settummanque, or blackeagle (blkeagle@DYNASTY.NET)
Sat, 7 Feb 1998 01:00:16 -0600
Now that everyone is asleep, finally, and that I've answered all of my
personal email (with the exception of those that I've sent patches and a
personal letter of apology to) over the past week or so, I now have about 45
minutes of so before I have to get ready to head up the road to Indianapolis
Gang, I have went from being a hopeful parent of a newborn to the actual
active parent of my two boys in a little over a month. In this same time
period, we had some rather unexpected bills to pay, some related to the boys
and others unrelated; the usual after-Christmas "blahs" whereby just like
all of you, I don't want to SEE my wife's computer, yet alone use it; and
the first-of-the-month phone calls, faxes, and requests for "whatever you've
got" on given subjects.
I cannot tell you that I've smiled through all of this; my oldest son
reminded the ENTIRE congregation of Jessica's church (right in the middle of
"praise and worship", the part of the service in which Jessica gets much
religious support from) that she "was not his mother and there's nothing you
can do to me!"; my youngest decided to defy the authority of his school and
in the process, entered into fights with just about everyone there; my
mother-in-law has went "on strike" twice, both times with the same comment:
"My son and daughter never talked or behaved like THAT!" (and folks, when
she's on strike, she's as stubborn as a mule...kinda figures where my wife
gets *her* stubborness from!! *grinning from ear to ear*); and I've had to
break up fights between students in one of my classes down at the Center
where I'm working temporarily because one "took something from" the other
(never figured out what that "something" was).
And our lone cat, Jessica's Kelly, almost died *twice*, which caused us to
send him to the "animal doctor" and almost to sleep! We spent one entire
weekend cleaning the house from top to bottom, wiping and vaccumming and
mopping everything to "find the reason why he was dying"!
For those that wonder "How in the world have you've survived"?, besides a
lot of "sitting and staring", some prayer, and some yelling (which I've had
to go back and apologize to various parties for, and sometimes to entire
households *frown face*), I've survived by going to the car, the bathroom,
or to work, locking the door, and while everyone else is looking, knocking,
or asking to be let in, I would write a page in my "Kailey Book".
Kailey is the name of the biracial child Jessica and I have been working
hard to adopt. Faceless, she is in my heart and soul as deep as my other
three natural children by way of my first wife. I only have an image, one
in which I see every time I see a "mixed child" walking or being carried by
her mother or father whenever I'm out at the store, or at church, or just
passing by in my car.
But she's there. We have a series of home visits coming soon and around six
months (or sooner!) afterwards, we hope to have Kailey in our arms!
Last Christmas, instead of exchanging Christmas presents because I was
overseas, Jessica went to a Christian bookstore and purchased two books:
One, called "A Mother's Legacy", Jessica started but hasn't went very far in
it...she's been really busy with work, with taking care of her mother and
now assisting with the care and feeding of my two boys. The other, called
"A Father's Legacy", she gave to me the evening after I've returned home.
"Take a few minutes from your computer stuff, Mike, and write something in
there for your daughter to read", her simple request. "I couldn't find a
computer version, so you'll have to use that great printing of yours".
The book sat on my cluttered desk for a week or two before I finally picked
it up and started to write responses into it.
Questions in the "Kailey Book" range from the simple "Describe your
childhood home. What did it look like?" and "Who gave you your name and
why? Do you have any nicknames? What are they and who gave them to you?";
to more in-depth and thought-provoking questions like "If you were to find a
toy box in your attic, what toys would you remember most fondly and why?"
and "Is there one book or author who helped you to develop a philosophy of
life? Share some of those insights"; to those questions which make the
book more of a Christian sharing manual: "Was there a person who helped you
in your Christian walk? Share something about that person" and "What Bible
character would you like to meet and why?"
Each question gives you the rest of that page to answer, and of course,
knowing me as many of you do, I have failed several times to come quickly to
a conclusion in less than the 31 lines it gives me.
This book is pretty interesting. Many of the questions I have answered in
the "long version" within either of my books. There are a few, like this
one, that I have never thought about until this past week. What started out
as a sprinkling of snow, turned into 12.4 inches of the stuff in our part of
town up until this evening (places east of her, in Louisville, Lexington,
and Jackson, Kentucky have received twice as much snow during the same
period of time!! Stay warm, Scouters!!!).
"What childhood memory first comes to mind when you think about winter? How
do you respond to that memory?"
SNOW!! I think about snow -- that fluffy white stuff that somehow
accummulate and become ice and thick slush that stops traffic, makes great
snowballs and snow people -- and great "grease" for Christmas trees.
I bought our family's Christmas tree when I was younger and living in
Germany. It wasn't our first real tree, but it was the first one that my
mother gave me authority to pick out, get and bring back. I bought the tree
from a lot behind the high school in Pattonville -- four miles from our
apartment building. I dragged it all the way back, in deep snow up to my
kneecaps -- from the high school lot, behind a series of German row houses
in Aldingen, around the corner from the corner "pub", up the hill and back
down past the "Spudel haus" and then back up to our apartments in the
Aldingen Strasse housing area.
I sang Christmas carols all the way back, as loud as I could, huffing and
puffing my ten-year-old body along as I belted out "Hark, the Herald Angels
Sing", "We Wish You a Merry Christmas", and "Silent Night" in both American
English and later in German. I was cold. I had a pair of gloves over my
hands, but they were not thick enough for the sap from the tree nor the
sharp branches. I was tired; what started out as an adventure has turned
somehow, Kailey, into an ordeal. But true to my Boy Scout upbringing, I did
not flinch and instead, took a special deal of pride in being given the
honor of getting the tree, going to get it, bringing it home, and putting it
up in our living room on the fourth floor.
So, I can't help it. Ask your mother, if you don't believe me. I cannot
help but to sing Christmas carols and want to see "christmas trees" (or any
kind of tree) in the new snow. It's beautiful, much more beautiful than any
words I can ever write. It's special. It's dangerous and cold and not very
nice to be out in a car with (ask you mother about that, too).
But when I see SNOW, lots of SNOW, your father's thinking about getting
warm, looking out at the coldness and beauty of it, and if it happens during
Christmas time (or anytime really), I just might break out in a round of
"Let it Snow!!"
(you'll learn that song too, and when you get old enough to go to school,
and later to work, you'll be singing it as a prayer!!)
Again, Stay Warm and Dry!
(Habitually late, not a good quality I've been told)
(c) 1997 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://dynasty.net/users/blkeagle
241 Fairview Dr., Henderson, KY 42420-4339 firstname.lastname@example.org
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