People Are Who They Are!

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!


20 responses

  1. LOL about the glow sticks. Do they have to re-paint the whole room now? Or is it just washing it off?
    I am thrilled to read that there are a lot of bright sides for you. Or at least one to each “issue”. I hope 2011 hold a lot more fun and joy additionally to those bright sides to you!

    January 9, 2011 at 9:24 am

    • Thanks Irony. No, won’t need to repaint, thank goodness, it lost it’s “glow” ability and now is just clear drops on the walls and ceilings.

      January 11, 2011 at 2:05 pm

  2. Hah – the glow stick thing gave me a huge grin, while I’m still happy that it’s not in my house, thanks!! 😛

    Glad to hear that you can still see the gold amongst the dross. 🙂

    January 9, 2011 at 11:59 am

    • I was not a happy camper believe me. I have to remind myself of the “Bright Side” to keep from going nuts sometimes. Two girls this age and from the backgrounds they come from is a handful. Trust me!

      January 11, 2011 at 2:07 pm

  3. Kids these days – just when you think you have them tamed – wham!
    Guess there will be some discipline – no girlie stuff for a week and a ‘paint over’ party in the offing? Keep looking up.

    January 9, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    • The good thing about having a computer is having something to take away from them. She is soooooo grounded! lol

      January 11, 2011 at 2:08 pm

  4. Oh gosh, I hope the glo stick gel washes out. Healthy activity though, so that is one positive!

    What an incredible uplifting and positive post. You are officially one of my heroines now! I am glad that you didn’t accept the parents excuse of ADD etc, when it was their lack of responsible parenting that was the real issue. Those girls are going to bloom and blossom into wonderful young women and that is a wonderful reward for you.

    May the strength be with you!

    January 9, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    • awwww thanks FD! I don’t think I’ve ever been ANYONE’s heroine!

      I have never agreed with the ADD and ADHD stuff. I’ve seen too many of the kids that wear the tag and see how they are fed and housed. I had a fit when they said that about her in the beginning and just thank God they never started her on any “medication” for it. She’s just a typical healthy kid who has a lot of energy that needs to be exerted on something besides watching tv.

      January 11, 2011 at 2:54 pm

  5. Ther are many, unqualified at that, who are qqucik to put the ADHD labal on a child, my son included.

    January 10, 2011 at 4:35 am

    • Yeah, like I said to FD above, I have never agreed with that stuff. Just feed them good healthy food and keep them busy. I don’t ever remember seeing any kids that were so hyper that they needed to be medicated when we were growing up. Of course, if you didn’t sit down and behave back then, you got your butt paddled. lol

      January 11, 2011 at 2:57 pm

  6. It’s amazing how much we can change our perspective just by looking at the bright side of things. That’s hilarious about the glow sticks. Sounds like a Jackson Pollack painting!

    January 10, 2011 at 11:36 am

    • Ok, I admit it was funny. It actually even looked cool. But I was furious because we had talked about it the week before and I had said “NO!!!” She made the argument that they were non toxic and I still tried to explain to her that we had no way of knowing if the chemicals in them might turn into brown spots on the walls or something. I can’t afford to repaint and I sure didn’t want to look at it if it did some sort of damage. It was just an act of defiance when it was all said and done.

      I guess I could say that the “Bright Side” of that was that it didn’t do any permanent damage. lol

      January 11, 2011 at 3:01 pm

  7. That was hilarious….. well at leasst teh Saturday night part! I would have been fuming, but only for a little while. Then i would have taken loads of photos to add to a post. You are doing something awesome! And you will be truly blessed!

    January 11, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    • Thanks bokkie. It was defiance at it’s finest though, so I was not happy. Thank goodness it didn’t do any long term damage. I actually wished that I had taken pictures but then that would have made her think it was alright.

      January 11, 2011 at 3:02 pm

  8. Some really good points above. One o fthe most interesting things about the glow sticks is that kids are curious. They need some kind of outlet for all that curious, nervous energy they have. Art works for some, music for others. My brother had his animals that he spent endless hours researching, raising and it carried over into his life today. The key is finding each kids passion and steering them down that path, as long as it’s a healthy path. LOL

    January 11, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    • Well and therein lies the problem K. I didn’t know if it was healthy or not and it’s really not healthy to defy me! lol She’s not real happy that she is grounded while we are locked down here because of the snow. That room she was so excited about “glowing” isn’t glowing any more!

      There was a lot more to be excited about than I realized once I started writing it down.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:17 pm

  9. I tip my hat to you, Deb. Seems like you are doing a fine job of raising your granddaughters to me.

    January 12, 2011 at 2:36 am

    • Thanks jak! I appreciate that. They are a handful sometimes (like Saturday night) but then they are kids.

      January 12, 2011 at 3:17 am

  10. Bravo to you LW! Now that is progress! You are doing such a great job. :)I had to laugh over the glow stick incident. I hope none of that stuff stains though. Maybe she’d do better with some of those glow in the dark stars that adhere to the ceiling.

    January 12, 2011 at 12:14 pm

  11. My kids broke open some glow in the dark paint five years ago and that carpet still glows in the dark!

    January 26, 2011 at 4:24 pm

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