Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ben, Band-aids, and the Long Arm of the Law

Supper is in the oven, Paul is working late, and I have an hour and half until I have to take Ben to vocal practice. He is in the spring musical. The first practice is tonight. That was kind of a humbling/awe-inspiring experience for me. I already noted it on Facebook so I won't belabor it here. I think I mentioned before that Ben wanted to be in the musical. I was so nervous about having him try out. But he did absolutely wonderful. He sang a solo (not an entire song - just some lines) in front of his perfectly-abled peers and read lines in a group. I was so impressed! Ben knew he could do it, but I was a little slower to catch on! He got the part of an old man. I'm assuming it has minimal lines, but he got what he wanted, which was to be part of the production. I was pleasantly surprised to hear him sing. He used to be very off-key, but he's a lot better. Since he normally sits on my deaf side in church, I haven't been aware that he has become a better singer. I guess those private vocal lessons he's been getting at school are working!

So, for the next couple of months, I'll be sitting in on practice with him for an hour and a half every Thursday evening. I'm not looking forward to that so much! And maybe, after the first few weeks, I can just drop him off and pick him up when he's finished. But I want to see how things go first before I do that. He won't have his aide to help him and I don't expect the vocal teacher to be able to attend to him specially while working with all the cast.

Ben's new case worker is working out really well. She takes him to stores every week. I had told her what his old worker had said about him being a "menace." But this new one told me that was completely untrue, in her opinion. She was so impressed with Ben's ability at Walmart. She handed him a list of things she needed and he got right on it. She said when he did get in people's way he apologized. She said she can really envision Ben working in a grocery store someday. I told her that's what we've kind of been thinking for awhile.

Sam got his fingers caught in a door last week. David didn't see them and shut the door - split a couple of them right open. So we've been putting bandaids on them every day. I'm too cheap to routinely buy the kiddie bandaids with the characters on them, so at Christmas I always put a box in the younger boys' (now just Sam) stockings. This year all I could find were Snoopy ones. But Sam refused to let me put them on him. He asked me, "Did you pick out the Snoopy bandaids?" I told him yes - I thought he would like them.

"Well, I don't" Sam flatly replied. Ok, then! Guess I may be the one running around with Snoopy bandaids if he's not going to use them!

Sam was so excited after Children's Church this past Sunday. The kids learned about Heaven and they got to make papers with cotton balls and glitter (the probable reason for the excitement, I'm guessing) glued to them. Later Sam asked me, "Do you know they have gold roads up in Heaven?" That was funny, I thought. Usually you hear about the "streets of gold" but not the "roads of gold"!

Last week I had Ben and David write their Christmas thank-yous. The way I do it is to have them stand by me and dictate a note while I type, since my typing will probably be more understandable than theirs. Well, ever since then, Sam has been asking if he can "write a letter to Uncle Matt". He has figured out how to get into my Word program on the computer and he sits there and types away. It's cute!

We were in Council Bluffs a couple of weeks ago. Tell me if this is not an ultimate irony: On Dorothy's fridge was a picture of her grandson, Zach, - Paul's nephew - who is an inmate somewhere in Nebraska. He's been an off and on inmate since he was about 14. The kid - man, now - can't stay out of trouble. Well, anyway, there was a picture of him in his prison khakis taken "professionally" by someone. I don't know if this is something the prison does so the inmates can send home pictures at the holidays or what the deal was. Anyway, they position the inmates in front of an artificial backdrop. It's a picture of mountains and valleys, a peaceful stream, and an eagle swooping overhead. The one thing these prisoners CAN'T do is go out and enjoy nature because they are prisoners! It just seemed awfully ironic to me. Perhaps it would be better to have a background of bars.

We're still waiting to hear from the state on our license...trying to be patient...failing....But on that note: there is a very sad story that has rocked central Iowa this week. Last weekend a 22 year old woman in Huxley gave birth to twins all alone in her apartment. That's quite an accomplishment! I can only imagine how painful and scary that must have been. Why she would do such a thing and not call 911 is a bit baffling. Well, then she killed the baby girls because "she didn't want them" and put their bodies in the trunk of her car. The next day she went to her job at a gas station there in Huxley and a co-worker was alarmed when she noticed that the woman no longer looked hugely pregnant, but yet she refused to say anything about giving birth. So, the co-worker called the police and suggested they might want to follow up on this. They did and now this woman is facing life in prison for the murder of her daughters.

It's a sad, sad story on a number of levels. As a potential adoptive parent, it has really struck me in a different way because I would have taken those babies in a heartbeat. And I know there are hundreds of other couple in the metro who would have done the same. But now they're dead and nobody will ever enjoy those children. A family is devastated by the actions of their daughter and now they're losing her, too, as she will be going to prison for the rest of her life.

The focus of the news media has been on the "safe haven" law that Iowa has. A parent has the freedom to drop their 2 week old or younger baby off at any hospital or police station with no questions asked and the babies will be given to adoptive parents. So the media keeps crying, "Why didn't she do that?" Now, the focus has been turned in the last day to, "What did WE do wrong that chose this woman to not make that choice?" They're suggesting that there has not been enough publicity about the law. But here's the thing: she MURDERED her babies! A woman who would make the choice to do such a horrible thing would probably not have thought to herself, "Well, I could drop these babies off at the hospital 10 miles down the road, or I could just murder them. Hmm, what should I do?" No, murder was in her heart and that's what she chose. A person willing to entertain such an option is, in all likelihood, not going to choose a different, safer option. She didn't choose to kill her children because she didn't know about other options. Now, I'm sure her attorney will plead that she was suffering from temporary insanity or postpartum depression or something and the taxpayers in Story County will be footing the bill for the trial later this year. It's just sad all around.

Ugh - what a note to end on! But I have to do it anyway. Better go feed these kids and get my stack of magazines ready to take to Ben's practice tonight. Oh, there is one good thing happening this weekend - I get to see Kathy!! I haven't seen her since June at the homeschool conference and that really does not count because our time was so limited. But we are going to have all day Saturday together...I can't wait!

No comments:

Post a Comment