When I heard about the accident, my first thought was an unhappy exchange we'd had just before he left for work. Neither of us had gotten much sleep the night before, and both of us were feeling a bit punchy (figuratively speaking, of course). I snipped, he grumped ... then left for work. The next thing I knew, I had four messages on my cell phone to call my husband immediately. You'd better believe he got the royal treatment for the rest of the day!
On our way in to work this morning (I get to play chauffer until we get another car), Craig and I talked about how easy it can be to take each other for granted. He once observed to me that the time a couple spends together before the kids come is like money in the bank in terms of a marriage investment; after they arrive, the couple has to make regular withdrawals from the "love bank" just to tend to those little gifts from God. If we're smart, we find ways to make additional deposits ... those that don't often find themselves in divorce court!
Many times, it's a matter of keeping perspective -- what's worth getting upset over, and what isn't. Yesterday I got an unexpected e-mail from a high-school friend of mine, who gifted me with a little trip down memory lane, from the first week the kids came to stay with us. So much has changed in the interim ... Sarah is getting ready to start kindergarten in the fall, and Christopher will be in 2nd grade. Cheyenne is thriving with her new forever family ... and I will be forever grateful that, despite all the bumps, we were gifted with these little lives. This was dated August 5, 2002.
Our first week with Cheyenne (4-1/2), Christopher (2-1/2) and Sarah (6 months) is now over, and we have had a few days to rest and reflect. It was a busy week, as you might imagine. Most parents start with one squirmy baby at a time!
However, there were a lot of bright points -- the kids loved blueberry picking, and visiting "Aunt Katy" and her chickens, and going to the petting zoo with Grandma and Grandpa Hess. I learned the trick to long car rides (put kids tapes in the cassette player, and keep pelting them with goldfish crackers). Craig learned that there is such a thing as playing TOO MUCH with a baby... after a certain point, she gets so tired that she won't eat, so that someone has to get up at 4 a.m. to give her a midnight feeding.
It about broke my heart to leave them at the agency, to visit their parents and go back to their regular foster mom. I could hear Christopher's howls all the way down the stairs, and the baby started crying when Craig said "bye-bye." At first we were too sick and exhausted to notice the silence when we returned home, but a few days later we picked up the pictures we had taken during that week together, and realized how happy we looked.
In short, starting next week, there will be three long-term additions to the Saxton house. (We went out shopping for a swing set last night.) We want to thank everyone for all the encouragement and support we have been given the past few weeks. It means a lot.