Dear Calista, Elam and Tobiah:
Yesterday I forgot.
I forgot to turn off the faucet because I was cooking something in the microwave and went to turn off the bathwater. I was eating dinner and washing dishes and making iced tea and energy bites and I guess I just forgot.
Calista, when I told you for the 3rd time to put your laundry away, I forgot that I had just neglected the faucet in the kitchen. Although I admit that once I sat upon the porcelain privacy cell where I get most of my texting and Facebook time, I was disappointed to find that you forgot to flush. Your dukies are meant to be flushed, girlfriend. But I forgot that at school and most of toilets in your world flush themselves.
Elam, I forgot that your world has been turned inside out. None of your manly toys are your own. Instead of 4 Planes planes, you now have 2 if you’re lucky. Or less if we have lost them again in the closet, corner or backyard. I forgot that you have a mouth sore and possibly Hand Foot and Mouth disease and I forgot to check your temperature. I was probably doing laundry, planning dinner, scheduling an educational assessment for your brother and doing SuperMan push-ups in between because we can’t go to the Y today. Once we realized you had a fever your cruddy, bully-like attitude started to make sense. I forgot to remember how hard it is to be kind when you are in pain and feeling crummy.
Tobiah, I forgot to remind you to “niao-niao.” I forgot and then when we had to change your 3rd pair of underwear before noon I forgot to control my temper. I forgot that your language is progressing so rapidly something else is bound to come loose and I guess it’s your bladder.
I also forgot that you have little to nothing in this house that is truly “yours.” We don’t have much we hoard for ourselves but that’s because we have plenty to call our own. I forgot you are still learning boundaries and when I walk through Target with you, I should hold your hand instead of letting you run into one of those many concrete pillars that are awkwardly off center in the main aisles. Seriously, what we those people thinking?
I forgot a lot today, even though I kept trying to remind myself and the Spirit was too, to be gentle, especially after wiping your nose 30 times and making you blow “hi-yo” – one more time. I forgot you left caring foster families who fed you familiar foods, probably lots of hot soups, on days like today instead of easy PB-J’s. I forgot that you are still learning to trust us and when I say no, I really need to calm down first.
I just forgot. Somewhere between the lasagna, muffins, wiping down the floor, doing your laundry, figuring out what winter jacket fits and getting the drawers reloaded with warmer clothing I just forgot.