Nate’s Notes: I Can Do It Myself!!

I’m 2 and ½ years.  That’s a pretty big deal. That’s two years of lots of watching, lots of brain development, lots of learning.   I have my own ideas about how the days should go.  I spend a lot of time planning my day and what I think Momma and Lyla, even Daddy, should do.  Most of the time I’m pretty good at making sure things go according to plan.   I can do a lot myself, even if people think I can’t.  I can sweep, and then put the dirt back where it came from.  I can use the spray cleaner and a rag to wipe things…and also to clean Lyla.  I can kind of vacuum; we just need a smaller vacuum, that’s all.  I can put clothes away…where I think they should go.  I can pour my drinks, which also gives the thirsty counter a drink.   I have my own camera and can take my own pictures, artistic pictures.  I can do puzzles, build towers, and draw.  I can sing, play the piano perfectly, and steer the cars. You name it, I’m pretty sure I can do it myself.    

The big people in my life look at me like I’m a child, incapable of such strategic planning, incapable of doing things on my own. That’s why one phrase is so important:  “I can do it myself!”.  I have to use this phrase about 31 times each day.  At least I think that is the number…I can’t really count past 19.  It isn’t just about the words.  You have to look them in the eye, use hand gestures and a loud voice.  They still don’t get it.

 Some big people really don’t get it at all.  One day on a field adventure, a woman came up to us with this strange, high pitched voice, squishy lips, a wiggling finger, and what she thought were words.  She looked and sounded like an idiot.  I stared at her…then looked at Momma…then looked behind me at Lyla, who actually had a goofy, toothy, grin on her face.  Ah ha…the woman was talking like we were babies.  Leave it to Lyla to encourage her.  She messes up everything!! Momma was too awkward to fix it, too busy looking for pictures to take.   I had to take control.   I would do it myself.

The woman asked Momma how old we were.  I can answer myself!!  Momma told her.  The woman looked at me and squished up her nose and lips, saying,Wow…a biggy wiggy two year old!  What a big boy!  Yes you are!!”  She grabbed my fingers (really, I didn’t know this woman at all, and she had the nerve to touch me!).  I looked at her, done with the shenanigans, and said, “It’s time to let go!  Momma, it’s time to say goodbye.  I’m a big boy, I can do it myself!  Lyla no talking!!”  Momma’s mouth opened, then shut.  By looking at her eyes, I could tell she was trying not to laugh.  The woman gasped and then started to talk again, but just sounds came out.   So I looked her in the eyes, talked slowly and loudly, and said, “Use your words.”  

Momma mumbled something and whisked us away so fast I could barely hear the woman call after us, “Well, he certainly is a spirited boy.”  And then Momma mumbled loud enough I could hear her, “And you my friend, certainly are an annoying woman.”   Since I really needed Momma to push us away, and couldn’t stomp off myself, I was so glad when she did!   Sometimes, I still need help.  Some days, Momma is my superhero.  

Nate’s Notes: Books Are the Best

I love books.  I love cars and trains too.  But books are the best.  Books are amazing.  Maybe even more than … well, than most things. ALMOST as good as a Momma or Daddy hug.  Books teach you things.  Books have great pictures.  Books tell you stories.   And who doesn’t like a good story??!!  A good story takes you to other places and people. 

By the time I was two years old, I ran with giraffes and bears, went swimming with dolphins, got stuck in a whale’s belly, drove a train, climbed a tall tall tree, found a wocket in my pocket, danced with wolves, built an igloo, flew on a train to Africa, played peek-a-boo with a strange robot, got stuck in a mud puddle with a blue truck, said good night to the moon, put pajamas on with elephants, rode a submarine, and…and…and.  Well, I could go on and on. 

Read a book. It's good for you!

Read a book. It’s good for you!

All that I did because of books.  Each book is an adventure. 

I have so many shelves of books that Momma has to move them around to remind me what books I have!   Some of my books are short, some are long.  Some make me happy, some make me sleepy.  Not only do I get an adventure with each book, but I get to spend time with the big people that I love each time we read them.  Sometimes I read the books by myself.  Sometimes I have Momma or Daddy read the same book over and over and over and over…mostly because I like being with them. 

Books aren’t for everyone…I guess.  Apparently Lyla feels they are better as food or to throw.  She rips books out of my hand and hits me with them.  What?  She doesn’t like stories?  I guess we can’t all be readers.  Someone should really talk to that baby girl about books.  I guess I could show her how cool books are. 

I have a few books that have really pretty pictures.  I wonder if someday I can use my camera to take pictures for books?  I HAVE been practicing my picture taking!  Hmmm… For now, I’ll just go read another book.  

Nate’s Notes: Sharing Is Caring

Sharing is Caring.  Really? (Picture this with as much sarcasm as a 2 year old can muster.) It is? There are big people in my life like to say this.  Actually, big people who don’t even know me, like at the playground or market, like to say it too.  Have you ever heard something so ridiculous?!   I heard it again the other day when Lyla tried to play with my Legos. My Legos.  

