Posted in Blitzen, Blog Business, Uncategorized, tagged Blitzen, Family, Foster care, foster parenting, parenting, privilege, racism on August 19, 2014 |
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You made me cry a bit there – in a good way. My sis-in-law wrote to say that even she got a little teary from the comments and she is a total badass. (I am concerned about B’s privacy but not my in-laws, apparently!).
I am still a thinking — about Blitzen, self-preservation, a creative outlet, the support hat I really do get from the wonderful vibes anonymous people send my way and the ability to process this incredibly complex way of life that writing has created for me.
I am still a thinking — about what has shifted for me in the last few months that has made things so difficult in a new way.
I am going to take a little break for a week or two and try to figure out if there is a good way to move forward, perhaps with fewer public posts about Blitzen (although as several people have said — there are so many of the wonderful things about this kid that I have captured here, I hope to keep writing all that down for both me and for her whether or not I make those items public). Maybe it is time turn my attention more to some of the social justice issues that being a foster parent has brought into focus for me in a new and very very real way.
I also just have to say that this past week, the entire world feels wrong which is likely contributing to this feeling that I am having. Everything that is happening in Missouri and the often disheartening discussions that I’ve had with other white people about it, the ridiculous and skewed press coverage, have just weighed me down. I am deeply saddened, really struggling with how to contribute to this discussion in a meaningful way, how to help Blitzen cope with this tremendous injustice but also prepare for a world that doesn’t see her or respect her. Even the air feels heavy and full of darkness.
Time to breathe and try to find some brightness. I’ll likely be back, one way or another, soon.
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Oh, executive functioning, why oh why are you required to get through middle school?
On the upside, we do have a very elaborate plan of action in regards to locker decor – there will be a mirror and a chandelier, I am told…How to remember to bring home our work and books, the plan is less solid.
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A couple of folks asked if Blitzen has allowance — she does. She gets $10 a week to spend exactly as she wishes – she has a couple of responsibilities around the house (aside from just general helping) that she needs to do to trigger payment.
She vacillates a bit between wild spending sprees (all the Claire’s lip gloss $10 can get you) and attempting to save up for big things. Saving is actually very stressful for her — the obsessive compulsive behaviors kick in, constantly counting the money, crying because there isn’t enough, crying because we won’t help her get to her goal (we actually almost always do a 50/50 split when she is saving for something big), non-stop discussion about when she will have enough money, when we will obtain the dream item. A lot of this has to do with her total mistrust of realizing anything good in the future — it has to happen now or it likely will never happen. This is a kid who has experienced a long lifetime of broken promises, small and large. Again, completely understandable given her background. It just makes teaching these everyday lessons tricky and as someone in the comments mentioned, really hard to distinguish the typical kid behaviors from the trauma related ones.
But you will all be glad to know that we have saved 2/3s of the cash needed for yet another mermaid tale.
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Blitzen struggles with money. Some of it is being a kid. Some of it is a lack of math skills. Some of it is a basic lack of understanding about how we relate to the world – and by we, I mean Andrew and me. Everyone manages their money differently, so be it.
Blitzen recently got very angry at me because I never spend money on fun stuff, I only the pay the bills. According to Blitzen, I am always so worried about buying food and paying for our apartment. Take a look at my Amex bill, I spend plenty on fun stuff. But she is correct that while I do like to pay those bills on time, I am fortunate enough not to be ‘worried’ about it. I was talking to my mother about this and remembered a story from my childhood where my darling brother, when told that we didn’t have enough money for something, patiently explained to my mother that she could just use a check. So I get it that kids don’t get money.
It is disheartening though, picking up on the thread about Blitzen’s often negative and worry filled interior life, how often Blitzen assumes the worst. We talk about money in a very appropriate way with Blitzen — we are rarely concerned about it but we do explain about budgets – in theory, at least, the amount of money going out can’t exceed the amount coming in. Going to work is important so that you can get paid. Paying your bills on time is a responsible thing to do. But she has equated our discussions with worry – I understand why, of course, but it is yet another thing that I do wish I could get her to move beyond. This also gets mixed up in her brain with the storyline that tells her that if I am spending money in one place, she is not going to get what she needs or wants. It is very hard to get to the point where, in this home and this situation, paying the rent does not equal taking money from you, paying the rent means having a safe place for us to live and making good on a commitment to landlord. It helps us, as a family. So hard, these things.
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