Category Archives: Monkey Boy

Kindergarten spelling

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The Monkey is used to a fabulous teacher who knows how to read Kindergarten spelling. Netflix is not nearly as cool.

He was screaming from the other room, “The TV isn’t WORKING!” When I went to see the problem he told me he wanted to watch Garfield and Netflix is “BROKEN!”

I took a photo to show Charlie. I was all, “I know it’s technically wrong, but I’m kind of impressed with that for Kindergarten.”

He patted my shoulders, “Yes dear, our little boy is growing up. Very soon, he’ll be able to Google. Then who knows what he’ll be able to find?!”

I was nonplussed. “Why do hate me?”

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In which the obvious becomes clear…

Courtesy: Lizzy Yates Photography

The thing about being an adoptive family is that there is this very obvious reality that your family could be composed of different people. If you’re biologically connected, there are these sort of cosmic thoughts of belonging and could your soul have been in some other body, born to some other parents, but it is a matter of fact that chance played a very big role in how our family came together.

Some people believe God divinely planned each step of the process. I find that theology a tiny bit troubling, but well-intentioned at its’ core. It’s a nice idea, that God decided that Jackson should be our son, planned this before time and space and created the circumstances to lead him on a direct path to us alone. Maybe it’s semantics, but I have a hard time with the notion that God had a young woman in Texas intentionally in a vulnerable position so that we could be parents. Certainly, I do believe all of us benefit from this arrangement, but sometimes “chance” feels more palatable to me than “divine intention” in these discussions. The fact remains that he was very much a wanted child. There was quite literally a line of people who wanted very much to give him a home. He could have had other parents.

I’ve known for some time, one day that realization would hit him. I didn’t really know how or when. I thought I might feel rejected on some level when he figured this out. But it was so silly and perfectly boring that none of those things happened.

We ran by the bank after school yesterday. I told him if he was well-behaved that I would take him to Sonic for a slushy before his last soccer practice that was going to be a make-up game. Lately, he’s been asking about when he was a baby, when he was born, when he went to baby school, things like that. He asked again about when he was in my belly. I reminded him again that he was never in my belly, but that he was in his birth mom’s belly.

J: Was it wet in there?

Me: Yep. It was wet and you sloshed around.

J: *lots of gross noises to pretend he hated it, but loved it.” But how did I get out of my birth mom’s belly?

So now he’s officially asked me one part of the two-part mega dollar question. For the record, if he asks me how he got *in* his birth mom’s belly, I swear to God, I’m telling him it was magic.

Me: When you were fully cooked, the doctor used a knife, cut open her belly, and pulled you out.

J: Was I covered in wet and blood?!

Me: YES! You were covered in blood and goop and glob and all kinds of wet stuff.

Both: *gross noises pretending we hated it*

Me: And then she brought you to me and your dad, because we’re supposed to be your parents.

[long pause]

J: So could someone else have been my parents?

Me: Well, I guess so. But we were supposed to be, so that’s why we are.

J: I wish I had Ross’ parents.

Me: *laughing* Oh really? Why is that?

J: Because Ross has really cool Ninja toys.

Me: I can see why that would be nice. But I’m awfully glad I get to be your mom.

J: Yeah. Can we go to Sonic now? I was good in the bank. I want a red slushy.

Me: OK.

So here’s the thing. I didn’t feel rejected or sad or hurt. I felt so comforted. He talks to me. He tells me what he’s thinking. He asks me questions. I was overcome with gratitude. He must feel so safe and loved. When the only “complaint” about his life is Ross has better toys, and that wasn’t even all that serious. Mostly, just an observation. You know, if he gets to pick, wouldn’t it be nice to pick cool toys?

I know he could have been someone else’s little boy. But I am so unbelievably glad he’s ours.

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Make Time Stop

When Jackson first started daycare, there was another adorable little boy with him named Joshua. I love Joshua’s parents. His mother is just lovely. His dad worked close by and would come over almost every day in his banker suit to give Josh his afternoon bottle. On nice days, they would sit outside and talk about the birds and trees or whatever. It was pretty sweet. We both moved on. Despite plans and promises that we wouldn’t, we lost touch. We hadn’t seen each other in a while.

