Saturday, December 19, 2015

Meeting Santa and Rolling With the Punches

When we applied to host, I told GWCA that I needed a host child who was flexible and could handle  lot of stimulation. We aren't a family who can provide a lot of calm or quiet.

GWCA initially suggested that we host a girl because of the ages of our kids (6, 5 and 4 at the time). The hosting coordinator had personally met all of the kids and there were a couple of girls she described as being particularly nurturing. However, because we already have a queen bee, we asked for a host boy instead.

The coordinator recommended several boys she thought might fit well with us, including Mr. Scientist. Now that he's spent 2 days with us, I can say that he is a really easy-going little guy. He just rolls with it.

Yesterday morning he was sleeping away. I finally had to wake him up at 9:15. I felt bad, but we had hand therapy for my littlest at 10. The day kind of kept going non-stop like that: hand therapy, school drop off, where we could have a conversation with a Chinese speaker, a quick trip to Target to get things for Mr. Scientist in his size, a school Christmas performance, playground, school pick-up, etc... He just went with it all.

The pace was hectic and nothing we did qualified as inordinately fun, but he hung in there. Even as small as he is, it's clear he's older (he offered to help with the dishes) but he's still little too. He asked to ride in the cart at Target and he calls out for me to watch him on the playground equipment or when he builds something out of Legos.

Our day today had a lot more fun built in: we went to see Santa, made a gingerbread house and we spent a good amount of time at the playground. He was just as a good-natured today as he was yesterday. We've discovered he likes riding bikes, basketball and Thai boxing (he found our gloves) and we're happy to oblige in all these things.

There is so much that we take for granted: water dispenser on the fridge, car doors that close with a button - say what?!? It's fun experiencing these things through his eyes, especially because he's an older child seeing so many of these things for the first time. But, even more than that, it really is a gift to be able to validate a child's very existence by just simply paying attention. "I see you on those swings going high, you're doing great." "I see you not falling off that bike, thumb's up."

Daily, I take for granted that my kids experience this (and not just from me and Matt but from loving teachers, kind neighbors, etc...) . I forget that it reshapes brains, that it helps develop a child's identity and self-worth.

May every child (and adult, for that matter) always believe that they were created with, and for, a purpose.

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