Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Double Wide

Walking toward the double wide trailer I see the black spray painted words still cover the right side..near the door that doesn't open. The door that has no steps to climb. I wonder if they will fade as the months pass and when summer sun shines down.

She stands on the wooden porch steps with a cigarette in her hands...three giant black trash bags overflowing behind her. The two older ones, a boy and girl, are hanging out of the now open kitchen window. They are shouting my name and proudly thrusting their giant ice cream treats in my face. She waves her Hello Kitty one that resembles a pink and white alien blob so close that I could lick it. He has Batman--which is at least recognizable--and the greatest treasure he has ever had.

The ice cream man came by last night she says.

They all kept crying and screaming and I just wanted them to shut up she tells me.

Taking a puff from her cigarette and exhaling.

The little ones are in the tub she tells me. I know they are ok because they can watch each other.

She is talking about her youngest boys. They are one and three.

She admits that she isn't good at bath time. She forgets for a week or two at a time she tells me. It's hard with five kids. 

As I follow her inside she launches into a list of Mexican home remedies. Vicks Vapor rub will fix anything I'm told. She apologizes for not having had time to clean up before I arrived.

Seeing the blue plaid comforter spread out across the floor littered with pillows and potato chip crumbs, I ask if they had a movie night camp out.

No, this is where we sleep she says. My fiancee and I on the floor, a younger boy on each of the sagging green couches and the baby in his crib in the corner of the living room. The older two sleep in their own rooms---most of the time-she adds. 

Just beyond the long narrow hallway are three bedrooms. I know this because I've been here many times before. There are new bunkbeds in each of the children's rooms. A local agency provided them complete with brightly colored sheets when they got their kids back. 

As I find an empty space on the couch to sit, the kids climb into my lap like eager puppies. 

Where do I even start?

**This is a glimpse into my work day and part of a free write exercise for the fabulous Just Write hosted by Heather.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Parenting Re-Do

It's been awhile since I've linked up with the amazing Stasha for Monday Listicles. Life has been more than a little heartbreaking and complicated around these parts but I'm trying like hell to get back in the blogging groove and what better way than joining one of my all time favorite link-ups.

Things I Would Do Over as a Parent

1. Take more videos of kids and family.

2. Take family pictures at least every other year.

3. I would have insisted Peanut & Einstein finish out the school year in Kansas instead of enrolling them mid-year in Oklahoma. It was a HUGE stress & very difficult for our family to live separately and in the end we never made our home in Oklahoma.

4. Started ORGANIZED chore charts when they were younger! My kids have always helped around the house but we weren't very organized about it which means without clear expectations there were lots of frustrations.

Sorry folks I know Listicles are suppose to have ten but I've racked my brain for two days and this is all I've got! I'm by no means a perfect parent and I've had plenty of missteps along the way but I've done my best.