October 30, 2010

Enchanted - and they pay me to do this?

I tell people all the time, foster kids are like your kids, like my grand kids, they are just kids. Chloe loved princesses just like my granddaughter Lucy does!. Her mother was a wanderer, who meets the wrong guys, isn't very stable and ends up in the wrong places, she makes too many bad choices and comes home one day to find her kids in foster care. This isn't a violent story, it isn't one that makes you cringe at the details, but it is always sad when children are separated from their parent, no matter what the reason.

I never really noticed the movie Enchanted until that day. It was on the TV above my desk, as I arrived at work. Chloe was on the couch engrossed in the movie.  Her arm encirled a giant princess  teapot, that looked bigger than her! Leaning on a magazine she was busy sketching  a princess on a small tablet, mesmerized by the movie. Enchanted is one of those wonderful movies girls adore.  There's lots of cute animals; a handsome prince,  the "True Love's Kiss" guy;  and a princess most girl dream of being.   As Chloe watched on this sad day for her, this simple movie seemed to distract and also rekindle any dream hidden in her heart.

"Don't you love the songs?" she asks  without moving her eyes from the screen.  She looked down only for a minute to work on her princess.
"Yes! I love them!" I tell her.  Who wouldn't I thought!  I could hardly do my work.  The movie's princess creatively makes dresses out of drapes and has her furry friends (even roaches) clean the house. She's kind and oh so beautiful, selfless, full of goodness and incredibly trusting in values few embrace. It was so uplifting and lovely.
When the movie is over Chloe asks if I will take care of her teapot while she goes to lunch.

"Watch it every minute okay?! Don't let anyone even touch it! Promise?  Only you!! No one but you can hold it! Promise??! " I promise, but she asks me several times again before she finally leaves for lunch.  Our nurse asks me what that is about, I tell her.
"They lived in a lot of shelters" she understands now.

When Chloe returns after lunch she stands in front of my desk  and I tell her NO ONE has touched the teapot, not a soul!  She is relieved and tells me,
"I love to talk!" Smiling, I tell her,
"Well me too!" I ignore the low laughter of my co-workers and say, "You came to the right place! What do you like to talk about?!"
"My mom! I love to talk about my mom, she's wonderful!" Chloe says. That is the beginning of a long conversation about her mother, her family and some interesting adventures.  We talk for a long time. Everything is about her mother. No questions, no unspoken judgements, I just work and listen. This child. is so delightful, so honest, so pure, and so untainted.

"Do you know who I want to be when I grow up?" she asks me to guess.
"Your mom?" I am pretty sure I nailed it!
"Nope, like the princess in the movie, and do you know why? " she asks, her eyes sparkling. I try to guess why she's chosen her, maybe her power over the animals, her beautiful dresses, her lovely singing voice, her "True Love's Kiss" guy?
No. no. no...so I give up!
"No...because she's nice, she's good."
"Yes" I agree "She's wonderful, just like you! Yes, I am sure you will be just like her when you grow up!"  The child is pleased with my affirmation.

Before long she leaves with her brothers....I watch her hugging the princess teapot which only she and I have touched.....yes, I think Chloe will be just like the princess ...........I smile as she turns the corner to the elevator..........and they pay me to do this job?!?

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