Monday, January 31, 2011

Children's Questions

As we all know, children ask many questions as they grow up. Some questions are very thoughtful like "Why is the sky blue?".

There are some that can be quite annoying . You know the questions like:

"Are we there yet?" or

"When is dinner?"

Of course children always say the darndest things as those of us who remember Art Linkletter will attest to, and as a result there are those questions that are just really funny. Of course some are only funny in retrospect because at the time they are embarassing. Of course none of them are said in a quiet voice. They are always loud enough so that anyone within 20 feet can hear, Some of those may be:

At the Thanksgiving table........."Why is Grandpas face so wrinkled?"

In line at the supermarket......... "Why does that lady have so much gunk on her face?"

At the restaurant......... "Why does this food make me think I am going to throw up?"

So anyway, as you get through the initial shock of some of the questions or try to get them to stop asking the annoying question, as a parent, you want ot be sure to provide some kind of an answer that will satisfy the curiosity of the young one who has asked it.

Having had three children who are now (fairly) well-adjusted adults, I have heard many questions, and found that in most cases I have been able to provide a meaningful answer. Yesterday however, I was stumped. I kind of stumbled my way through a made up answer that seemed to satisfy Shy, but I am wondering if anyone has a better answer.

I think the question itself shows some great thought, and she was very genuine when she asked the question. It only contained one word that might be considered unusual for a 5 year old, but you never know what they might be studying in what was the question?.....

"Do mermaids hibernate?"

I know what my lame response was, but I am curious from the people who read this blog. What would your answer be?


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pancake Breakfast

This morning Shy and I went to a pancake breakfast that was being held by the PTA in order to raise funds for a new curtain for the stage at the school.

The pancakes were ok, and the sausage was good, but the Syrup wasn't real Maple Syrup and I have been spoiled. Living where we do in Maine, it is almost traitorous to use that stuff in the green bottle. You have to have a jug of the real thing. It is a little more expensive, but it makes all the difference in the world.

Anyway, I digress, that isn't what this post is about. It was just Shy and I because DW had to work today so we got to sit together and eat breakfast with each other across the table. It was really quite nice. I enjoyed it immensely.

A boy named Brian was there who rides Shy's bus with her. Shyanne insisted he was being funny. I just saw a boy sticking food out of his mouth and sucking it back in. Of course every time he did it, Shy would start giggling. It was kind of cute.

Then there was a boy that is in her class that showed up. We have heard about this boy before but have only met and talked with his mother.. She is really quite nice, and there is a younger boy also. Shy apparently really likes this boy. As soon as she saw him, she had to go over to his table. All they did was look at each other and Shy started giggling again then returned to the table.

As we were leaving Shy insisted I meet this little boy so we went over to the table. Shy didn't say anything so I spoke up and introduced myself to the boy. He seemed to be very nice although he was a bit shy himself.

On the way home, Shy told me this cute little boy called her his "momma"..........I was speechless.

He seemed so cute and innocent. I guess those are the ones I need to watch out for!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

First School Concert

So today Shy's kindergarden class had their first concert today. Actually it was all the kids grades K-2 in the school that had the concert today. Of course DW and I were in attendance and (K) was also their with our grandson. To most people this was an ordinary elementary school concert with kids singing not very well, but looking very cute and having a good time.

To me it was something more than that. It doesn't take much to look and see how much she has grown up. Just this year the changes in her have been quite something to see. She is so beautiful, and so smart, and she is almost always smiling and happy.
And she does a wonderful curtsey (sp?)!!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Baby Pictures

How many times did my biological children come home from school and be required to bring in a baby picture for some kind of school project? How many times have you received a note from school about that?

It happens all the time. I never really thought about it until yesterday. Shy brought home a note from school. They are learning about how they grow and they are to bring in pictures so that they can see how they have changed over the years and how they have grown.

Thankfully, the teacher said that they could bring in baby OR toddler pictures. We don't have any baby pictures of Shy and I guess when she came home she indicated that to DW. DW did inform her that we had plenty of toddler pictures and we would send one of those.

Shy and I together picked out a picture from about a week after she came to us. She was 2 yrs and 2 months old at the time. That will be the youngest picture we will have of her. I know in future years, we are not going to have a teacher who will ask for a baby OR toddler picture. It won't be their fault either. The fact that Shy is adopted, as important as it is to us, will become less and less a part of who she is as time gos on.

