And Wow, do harmonies improve when the boys’ voices drop down a few octaves. The axe-wielding Cherub had been asked, kind of at the last minute, to do the shaker for one song, and she was perfect.
And afterwards we had something to talk about, something to celebrate, something in her life that is about now, not then. Something she doesn’t hate.
Growth seems to have stopped here on the home front. But it’s happening elsewhere, in the areas that (let’s be frank) really matter. Here’s what I mean: some of us get great upbringings & families we’re happy to be part of; some of us don’t. But all of us have to function in the world. And both of the Cherubs have what it takes to make this second thing happen. We can succeed, even if we don’t succeed. That’s a relief. It gives me hope, and a hint of optimism.
So last night, I put that on the list.