Saturday, December 10, 2005


I realized today that everything in our life is a long story. The cashier asks, “Are you out Christmas shopping?”

Here is the answer.

Actually, no,we’re shopping for birthday presents for one of my ten children. Two of the children with me are my children. The third child with me is actually a mother herself. She’s the mother of two. Her first child is the one here with us in the cart and her other child she placed for adoption, which is why I’m taking her shopping to help her get back on her feet. She speaks Spanish. So does the baby. The two kids with me who are Hispanic do not speak Spanish, but I do. The child we are buying for speaks Spanish as well and so does one of his other brothers, who is not biologically related. The sister of the two kids who are with me is Hispanic also, but she doesn’t speak Spanish, even though she is Hispanic as well.

I am always tempted to answer unasked questions because people look so confused.

But I just said, “No, not Christmas shopping today.”

Anyway, I was so proud of our son John today. He is home from the ranch for the weekend and went with me to take the birthmom I’ve been working with for several months shopping for winter clothes. She had her first child with her. John was SO awesome with that baby. He was a true gentleman for the whole time. He open, shut, and held doors. He helped carry things. and he was SO gentle with the baby. He helped her take her coat off and helped her dip fries in her ketchup. It was so cool to watch him being so mature and so caring.

I have recently acquired a new joy for parenting teenagers. Several years ago I was perpetually asked if I ran a day care. Now that our youngest is almost 10, people inquire if I’m with a youth group. By Christmas I will have 6 teenagers. I am realizing that we are getting to a point with our kids that our purpose is helping them understand what they need to do to improve their lives, instead of trying to make them do what we think they need to. It’s a new way of life and I’m finding the new dynamic to be very fun.

Now that John is here for every weekend, I assigned him chores again. He has done them much better than he used to and with a lot less complaining. I’m thrilled with the changes.

If I died at this moment, I would be content with my world. However, we are probably putting up our tree (finally) this afternoon, and my guess is that my mood is bound to change.

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