Invariably one of the teachers will post the baby pictures on the bulletin board so all the kids will have to guess who the child is. Then there will be some event for parents to come into the school and all the parents will look at the picture of Shy and wonder what kind of people her parents are who couldn't even follow the instructions to send in a baby picture and sent in a picture of a 2 year old. I know.....I am getting ahead of myself and who cares what anyone else thinks.

What can I say? It bothers me.

I geuss what is important is that it doesn't seem to bother Shy all that much and she quickly got over it. She is happy with the picture we picked out. But what will happen if she is the only one without a picture as an "infant"?

I guess this is my problem and not hers. I have to be careful not to make it her problem. I do wish we had at least one baby picture of her though.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Father/Daughter Dance


Many years ago (I am thinking around 1985) in the City of Bangor, Maine they started having a Father/Daughter Velentine's Day Dance.

(A) and I were in attendance the first year. That year the dance was held in the parks and rec building. The building had been an elementary school and the cafeteria seemed like a great place to hold it. While it was a truly wonderful time and event and all the girls loved it, the venue was too small. The dance quickly outgrew that little old cafeteria and in coming years moved to the Civic Center where I think they could hold 500 couples for the dance. It was still a tough ticket to get and people were advertising in the paper asking for tickets.

All of the surrounding towns, seeing the success of this event started having their own events and now they are a staple around these parts, as I am sure they are in other parts of the country as well.

I attended for many years. First with (A) and then started attending with (K) when she was old enough. Each year there would be a new dress and of course flowers. I would take my daughter out to dinner and then we would go to the dance. We had pictures taken and everyone had a wonderful time.

Now it was never really much of a dance, but I would get dances in with my daughters. Most of the time though, the girls would talk with their friends and the fathers would talk with the other fathers. The light refreshments also filled up part of the night as well as more than a few bellys. I really did enjoy going and I know the girls liked it too. At the end of the night we would have a wonderful picture and of course we still have fond memories.

I attended my last one, and this is a guess, somewhere around 1994. I knew I would not be attending another dance as (K) was getting a little too old for that event and I could see the writing on the wall. She had a good time, but it was kind of bittersweet for me. I really did enjoy them, even if I didn't get to dance much, and had to talk with fathers of the girls friends who I didn't really know. Nonetheless, it was for me the start of the time when other boys would become more important in my girls lives then I was. They were growing up and this was to be my last Father/Daughter Valentine's Day Dance.

Well, I am glad to report I was wrong!!! The note came home from school yesterday. The town we moved to is one of the towns that started having their own dance! I can attend with Shyanne. The event will be held on February 13th and you can be sure there will be some pictures posted here.

I was very excited to see the paperwork, and I wrote out the check immediately. (DW) will be getting it out today and we will be sure to be in attendance. I am not sure where we will go for dinner, but if I give Shy the choice, I have a pretty good idea of where we will end up.I know it will be a wonderful time, and I will certainly enjoy every last minute of it.

As far as the dancing goes......I am not sure I have as willing a partner as I had in the past. Maybe I have a willing partner who just doesn't like the way I dance. You see last night when I was talking to Shyanne about the dance, I took her hands and started dancing in the kitchen with her and told her how we could go to the dance and dance together! She had only one question:

"Daddy, is there a place where kids can dance alone?"

In spite of that, you can be sure we will get at least one dance in!!!! I can't wait!!!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Father

So two weeks ago today I got a call from a friend of my parents that my father was in seriuos condition and I needed to come to Florida.

Of course I got there as fast as I could, which was about 20 hours later. My father had had some kind of an event where he had collapsed. Thankfully he was at the hospital at the time about to get a radiation treatment so they took him to the emergency room, admitted him to the hospital and put him in ICU.

After a couple of days there and a couple of more days in a regular hospital room, he was back at the rehab center where he has spent a lot of time over the past few months.

The good news is he appears to be on the road to recovery. Recovery for him will mean being able to go home. After all, he is 86 years old, and has a myriad of problems. Thankfully, his problems do not affect his mental capacity or more importantly, his sense of humor. He still has both.

More importantly, his problems don't affect his ability to love or be loved. He is truly a special person and I am not just saying that because he is my father. I am saying that because he truly is.

