Sunday, February 20, 2011

This post brought to you by Granddad Friend and my shiny new to me Asus laptop.

Only it's blue, not bamboo

It's purse sized and amazing, and he doesn't use it anymore, and I was talking about how we were planning on buying one before I knew he had one languishing in his office, and I. am. thrilled.  You know you wish you had my in-laws.

I'll be able to use a decently fast computer at the Cottage now when I'm on duty, and have keybord-connected internet even when my darling husband is using our (his) desktop, and be able to answer my emails with more than just one line, and be able to make decent blog posts. Does anybody else have a terrible time writing on anything but a qwerty keyboard of ten-finger capabilities? I delete most everything I start to blog on my phone, because it comes out nonsensical. My ten fingers can keep up with my ideas much better than my two thumbs can.

Speaking of ten fingers and typing, I was thinking the other day about my sixth grade computer teacher, Mr. Mulvaney, and how grateful I am for all those tortuously boring classes of nothing but Mavis Beacon typing tutorials. Ooh, I hated it at the time, from the computer voice to the fact that there were only three games, but the current benefits of having a typing speed of 100 wpm more than outweigh the boredom of years ago.  Just think: if I were to cease my job as houseparent of troubled teenage girls and need an income, I could take dictation.

But then I wouldn't be able to play with my baby all day.

Granddad spoils her and gives her spoonfuls of coffee, but what can I say? He spoils me and gives me laptops.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Another turn in the road

After a long hiatus in real posts (because cell phone posts are, after all, only good for pictures), the Friend Family finds ourselves in a position which, if you had told us we would have six months ago, we would not have believed possible. We are so lucky to have gotten jobs as houseparents at the Methodist Children's Home and to be moving back closer to the Mr's family and my parents. We live on campus and for 20 days out of a month we live with the 10 girls in the cottage, have our meals with them, play with them, counsel them, and teach them how to have healthy relationships and productive lives. These are girls who come from troubled backgrounds and whose families have placed them in the program usually because they do not know how to handle them anymore. Our job is to provide them with a loving and stable environment and to guide them into habits which will hopefully break the vicious cycle of dysfunctional familites and abusive relationships. We don't have an easy job - we just got off our first full ten-day shift, and the last five days when we were the only couple on staff were a learning experience like none other - but we're getting paid to stay home and raise our baby and her new big sisters. I don't think we could ask for anything better. They are all excellent babysitters and love to hold Heidi as much as I will let them, though in the beginning I was naturally very cautious when I let them hold her. These are girls the world has given up on, but they have hearts full of love and promise if you can find them under their shells of toughness, aggression, introversion, false faces and the myriad other coping mechanisms they have used to survive.

That said, this may be my first and last blog about the job, because for the sake of confidentiality and the girls' security I can't reveal their identities on the internet, and I'm wary of telling stories of "girl A" and "girl B" in case patterns began to emerge which would allow people who knew them to find their whereabouts. As I said, some of these girls come from very troubled backgrounds and have found a safe haven here. I have to be very careful to guard their safety. It's too bad, because the video I took yesterday morning of Webb Cottage's version of Down By The Bay is really something that must be seen to be believed. There was definitely some headbanging and jumping up and down going on. Have you ever seen a whale with a polka dot tail? ..........DOWN BY THE BAY!!