March 8, 2014 by greenhouse04
I’ve been writing posts about what it’s like to be a foster family, and there’s lots more to come! But today I want to write about a family that’s just a family.
Yesterday we dropped Baby M. (our foster son) off at some friends and spent the day together as a family – just a mom, dad, son and daughter. We drove two hours to a museum that had a special rattlesnake exhibit (think: Eddie’s current obsession).
It was nice not to worry about diaper bags and formula, but especially nice to focus on the kids who are mine. Wow – how thankful I am that they are mine forever!! (For those who don’t know, they were also foster children at one time. I’m so glad that time is over.)
We ate at a big buffet-style restaurant. I walked across the entire restaurant three time with Emma to the bathroom, which, of course, we’d sat as far from as possible. But although I complained, I kinda enjoyed walking with such a cute little girl past the eyes of so many people… I love watching her skip and run with exuberance, so others must enjoy it as well! 😉
At the end of the meal, my kids both chose a blue cotton candy, and carried it back to their chairs with pride. (Thus the third trip to the bathroom – to wash off all the blue fuzzies.) Eddie, with characteristic kindness, shared a little tuft with each person at the table. It looked like I had blue mold growing from my chicken.
As we left the restaurant, we saw a big helium balloon sailing across the parking lot. It got caught on a fence, and Eddie and I dashed after it – I’ve learned the value of helium balloons since becoming a parent. For the rest of the trip there was a huge balloon blocking the view from our rear-view mirror.
The museum was next. As we walked up the stairs to the rattlesnake exhibit, a little boy just the height of Emma stopped to tell her about the dinosaurs upstairs, including a T-Rex! It was so cute – two kids immediately interacting, one sharing exciting news, the other receiving it with enthusiasm. (The boy also looked like I’d imagine Baby M. will look in three years.)
We saw the rattlesnakes first, but for the entire time Emma was telling everyone she saw about the T-Rex upstairs! We could hear it roaring, which only heightened her anticipation.
After going through the rattlesnakes several times, we finally went to the dinosaurs, taking a detour past a Woolly Mammoth skeleton on the way. After telling everyone about the T-Rex, Emma was too scared to actually enjoy seeing it. It was big, and roared and moved, and Emma has seen The Land Before Time too many times. I managed to get her close enough for a picture, then the T-Rex turned its head and roared right at me. After this, Emma began telling people that the T-Rex wanted to eat Mommy.
At the end of our day, after we’d gotten home, picked up Baby M., eaten dinner, and put kids to bed, I sat feeding the baby and indulging in my end-of-day thinking. Most of my thoughts when the house is quiet revolve around Baby M. and his future, wondering it he’ll still be here in a year, and praying hard for his protection. But at one point last night, I realized with relief that my thoughts don’t always need to go in that anxiety-filled direction. So, I started thinking about our day together as a family instead.
I thought about my sweet daughter skipping to the bathroom.
I remembered Eddie’s excitement at seeing a Woolly Mammoth skeleton.
I chuckled at Emma’s terror of the T-Rex. (that doesn’t sound very nice of me, I know, but it was so cute!)
I thanked God for my kids, and that I can enjoy them without fear.
I decided that I need to do more of that. Why miss out of such a sweet, precious time in my childrens’ lives because I’m only focused on the unknowable future of my foster child?
It was good to have a day just being a family.