I think on of the most important things my sister and I were taught growing up was that no matter what, you always have your family. My father not only said that, he lived it. There were times when that philosophy was as stressed as it could possibly be. In spite of that, my father stayed true to his conviction that no matter what, you always have your family.

That is a large part of who I am today. I have certainly had moments of doubt in my life and been a big part of that stress, but my family is the most important thing to me, and no matter what I did to destroy that notion, I still had my family.

I am so glad that we have been able to include Shyanne as part of our family, as that is something she certainly didn't have with her biological family. My mother and father have also been supportive right from the start with Shyanne, and they definitely consider her a grandchild and a part of our family.

Shyanne is so much convinced of that, that when she was trying to guess someone in the family and I told her it was someone who was special to her, her first guess was my mother. It was not who I was thinking of at the time, but it shows how important her Nanny and Papa are to her.

I am so glad that Shyanne is a part of our family now so that she can love by that as well, and I am so glad that I am a part of the family I have. As my father said.......

No matter what, you always have family............

I don't know how my father did it......when I was a teenager he didn't know anything. He hasn't been to school since then, but boy did he get smart!!! :)

I Love you Dad


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Saturday, January 15, 2011


OK, so no one will probably believe me on this one, but Shyanne and I went to a train show in November. After that, every time we went to the mall, she wanted to go to the store that had a train set in the window and play with it. She loved it!!!

After Christmas the set went on sale for 1/2 price. It was a Lionel "O" Gauge electric train. At that price, I had to get it for her. She loves it! Really, she does!!! Yes, I am going to have fun with it to. So will the grandchildren, and I have a feeling my son-in-law may find his way over here to play with it once in a while too.

Overall, a great investment......Today, Shyanne and I spent the day building tables in the basement to put the trains on. I built two 4' by 8' tables. It was a great day for Shy and dad and we had a fun time together building the tables. There was not a lot she could do, but what she could do, she was great at. Very serious about helping.

She even has a notebook with a listing of things she wants to have on the layout. She wants to have a playground with a little girl flying a kite. She wants to have a football field, and she wants to have a school. Also a fair and a few other things. We will certainly get to them, but for today, we had a great time together. I already know this is going to be one of those things that will be bring us hours and hours of fun together.

We have plenty of things we can do, but nothing quite like this. I have a feeling this hobby is going to last us for many years and that will make it well worth it. I do have to get an engineer's cap for myself though. Shyanne has one, and my littlest grandson has one, but I haven't been able to find adult sizes yet, and Shyanne won't let anyone run the trains if they don't have a hat.....I have to sneak my chances in.

Anyway, today the tables were built. Tomorrow we will clean up the mess and move the trains onto the tables.

No, trains are not just for boys. Shyanne LOVES them!!!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Forever Means Forever!!!


That's easy for me to say, but hard for Shyanne to understand. Even though it has been over 3 years since DHHS removed her from her biological home and she was only 2 years old at the time, she still has moments when apparently something inside of her causes her concern that either I or DW will not return to her.

About 2 weeks ago, she came into our bedroom after I had gone to work (which is always the case) and she started crying and was all upset that I wasn't there. DW had to assure her that I would be home after work, but at the moment, she was very upset.

Last week when I got a call that I needed to travel to Florida as my father's health condition was not looking good, she was sure I wasn't going to return. I spoke to her every day and she talked to me on the phone, but she still was very upset that I was gone.

There is a bright side however.........

I got home very late Tuesday night. When she got up Wednesday morning, she jumped on me and gave me the biggest hug and kiss and had the greatest smile on her face. That one moment made all the heartache and concern about her from the last week melt away instantly.

I really do love her. I just wish I could make her understand that always, no materr what, I will be with her........forever means forever.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Been Too Long!!!

It has been a long time since I wrote anything here. I have been very busy with the holidays, and then I got a call last week saying Ineeded to go to Florida as my father was very sick and the person that called didn't think he was going to be with us very long.

Thank God she was wrong. He has managed to cheat death many times over the years, and this was his latest event. He spent a couple of days in the ICU and then a few days in a regular room at the hospital and now he is back at the Rehab center which is where he had started his day last tuesday.

I have so much to write, but not much time to write right now, but look for plenty more to come. Of course i have some items related to this last week, but also, Shyanne and I now have a train set. We will be building a table in the basement this weekend so that should be a lot to write about.

Anyway, off for now, but I promise more in the next couple of days.