It has been 39 days since our last entry…where has the time passed? The benefactor knows. It has been spent consistently asking the elder children to pick up after themselves repeatedly. Dishes, clothing, food, etc. have been constantly left in a state of disarray and disorganization, to the point where the benefactor now leaves signs to remind of the expectations in the morning in places where the children can view them in plain sight. Many friends of the children has been invited to visit, the homestead left in shambles when they leave. It has been a constant source of vexation for the benefactor, who is now convinced this is a necessary phase so that she won't crumble when the elder children depart in little more than a year.
Other moments have been spent with children fighting off illness, beginning with the youngest female, traveling to the eldest male, then eldest female, and then ending its course with the youngest male. This included 3 separate visits to hospital with the youngest female amid great concern that a more serious physical ailment was at hand and not a mere virus. Suffice to say that the benefactor now feels like she knows the entire staff of the emergency department, but is grateful that everyone survived the vicious illness that spread like wildfire.
The elder female recently won a monetary gift to help realize her dream of traveling to Africa this summer to enjoy animal conservation. When the benefactor proposed buying some easy to clean/dry clothing, the female stared at her blankly. The benefactor went on to explain that the elder female will be living in a city, but one where certain amenities, such as access to electric laundry services, or clean drinking water, may not be available. Also, the benefactor promoted wearing shirts with longer sleeves to help protect the female’s bare skin from sunshine and insects. Both suggestions, as usual, were met with inflated resistance, and the benefactor could only internally sigh and recognize that with this experience, as with many that came before, the elder female will just simply have to learn by going through it, just hopefully not contracting malaria or another disease in the process.
The benefactor was fortunate to have all the children for the made-up holiday celebrating St. Valentine, and she received generous and lovely gifts from the youngest female and elder male, including handmade cards, and a glass with the message, “wine is cheaper than therapy” scrolled across its front. Despite this, the celebratory nature of the day was was overshadowed by news that children had been attacked with firearms in a learning institution, with many casualties. After dinner, the younger male, somber, asked the benefactor when someone might come and shoot up his school, to which the benefactor sat mute, not having, or wanting to have, such an answer.
Recently, the elder male had a performance where he demonstrated his dance ability. Twas a beauty and enjoyable experience for all. It gave cause for the younger children to dress in their finest for the first performance. The next day, the younger male, not wanting to watch a second time, volunteered to sit with his younger sister, and a younger friend, and keep an eye out on their activities so the benefactor could enjoy the show. Upon leaving the theater, the younger male, looking worn and exhausted, lamented that “it was sure hard work taking care of children”. On the inside, the benefactor couldn’t help but laugh hysterically to herself, more than a bit happy he got a tiny dose of his own medicine.
Lastly, the younger male was confronted with an unexpected dilemma recently when a fellow female ballet friend asked him to enter into relationship and be her ‘boyfriend’. The young lady was also so bold as to approach the benefactor and state her affection for the younger male face to face. Perplexed, the younger male came and sat with the benefactor, asking for sage advice, which she felt perhaps she was not the best person to give, now twice divorced. They made a list of the potential pros and cons of being in a relationship. The benefactor encouraged him to reach deep and explore how he felt, and he concluded that because he has an affinity for another at school, he could not commit to the young lady. In the end, he tactfully let her down and still retained her friendship, which is quite a feat for even adults in the strenuous world of dating, let alone the mercurial age of ten. Alas, the benefactor was quite relieved he chose to enjoy his romantic independence for a wee bit longer.