I’ve been spending lots of time with my Neighbor Girl lately. She comes and goes when she wants..not knocking and coming in like it’s her home. I am okay with that and Hubby is too….but it had gotten me to change a few things… I had gotten lax on closing the bathroom door or bedroom door if I was home alone, but not anymore. I never know when she is going to show up. I never really know what triggers her comings and goings. Sometimes she will be here several days in a row and then the next few days I don’t see her much at all. Lately, though, she spends more and more time here. In fact, she’s even started staying overnight here. She has a bed here that’s “her’s” and dresser drawer too. Regularly mom’s work hours and the older sister’s work hours don’t coincide so she had nowhere to go. She’s welcome whenever she wants or is needed. If I’m going somewhere, I always give her the option to come with. If I’m not going to be around, and I wasn’t able to get in touch with her before I left, I leave a note on the door for her to let her know where I am.
A couple weeks ago we had some super stormy weather and she has access to a phone now so she will contact me and tell me she’s scared. It’s hard. I take responsibility seriously and these calls are hard on me.
Yesterday was the last day of school so I am curious what will happen with her time here. In fact, a few things are up in the air with her. Cousins of her’s recently were taken from their mom and DHS was involved. Thoughts are that they might be moving in to her house. I’m not sure how I feel about that as I expect one of the cousins will be here all the time too. It’s a boy and he’s younger. Like I said, lots of things are up in the air…and honestly, I sometimes question how much I can do and where me place is in all of this.
Earlier this week Neighbor Girl went with me to a dance recital for on of my childcare kids. It was fun having her tag along. Kelli met us there. After about the fourth performance of the dancers, Neighbor Girl leaned over and said to me, “I wish I was skinny and I wish I was in dance.” Ah…the body image problems hit so young. Then I thought UGH…I can’t do anything about either thing.
For us, dance is out of town. Lessons are weekly and then there is one recital that requires an expensive costume. I don’t think lessons are cheap but there are so many advantages if she could go….1-it would lead her into a group of kids that might be a better influence on her…2-it might help with the body image…3-it would be a good thing to learn and experience.
Anyway…back to our night. After the recital we went to the Chinese restaurant. Neighbor Girl wasn’t excited about that but then she realized that she thought she liked Orange Chicken as they served that as a school lunch. She ordered it and then refused to even take a bite.
She’s super picky about smells and looks…and honestly, few Chinese dishes look scrumptious.
Kelli was really upset because Neighbor Girl didn’t eat and Kelli had chosen the restaurant. Me, I wasn’t. If she was hungry she would have ate. I also was glad that we gave her an experience be it a good experience or a bad one. It’s good so that someday if someone says, “Hey, do you want to go out for Chinese?”. She will know her answer…which will likely be NO! Kelli and I did forgo our fortune cookies so she at least ate three fortune cookies for supper.
While we were chatting we started talking about the end of this school year and the beginning of the next one. Here, fifth grade means band starts. It’s optional but the majority of the kids typically try an instrument. She told us that she was excited about that and hoped she might be able to play saxophone, clarinet or trumpet. Me, knowing instruments are expensive, asked if they had one at home. She said no- but they are only $20-$30. I told her that was $20-$30 a month! She got a sad look on her face and said well I guess I can’t do that either.
That left Kelli and I both sad too.
After we got home I started to talk to Hubby about it. He’s game for whatever I want to commit too because (to be honest) he’s fallen for her too. So the brain storming began….That’s when an idea hit me. I’m hoping that one of you might have a saxophone, clarinet or trumpet sitting in a closet waiting for a new little girl to love. I know so often kids start out excited wanting to play an instrument and then forget about the instrument so they sit and sit. Do one of you have an instrument that is no longer loved-just catching dust? I’d happily pay $50 and the postage to get it here to her…I don’t want to risk the big dollars for a new instrument in case she ends up not loving it. I’d really like to get an instrument and have so that she doesn’t go through the stress of not feeling included when other kids start getting their instruments. She really wasn’t picky about which instrument she wanted…a saxophone, clarinet or trumpet would be awesome!
As far as dance goes…I am going to do some investigation checking prices and locations then make a decision to see if I want to make the commitment to pay and to transport her there. It’s so hard for me to know my place..one moment she’s here all the time and I’m more like a mom to her and the next minute the plug is pulled and I’m brutally remind that I’m the neighbor. I just never know what day it’s going to be which role or when it’s going to switch. The more it happens, the more I am adjusting to it. At first I was really hurt and I’d wonder if she was coming back. Now I know she always comes back. I just know now that there will always be a down behind the up…I really am getting better at it.
If you do have an instrument you are will to part with, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d sure appreciate the help in making a little girl happy.