Saturday nights — a late post

(I wrote this post Sunday 13 July but didn’t get to post it.  I cleaned up until my kids arrived.  The room was clean for a day, well, half a day.)


Saturday nights have always been special in my life.  Saturday nights here I am usually alone with the children.  Our night massi needs a night off.  None of our day staff can easily stay, and bringing in someone new just for once a week is more work and disruption.  I also think it is good for us to be alone.  It’s really pretty easy because i’m a big believer in the healing power of sleep, so I let them sleep in!


This morning I was the first up, made my coffee, and just sat looking at all of them.  I’ve written before that I love to watch children sleep.  I somehow feel honored — all these children entrusted to my care, living in my nest — my cup runneth over.

By seven, several are up.  Two older girls have taken the little ones, brushed their teeth, fed them — our handicapped children can’t eat on their own, or even tell us when they need to go potty.  So we have lots of routines to get them on the potty chairs, bathed, fed, and the girls can do all of this.  They would do it more, but school leaves little time.  This makes Saturday night and Sunday morning special to them.  One girl has already begun homework.


As for me, after my moments of peace and reflection, I fed the dog and the rabbits, dumped the garbage, and put up a load of laundry.Staff has arrived and I am able to take time to write.


There is a flow to life here.  The behavior problems are familiar.  The girls talk more.  The two who are sometimes out of control, each tell us they know they are being bad and can’t stop themselves.  They are both very bright.  One girl hates herself when she is bad, and scratches her skin until she bleeds.  I give her time out, and have her work with staff.  She loves to clean and be helpful and needs the closeness with someone over work.  When she is ok she lets me know, and she goes back to class, or back to school.


The other difficult girl is very defiant at times, and simply refuses to do her work, here or in school. She really knows how to get everyone angry, with her feisty stance of defiance.  It’s easy to forget what/who is inside.  But yesterday when I went to pick them up at school, she came running out crying, fell into my arms — cried and cried.  The story — she has a new friend in school.  That girl’s father bent over a kissed our girl on the head — as one does with a daughter.  But our girls have been abused, seriously abused, with every personal and sexual boundary violated.  Our oldest girl wanted to hit him, and said she would if he ever touched her again.  They protect each other.  So our tough little girl fell apart.  In the school yard I explained that what he did was wrong, but he was thinking of her as his daughter, but he was never to do this again.   


Sunday morning I cook breakfast with the girls.  We make French Toast, with green chilles (lonca) and we make enough for staff too.  This is a peaceful place.  For the most part all the girls get along.  There are no consistent groupings, no  consistent exclusions.  As I write, they are watching tv for a few minutes.  The art teacher came by to see if they were free this morning instead of in the afternoon.  He has gone now to have breakfast and will return for class.


I will work on cleaning my room.  I have been working on this for most of my lifetime.  I am not good on order in this sense at all.  I prefer procrastinating, writing, playing with kids, cooking.  But my daughters and son-in-law are coming to visit in three days!  I want the room to be clear for them to see, but I will probably  still be working on it when i leave for the airport to get them.  And how would they believe its my room anyway if it were clear?

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July 2008
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