"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do." -Edward Everett Hale
Needless to say the adoption of Lila and Easton brought with it a significant language barrier. But these kids, they pick up quickly.
And I'm not just talking about English.
Long before taking the 5 Love Languages Quiz I knew that words of affirmation were important to me. The quiz confirmed it.
And now I have a child who freely expresses it...
I can't tell you the number of times I hear "I love you, Mommy, " during the course of a day. It's to the point that I have to be aware of taking opportunities to "say it first."
And not only that, but the compliments just roll in. I have to chuckle at a few.
"I love your shirt." (Just a plain white tee.)
"I love your shoes." (Those same old Nikes.)
"I love your phone." (Seriously outdated with a black cover.)
Then some others leave me speechless. Like today when I heard, "Thank you for vacuuming, Mommy," when Lila got home from school. What four year old says that?
Sometimes I get a little suspicious, but for the most part I consider it a huge blessing to be on the receiving end of this kind of affection. Especially from the girl I met in that civil affairs office in China all those months ago.
And Easton, well, if imitation is the truest form of flattery, then this is just one more facet of his charming personality. Because rest assured, no matter what Lila says, Easton repeats the same thing about five seconds later.
Nobody's getting a leg up on this boy...
Regardless of the motive; genuine love, the hope of ice cream at dinner, or something in between, these little nuggets often come at just the right time.
Last year when Lila started preschool I was shocked to find such a strict dress code at a public school. It is basically shirts with collars (solid or stripes) and khaki, navy or black pants/skirts, etc. Needless to say we had almost nothing like this in our vast collection of 2T girl's clothing. Maybe one pair of khaki pants. The rest were leggings, lots and lots of leggings. And those don't count.
So we scrounged around and found a new wardrobe for Lila. Other than the fact that I was spending money I hadn't planned on spending while loads of perfectly fine clothes lingered in totes, it was fine. Although she loves a pretty dress, Lila wasn't going to complain.
But Piper, oh dear, I knew we would have problems. And it's not that she's a fashionista. She's not interested in being the best-dressed or outdoing anyone. She knows nothing about name brands or expensive things. In fact, there was a time when she just assumed all of her clothes came from Kohl's. And most of them probably did, at least those that weren't hand-me-downs. All those leggings I mentioned, Piper grew up in those. She may have even been born wearing a pair. She values comfort. And I really don't blame her. I value a good pair of elastic banded pants myself these days.
She doesn't care for the collars either. But the school, I have to hand it to them, they know exactly what they're doing. One exception to the dress code is "school approved t-shirts." Basically t-shirts bought at school, with money going to benefit the school.
Very early on Piper started asking for money for a shirt. So why not buy one?
Then one day she came home saying she wanted to buy a garden shirt, a shirt sold by the science department to help fund the school garden.
"So I can wear it on days we have science!"
How could I argue with such spirit for science class?
Then when I saw that it was green and had worms on it, I knew this pink and purple lovin' girl was desperate...
So we sit back and wait for the next t-shirt sale. Will it be library or music? In any case, I'm sure Piper will have her best proposal ready. And I'm sure I'll fall for it again. In the meantime, she'll come home and immediately ask to change clothes, especially if we're going somewhere. It didn't help matters when a little "friend" at Wednesday night church commented on Piper's school clothes. So the dress code, which is in place to alleviate such issues, only works in the environment of the dress code. I get it now. The dress code outside of the dress code environment actually brings about teasing and taunting. Who knew the life of a six year old could be so complicated? It sure wasn't like this in 1983.
I'm learning...and doing more laundry while I'm at it.