On my last entry I mentioned how nice it was when (S) gave me a big hug upon my return home. I mentioned that I didn't remember when that stopped with my bio children and I hoped it wouldn't stop with (S) for a while.
I have given more thought to this and how children see their parents as they grow. When children are first born there is a natural atatchment to the mother and there is an attachment to the father developed relatively early. (this is in normal homes. I am not sure (S) ever had an attachment to her bio father).
Once they learn how to walk, they are encouraged to meet their parents at the door and the usual result is they get picked up by the arriving parent and get a big hug and kiss which is naturally comforting to them.
When they learn to run and jump, thats what they do when the parent comes home and the parent has no choice but to pick them up. (Not that anyone would refuse) This is the stage that (S) is at right now and I love it!
Unfortunately, there comes a time when they are just too big to pick up and the parent has to put a stop to the running and jumping. At that point it may be time for the parent to get down on one knee to give the requisite hug and kiss upon arrival at home.
The next stage is when they no longer care to acknowledge your existance. While they may come to the door and say a quick hello, if they have friends visiting they won't even acknowledge your arrival. Unless of course they are looking for something in particular. (roughly ages 12 to 14)This isn't all bad though because as long as there is no chance of being seen by their friends, they still enjoy spending time with you.
Then the teenage years hit full force. That is when they don't even want to acknowledge your existance. Family outings are for the birds and all that really matters are them and their friends. This is not true 100% of the time, but it is enough of the time to make you wonder if they care about you or is it just the things you can provide?
This is the longest and most difficult time of parenting. Kids are trying to test limits and experiment with different types of behavior. You hope you have taught them well, and that when they do something stupid it won't harm them physically. If you are lucky, they make it through the teenage years. After those years come to an end, you are in really good shape.
The older they get, the smarter you get.
They finally start asking for advice and valuing the advice you give them. They are adults and while at times it is difficult to treat them that way, there is no holding them back. They make their own choices and hopefully they are good ones. Again, hopefully they have a healthy and happy life. If they make mistakes, you can not blame yourself. They have made their own choices. DW and I have been very lucky. While there have certainly been trials and tribulations along the way, right now all of our children are living productive and healthy lives. They also seem to be happy which is most important.
So where does that leave us with (S)? Well, we obviously have a long way to go. While we don't know if she went through those first couple of stages with her bio-parents, we do know that she has been through the stage of meeting at the door, and now jumping up on me when I arrive. I love it. I just hope that she is able to go through the rest of her life being a normal little kid. You never know what happened that may have a long term effect on her life, but we are hoping that we can negate any bad things that may have happened.
On another note, the good news is that there has not been an appeal filed yet. Bio mom and Dad still have about a month to file one though. We are keeping our fingers crossed. In the meantime I am still travelling every week and spending my weekends at home with DW and (S). This week I will be home on Christmas Eve and stay through Sunday so that will be an extra long visit. Last week I was in Atlanta, and this week I am back in New Hampshire. I will be in New Hamshire until the week of January 10th when I will be going to New York for a week. Life goes on.
I will continue to keep up as much as I can, but in case I don't get back to this blog before Christmas, I just want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas spent with your family and a Happy and Healthy New Year. There is a quote from a columnist by the name of Bill Vaughn. (aka Burton Hillis) that goes like this:
"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other."
While family has always been important to me, it has never been as important as it has become over the last couple of years. I will be very happy to be spending this Christams with DW and (S).