I know I must be getting older because I barely sit down and huge chunks of time have passed.
School starts next Thursday and I don't think I accomplished all that I meant for us to do this summer. I was sure that the slowness of summer would allow us to catch up on the things that the hectic pace of school causes us to miss, but it hasn't. Besides it is so hot you really don't want to do anything outdoors that does not include a pool. Getting back into the car can be a shocking experience, as we found out Saturday afternoon. Now if there is even a twig of a tree in a parking lot I make a bee line for a space by it. Grace teases me that the car will be so cold as a result that we will have to wear sweaters when we get back in!
The girls had a fantastic time at camp. They met so many great new friends and enjoyed the time getting out and seeing and doing different things. This was their first horseback ride and the discussion on that alone took hours. I believe they each grew and became more tan while gone. I am very grateful to have a group like My Tree House to bring out into the open discussions with our children on sensitive issues of adoption. If you are interested in learning more, the link is http://my-treehouse.org/.
My Tree House uses the Enneagram as basis for helping the children and parents understand each other better. The Enneagram is an ancient personality typing system that identifies Nine Personality Types, and how these Personality Types are expressed individually and in relationship to others. Unlike Marston’s DiSC™ Assessment or the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator™, the Enneagram acts as a unique tool for understanding and explaining human behavior, and the underlying motivations that drive behavior. So I cut and pasted that from their website.
Anyway, for the kids, they have used animals to help them understand their inherent traits. The different personalities are Perfectionist, Giver, Performer, Romantic, Observer, Devil's Advocate, Epicure, Boss, and Mediator. Right now I can't remember which animal represents each, but just know that Grace continues to think of herself as the "lion" and Annabel has changed from thinking she was a "rabbit" to a "monkey".
I am supposed to know which one I am, but so far have not figured it out. I think my life has taken so many turns that what I started out being probably is not what I am today. They say that usually others can see your traits much more quickly than you can sometimes.
So the best part of this camp was a parent discussion group while the children prepared Parents User Manuals for each of us. It was great to hear from the director about experiences that the kids had and probably would not have shared while at camp, but also it was helpful for us to see where they are secure, struggling, or maybe just need some space right now. The director gave us our Parents Manuals and tried to help out with the parts that we did not understand. In each was a report card on how we are doing as a parent. From Grace I mostly made A's with a few B's and C's thrown in, but for Annabel, I got mostly F's except buying her the clothes she wants! I wasn't surprised by this and was glad she had a chance to openly record some of what she is feeling.
When we met up again, Grace came running to me and Annabel was no where in sight, as she was hiding behind the door ready to scare me!
There was a brief final ceremony and we were headed home with lots of talk and story telling and assurances that they were not tired, even though most stories included how late they had stayed up each night.
I'm not sure who was more proud for them to be home, whether it was me or Mom and Dad, but it was so nice to all sit around the table for dinner together. You would have thought they had been gone for a year the way we acted!
While they were gone I finally made it to the doctor, who gave me a shot of steroids and three new prescriptions with the admonition that if I did not allow myself time to heal, I would end up in the hospital with pneumonia! So even though I went home early that day, I tried my best to get back to work the next and finally gave up! I took advantage of a quiet house and tried to convince my body to heal in the next 24 hours!
Sunday afternoon I managed to get a brief nap and was so glad to wake up to the noises of my girls back home. While I sort of enjoyed the time apart, especially since I was sick, it just feels odd now to be alone. I thank God daily for sending me these daughters.