Last weekend we were at a birthday party. I walked into the kitchen, and there was Josh’s mom. I was so excited! We hugged. We caught up. Our boys played together again. I could not believe how big Joshua is. She was shocked by Jackson. Time is funny like that. Then last night, Charlie was cleaning out some boxes and found a photo of the boys at Jackson’s first birthday party. My heart!

See what I mean? Adorable.

They are killing.me. with how grown up they are. Somebody make time stop.

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He’s the Ring Bearer

We have a bit of situation in our family: I think I’m HILARIOUS! No one else does.

So Katy Kay asked Jackson to be the ring bearer in her wedding. He was crazy excited. YES! She asked him if he knew what a ring bearer did. He looked at her like she was simple, “Be in charge.” I burst out laughing. She told him quite matter of factly, “No, that’s my job.”

But he’s excited about whatever it is the ring bearer does, even though he’s still slightly unclear on the job duties.

I, of course, have seized upon this opportunity for stupid jokes. I have found the perfect shirt for him to wear at the wedding rehearsal. I mean, he is the ring bearer. No one thinks this is funny but me.

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Monkey Goes to School and Makes “Art”

Monkey Boy loves the David books by David Shannon. If you’re not familiar, David is a poorly behaved child who gets into all sorts of mischief. “No, David!” said the teacher/mom/dad/nun is a frequent refrain in each book. We think David is the only person, real or fictional, who gets in more trouble than the Monkey, so he looks at him as a hero of sorts.

As a way to discuss the rules of Kindergarten, his teacher read the class David Goes to School. Then each child was given the task of making a picture of David and writing down the school rules.

David might have a meth problem. His eyes are all wacky, and there are definitely some dental issues.

There is a word written that my son’s teacher swears is “kindness,” as in, children should be kind at school. Charlie’s not buying it. He says it’s “kidnap.” Our son believes he’s being held hostage each day. The thing is, it could go either way.

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First Day of Kindergarten

First Day of Kindergarten

Look at the eager face!

My son is in Kindergarten. Right now. He’s sitting at a desk in a classroom in Kindergarten. How is that possible? He just got here!

Eighty percent of me is thrilled out of my mind. I could not have scripted a better experience. I love his teacher. She’s loving and fun, but absolutely no nonsense. The kids at his school are really great. They are smart and clever. They challenge him. They are his friends. The parents of these kids have become a part of our village. They love our son. They hug him and kiss him on top of the head. They also thump him on the head when he needs it. When we dropped off his school supplies yesterday at the back-to-school popcicle party, the Monkey walked down the halls like he owned the place. He is confident and happy and excited to be there. What more could a parent wish for their child?

It’s just that there’s this other small part of me. The other 20 percent. It aches. This is a profound moment. A third of his childhood is over. I have no regret about how we’ve spent it. I was there for his first steps. Charlie was there the first time he swore. (That wasn’t exactly a proud moment, but still…) Despite my irrational concerns, he was, in fact, potty trained before he went to Kindergarten. I’m just sad.

He is my only child. This is his only childhood. Today he asked to hold my hand while we walked into school. I just don’t think there are many of those day left. On the way out, I held Charlie’s hand. Because that’s whose hand I’ll hold long after my son’s childhood is gone forever.

 

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Soccer Monkey

soccer monkey

Put me in, coach!

So we’re a soccer family now. I haven’t been too sure what to think about that.

I like soccer just fine. If you define “fine” as being completely without opinion on it. I think I went to some soccer games in high school because I liked various boys, but I have no recollection of actually watching the games. I’m quite sure I was talking. I don’t know professional players or franchises or really anything about it. But when your singleton child begs to be “on a team,” you find a team pronto.

He loves it. He also has no idea what he’s doing, which is really the best part. The first day of practice, the coach told him to dribble the ball. He picked it up and began to dribble it like a basketball. So we had to work on some vocabulary. He’s had two games. Both times he kicked the ball all the way down the field… to the other team’s goal. So we’re going to have to work on field awareness, too.

His league doesn’t officially keep score at this age. It’s not that they *don’t* keep score because of any notion of the psychological impact of winning and losing. It’s just chaos. It would be incredibly difficult to be accurate.

He’ll get better. Or he won’t. It doesn’t really matter right now. He’s five. He likes the snacks and the other kids and running around like crazy. It’s fun. That seems about right.

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March 12, 2012 · 11:27 am