Monday, July 24, 2006

Did I leave for a week or a year?

Ok, so I had to go out of town for a week of training. The training was extremely painful (Where did they find this trainer?) and I missed my family terribly! I think the worst part of the trip was missing the majority of my daughter's birthday, which happened on the last day of training.

I knew that I was a dead man if I missed all of my daughter's birthday "day". So I chose the early flight home and got there in time to give my beautiful birthday girl flowers. I can still happily say that I have not missed a birthday yet!

A colleague of mine had picked the later flight that day, and he left me a voicemail during my flight and told me that his flight was 5 hours delayed and he wouldn't get back until after midnight. I think I picked the right plane to fly home on!

Please note that this is the same day as the notorious PiZZa PuKe episode, which has already elaborated on. My perfect timing as always allowed me to be home less than an hour and already have a mop in hand mopping our bedroom floor. As my trainer I’d just spent a week listening to would say: “Lets Move On from There.”

A couple of days later I’m folding the girls’ clothes and Princess comes in and issues what I like to call a “Friendly Princess Comment” or FPC. This FPC involved something that I’ve heard her Mom tell her before, and that is to be sure to turn your clothes right-side-out before putting them in the hamper so that they are easier to fold when they come out of the dryer. Did I mention I was being a grumpy butthead at that particular moment?

So Princess issues her FPC, I roll my eyes and state facetiously “Thanks”. She walks away, and reappears about 3 minutes later, very sad, and says she is sorry. I ask her why she is sorry and she says that she could tell that I was upset by her comment by the way that I responded to her. Can you see me turn into the cartoon shape of a heel for a few seconds? I give her a hug and tell her that I’m just being grumpy and that I knew she was just trying to be helpful. So, I scratch my head and wonder what that was all about.

The next day I’m reading her a bedtime story and I’m getting frustrated with her, as she is doing the normal six-year-old bed-time behavior. (Yeah you know, asking a million questions and doing everything possible to prolong the bed-time routine) Again, I get grumpy say something sarcastic and she gets sad and calls me on it again.

It is now that I realize that since I left for my training and returned, my child has learned to both read body language queues and understand sarcasm. All I can say is WOW. I’ve watched Princess develop over the years and make mental leaps, but I have to say that this one was amazing to realize the jump. Just goes to show you if you aren’t paying attention, they grow-up before you can blink your eyes!

Alright, since I’ve already written a book here, I might was well go on and say how much I enjoyed talking to the woman who has just finished adopting her daughter from Ethiopia. All I have to say about speaking with her is: If the world ISN’T trying to tell us something by finding someone who is bi-racial, adopted, grew-up in the town we live in, JUST adopted from Ethiopia, and WANTS to talk to us about all the above, then I just don’t know what it would have to do to get our attention.

Needless to say, it helped me a great deal to be able to interface with a real person, not an agency and hear all the candid things she had to say and be willing to answer some of my very personal questions about adoption, the process, and even about growing up as a black person in Our Town.

Anyway, I’ll talk more on this later, but I will close with saying that my current homework assignment for this week (Per my wife) is to find someone to do our homestudy (Not actually perform it, but just “Find” a body to do it). So I’m sure I’ll have lots to type about after I go down that road!



Margaret said...

Welcome back from your business trip, Will. It is amazing how quickly kids change, isn't it?

Congrats on feeling better about the Ethiopian adoption. I think it's just great that you and Mandy took time to really think it through more. I hope it's the right path for you!