The Bright Side
I walked around this morning while doing laundry and straightening the house and started really thinking about the “Bright Side” of things that have gone on here. I can be human and complain somewhat, but the truth is, there is a “Bright Side” to things.
First of all, the girls got their report cards Thursday. Felicia had all A’s and a couple of B’s. That’s really awesome since both of their parents tried to tell me that she was ADD or ADHD and had learning problems. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this child that proper diet, a good schedule, a little security and a calm household haven’t corrected. She also requires that you sit down and supervise her homework. She does need more help than some children do, but there is nothing physically wrong with her. I think she’s mainly been behind because she has been to eight different schools and is only in the fifth grade. Now, I’m not fooled by those grades because she, in my opinion, is behind on her level of reading, her spelling is terrible and her handwriting is atrocious. She had to work really hard to end up with the A’s and B’s and I will continue to work with her to improve these things. The “Bright Side” of it is, she did manage to pull off A’s and B’s and it did a lot for her self esteem.
Hailey had all A’s and two C’s. The C’s came from boredom and a little bit of attitude and frustration she went through the first part of the semester. She’s been in advanced classes most of her school life and they just didn’t offer them here in the 8th grade. The first progress report she had two D’s in these same classes and we sat down and discussed the reasons for them. The “Bright Side” of it is that she has since worked hard to bring up those grades and was only a couple of points away from B’s in those classes. I’m extremely happy about that. She’s also been tested twice since she’s been here for reading and she reads on a college level. I just need to get her a library card and get her reading books that challenge her capabilities.
The next thing that is really great is that both of them have put on weight since they have been here. Felicia has gone up two pants sizes in three months and Hailey has gone up one size. They were both extremely skinny when they moved in and told me many stories of being limited on food before. Some people just don’t have their priorities straight. The “Bright Side” is that they both just look nice and healthy now, like the perfect size for their age and height. That particular thing I am extremely happy about.
Another thing that really makes me happy is that they have started making friends. They are both beautiful and have become the “Popular” girls quickly. Hailey stayed over at a friend’s house last night and Felicia stayed over at Ms. Donna’s house so I had a nice quiet evening to myself, something I needed tremendously. Hailey thinks it’s ridiculous that I insist on taking her to her friend’s house and meeting the parents, but that’s just my way. I’m not just going to drop her off somewhere or let her ride the bus home with someone and have no idea where she is or what kind of people they are. The “Bright Side” is that the friends I’ve met so far are good kids that make good grades and stay out of trouble like her, so I’m happy about that.
They have also begun to conform to the rules of my household. My rules are actually quite simple, the house will stay clean and orderly, they will stay clean and orderly, and we do a lot of things that ultimately save money, like turning off lights and such, not wasting food, etc. There were so many basic things that they were never taught because of a lack of consistency on anyone’s part (the so called adults) that they lived with. The “Bright Side” is that they are starting to “get it” and lights are getting turned off and things are being put back where they belong and Grammy’s sense of orderliness is being adhered to.
I have also been talking to a District Manager for Dollar General that I hope is going to hire me as a manager, which would be decent money. He’s put me off about four different times now to meet with him, but he hasn’t said go away, so I think he does intend to give me a job. He just doesn’t have the sense of desperation that I have. I’m waiting it out and trying to be patient about it. I said in my last post that I resented having to do this, and I honestly do. I said when I left retail a few years ago that I wouldn’t go back because it almost drove me crazy, but I guess I’m going to eat those words. I have to do what I have to do at this point and I have to take this job. So, resent it or not, it will be the fix to my financial situation and that is the “Bright Side” of that.
Christmas was absolutely a God send for us too. Everyone that bought for them had the forethought to ask me what they needed and so a great deal of their gifts were things they needed, like lots of clothing. Most all of the clothing that they arrived with was pitiful and since they have put on weight, most of it didn’t fit anymore anyway. They both have a nice selection of clothes to wear now, plenty of “make me beautiful” stuff for their hair and nails, and accessories to complete their outfits. It’s so nice to see them excited about getting dressed for school instead of being frustrated, especially Hailey at the age she is at. It was something that I couldn’t do anything about because of income limitations so there is definitely a “Bright Side” there.
The brightest thing is that the girls seem genuinely happy. Things aren’t perfect. We have little spats over different stuff and there are things that still need a lot of work, but in general, they are adjusting to life here and they feel comfortable and it shows. They giggle and laugh a lot and they get along with each other much better than they did when they arrived. Hailey had played “mother” for so long that they fought pretty viciously at times.
So, all in all, I can complain a little, but the truth is, the “Bright Side” is pretty darn bright.
UPDATE: Well I wrote this Saturday morning and it is Saturday night now that I am finishing it. I have since gone and picked Hailey up and brought her and her friend home to spend the night here. We had a really good evening going and she came out of the bedroom to get my camera. I wondered what they were doing so I eased down the hallway and happened to notice glowing spots in the floor. The lights were off in the room and when I opened the door I got a surprise. She had taken a boatload of glow sticks and broke them open and splatter painted the entire room, herself and her friend with multi colored glow stick liquid. Now I’m not talking about a few splatters, I mean the entire room is covered in this stuff. They are non toxic, but I am still not happy. Talk about the “Bright Side”…Lord help me!