Saturday, March 29, 2014

Lion Tamer

I’ve many times talked about Sidney’s VERY outgoing nature. Timid is not a word I will probably ever use to describe her. She’s friendly to everyone and somehow kids seem magnetically drawn to her. I remember when I put her into preschool the first year, my fear was that her physical makeup would be the source of negative experiences. How was I to know that two years later in kindergarten the girls would fight over who was going to play with her?

Last night her kindergarten class did a circus. Appropriately, Sidney was the lion tamer. By the way, I have no idea what being a lion tamer has to do with wearing a straw hat, but this was her costume so we’ll go with it. Smiley Sidney (her stage name) lead the lions (two boys from her class) through a series of feats like jumping through the flamed hoop. Or this case jumping through the hoola hoop with orange fabric tied around it. And true to form, she was the first act. At the end, each group of acts sang a portion of, “Take Me Out to the Circus” to the tune of Take Me Out to the Ballgame. Unfortunately, one of the lions took ill last night, and there was one shy little boy that approached the microphone with Sidney. No problem. Sidney’s vocals more than made up for any volume lost. Everyone she encounters agrees it’s this outgoing attitude that makes a person completely forget about her hands and foot. In so many ways this is an answered prayer.

I’m typing and hoping I’m not hearing the same noise I heard a few days ago. There was a stirring in the living room closet. It wasn’t our old cat Ralph creaking around. I was up working and thought the coffee hadn’t kicked in, so I thought I was hearing things. Not so much. Out of the corner of my eye a small creature streaked across the living room. I texted Tom the following words, “There is a mouse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Come down immediately!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tom stumbled out of bed and went behind the chair searching for the vermin. No luck. Tom expertly set a trap with peanut butter. I am a grown woman, and I’m not proud of this next part. I was so afraid of the mouse that I removed my work from the general vicinity and never returned to the living room instead working from the kitchen all day. I finally came back in when Tom came home and declared the creature dead. With all the foot traffic in and out of people picking up cookies, we think the little critter snuck in.

So that’s my week in a nutshell. This weekend will be relaxing and cleaning. This was only after last weekend when we went to the waterpark with Tom’s parents. Sidney took one look at the splash pad and said, “That’s for baby’s,” heading for the waterslides. She went down every single one of them by herself. Of course, dad went down first and caught her at the bottom. It’s amazing how sweet he was with Sidney. At the end of our little weakened hiatus, he convinced me it would be a good idea to get on the double raft and go down the waterslide with him. Nobody ever told me that when two full grown adults get in, the speed picks up rapidly. Eli tells me the entire waterpark heard me screaming, “I HATE THIS!” 

And I'm off to my Saturday.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Despite the fact that I am MORE than ready for warm weather
I thought it was beautiful a few weeks ago. 

I was talking with someone one day about Sidney’s outgoing personality. It’s impossible to have time to notice any visible special needs. She’s such an outgoing girl that her infectious personality typically overtakes a person before they have the time to think about looking at her hands or foot. Her ability  using her hands also makes it difficult to notice. We don’t typically dwell on it although she does ask sometimes why she has to be different. I think that’s probably pretty normal.

Think twice before agreeing to be the cookie mom!

That being said, it’s not very often that we see her truly feeling down about an encounter she’s had with another child in regard to her hands or foot. A small overly curious girl in church has become bothersome, asking about her differences each Sunday. Once she grabbed her hands. Believe me, I let it go on (as Tom’s mother used to say when she was alive) about one hot minute before I call her off. Her brothers are also completely awesome stepping in and carrying on talking to Sidney without a care in the world. We are instilling in her that it’s her right to tell the girl to get away, that she’s invading her space, to use Tom’s line (a shark bit off the other two). Sorry, we have a solid sense of humor in this house.
Super Sidney!

I knew with Sunday coming it was a good time to remind her she has the right to tell her to go away or whatever she feels comfortable doing. I also reminded her that her best friend Zoey was going to probably be there. She loves spending time with her, so she immediately perked up. I said, “She’s a good friend isn’t she.” Her response gave me an indication of what she has faced when I’m not there in school. “She never asks the hard questions.” I had to choke back the knot in my throat.

I’m so grateful for friends who are simply her friend. There’s no discussion of why she’s Chinese and all the other kids in the school outside of a couple of African American kids are all Caucasian. There’s no conversation about why God created her with three fingers. Instead, their time is filled with talk about being old enough to have a sleepover, fairies, and examining one another’s clothing (I fear the teenage years).

Okay I can’t write anymore. That thing is happening since it’s close to 9PM where my eyes are getting heavy, and I know any second my heads going to start bobbing backward, jerking me awake!