Sunday, November 11, 2012

Month of Thanksgiving 2012 - Day Four

They say "It takes a village to raise a child," and looking at my family over the past couple of years, I have to say, that African proverb is dead on!

Day Four - Today I am thankful for my "village."

With my sister's two sets of twins (2nd graders Buddy and Ka-Diva and almost 19-month-olds Pooper and Butterfly), my 20-month-old Monkey, and my "honorary" brood of 19-year-old Heaven, 16-year-old Kama, honorary son-in-law Kelly, 4-year-old Booger Bear, and almost 22-month-old Banana (not to mention any other foster kiddos who come my way), we've definitely got our hands full!  Fortunately, our "village" has come together to do whatever we can to raise these kids without doing too much damage.  ;-)

With so many kiddos so close together in age, but just far enough apart in size that they're all a size apart, our first village "perk" is that of sharing clothes.  I have my "foster care closet" with nicely organized storage bins of children's clothes ranging from 3 months to 3T-4T.  As all of our little ones grow, the closet is the first stop for "shopping."  As they outgrow their clothes, everything (and then some) makes its way back to me for future foster babies!  The "closet" has been a great addition to the "village economy," and I'm certain has saved us all hundreds of dollars in clothing costs. 

Village undertaking number two would have to be that of "coordinating schedules."  On any given week, my sister, our mom, and I pull out our day planners and coordinate our plan of attack.  Because my sister and I both work outside of the home (me full-time, and Christy part-time), we depend heavily on our mom during the work week.  Quite honestly, when I say "it takes a village...," what I mostly mean is "it takes our mom!"  Not only does our mom move from house to house to watch toddlers, she somehow manages to help around our houses too!  I have a Magical Dishwashing Fairy who comes to my house on the mornings that my mom keeps Monkey for me, and my sister has a Magical Laundry Fairy who helps her out.

Village undertaking number three would be our constant "on call" status.  With all of Pooper's appointments, after school stuff, gymnastics, school, etc. and just all of the other things that come with a family of six, their schedule tends to change from week to week, so I try to be as flexible as I can be.  I tend to be the "on call" transportation when one of the big twins gets sick at school or needs a ride home from tutoring.  Fortunately, I work just down the street from the kids' school, so I can make a quick run and be back at work in 20 minutes.  I'm also "on call" for Booger and Banana when Heaven and Kelly need help.

Village undertaking number four is that of "musical households."  Christy's got her hands full, so we do our best to entertain the big twins by having them spend the night with Nana and Papa, spending time at Aunt Tammy's having fun with the Saturday Crew, and having playdates at each other's houses just so there are more grown-ups to watch all of the toddlers around at the same time.  The kids enjoy playing with each other, and the grown ups enjoy being able to tag team for diaper duty.  :-)

Village perk number five is that of utilizing each of our strengths when it comes to entertaining and educating the kids.  Heaven and Kama are the adventuresome ones who are always up for anything.  Exploring in the woods, painting pumpkins, scavenger hunts, decorating cakes...  You name it!  These girls are all in!  Kelly, Chris, and my Dad are the "fun" ones who are always willing to play with the kids, no matter what crazy ideas they come up with.  "Throw us across the pool as many times as you can, Kelly!" or "Let us ride on your back and race around the house, Papa!" or "Let's see what we can make that is really, really gross, Daddy!"  They'll do it!  I am the creative one who always has fun arts and crafts projects planned and was most recently designated "homework project coordinator" when Buddy and Ka-Diva had a huge "make a hat" book report project due.  Christy is the organized one who helps coordinate all of our schedules, makes sure all four of her kids feel loved and special, and according to the Big Twins she gives the best hugs and is the best Mommy on the planet (even if she makes them eat "diet food" occasionally ;-).  And our Mom is the steady, nurturing one who we all depend on to keep us sane.

My "village" is a busy, busy place.  My "village" is chaotic.  My "village" keeps us all on our toes.

My "village" is absolutely perfect

And for that, I am eternally grateful...

1 comment:

Danielle Brewer said...

Hello! I am so glad to have found your blog and I look forward to reading more about your adventures in foster parenting. I am the adoptive mom of three, all from the foster care system. I love the "It takes a village post" - it certainly does. I love my crazy village to and am so thankful for them. It seems the village is starting to include other foster/adoptive mommy bloggers and I am so thankful for them too!!

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