Uncle Tim Legos

Uncle Tim Legos

Baby Legos - Pfff

Baby Legos – Pfff

Here’s the thing about Legos.  They. Are. AWESOME!!!  You can build something different every day with Legos.  They have great colors.  There are big ones, mostly for babies, and smaller, “regular” ones.  Actually these smaller ones we call “Uncle Tim Legos”.  My Uncle Tim and Legos go way back.  He is kind of a super hero with them.  

Anyway, Lyla always tries to play with my toys.  Please tell me why the pronoun “my” exists because I NEVER get to use it.  When I say “my toys”, or “that’s mine”…I get angry eyes, a couple sets, and a story about sharing.  Really?  Does the whole world share?  Will life always be full of sharing, nice people?  I don’t THINK so!   I am probably doing Lyla a favor by teaching her this.   The sooner she realizes it, the better.  Moments like this make me wonder why THEY get to be in charge. 

Speaking of THEM, if sharing is caring, then why don’t they share their stuff with me?  No good answer?  Hmmm?  Yea, that’s what I thought.  If sharing is caring, then Momma could show me how much she cares by sharing her camera, her computer, or her popcorn!   If sharing is caring, then Daddy could show me how much he cares by sharing his tools, his beef jerky, or his cell phone!  

So, about those Legos… 

TMG Philosophy: Stronger In Waiting- The Wait is Over

This was the day.  This windy, blustery, autumn day in November was the day.  After a distracted morning at work where I waited for the clock to tell me I could leave, it was time.  I picked up Chad nearby and we headed to the meeting.  This was like no other meeting we had ever attended.  This was the biggest meeting of our lives.  Today we would meet Nathaniel, an 8-week old baby boy.  We had been chosen as a match in the fost-adopt process, and today would be the first day in the transition period of moving him from the Emergency Foster Home to our own home.  Today we would determine out how long that transition would be, how often we would see him, and if/when he would come home with us. 

The ride there was quiet.  Nerves and anticipation coupled with impatience and fear filled the car.  Questions swirled but were never uttered.  Was our wait over?  Was this right?  Were WE the right people for this baby boy?  The social workers involved could still stop this…could still tell us they had made a mistake and the match wouldn’t work.  So I waited to see signs of that disappointment as we approached the house. 

The emergency foster mother, Jane, caring for Nathaniel had fostered 96 babies, a number that both impressed and intimidated me.  I waited to see her face, meet this person who played such a heart-filled role in this baby boy’s life.  Would I like her?  Would she like me?  Did it matter? 

As she opened the door, I looked away from her almost instantly, done with those questions now, and ready to meet this baby boy.  The smile on my face became forced as my eyes darted around the room.  My shoulders sunk a little when Jane told us he was in his crib still.  I barely heard her ask us to sit down.  What? Sit down?  Why?  What were we waiting for?  Years of pain and grief, years of wondering, years of yearning, years of waiting…and she wanted us to sit down?  Was she going to offer us tea next and share holiday stories? 

There is no manual for emotionally charged, awkward moments like this…moments that bring people together through extraordinary circumstances that include both loss and hope.  This baby was here because of tragedy and trauma.  This baby’s mother suffered loss when he came home from the hospital with this woman we met today instead of with her.  This baby had lost the connection to a woman he grew inside for almost 9 months, the way she moved, the sound of her voice.  And now Jane had loved and nurtured him for two months, and she was getting ready to say goodbye to him.  Yet here we sat ready for our beginning, for our waiting to be over. We knew the story, recognized the loss, felt the bittersweet mixing of sadness and joy.  It was huge.

While I continued the awkward, pasted smile and watched the clock above Jane’s head, I felt myself ready to lose it.   We answered her questions and listened while she talked about Nathaniel’s routine and his traits.  Just. Bring. Him. Out. Already!  And then I heard her ask, “I wonder why they chose you?”  One question.  That one question was almost my undoing.  What did THAT mean?  Was this not going well?  Was my smile too big?  Was I mumbling?  Were my clothes not motherly enough?  Did she have a say in all this? 

Just before I threw up in my mouth, Chad’s hand on my knee steadied me.  While I recovered from the shock, Jane went to get Nathaniel. I watched her walk out…and I waited. 

As she walked back into that living room carrying that blue-eyed, brown haired tiny baby boy, I felt stronger.  I looked at him, and I knew.  This baby.  This boy.  Nathaniel.  We had found him.  He was why we had to wait so long. We were supposed to wait for him because all that time had made us stronger, made us ready for how much our hearts would stretch and grow.   He was why we had cried so hard. He was why nothing else had worked.  He was why.   He was ours.  

Time brought our hearts together: our first day.

Time brought our hearts together: our first day.



Stronger In Waiting- Part 3

Stronger In Waiting- Part 2

Stronger In Waiting- Part 1