Saturday, April 10, 2010

This and that...and a surprise for single Dad!

October 2004
Shelter life had no changes- except one. I finally had a coworker to share the caseloads with. We are busy as usual. I had a young client (21) who came into the shelter with her 9 month old baby girl. There was another 6 year old child but he was in the custody of the grandparents. As this young homeless and somewhat reckless mother met with me twice a week- I would hold her chubby and adorable baby girl on my lap and listen to her babble as her mother informed me of what she did/did not accomplish on my "To Do" list I gave to her weeks ago. Out of nowhere, my client informs me she would like for me to "adopt" her daughter. Trying to keep my professional composure-we discussed the options of adoption (not by me) and I instructed my young client to the proper agency for counsel. I gave her no indications that my heart was racing and about to leap out of my chest.....and I wasn't sure if adoption would be permitted....after all I was her caseworker.
After our meeting was over, I nervously dialed the single Dads office number.....I'm excited and stumbling over my words trying to explain every detail to him.
There was silence.....then I hear in a soft tone "well, I'm sure we can work something out for bedroom space.....we'll talk more tonight."
Cried of course...happy tears.
I needed to attend a mandatory staff meeting over at the main agency building.....when I returned I was informed by one of the shelter employees that my young mother exited the shelter with all of her belongings......and her baby girl......possibly took off to other information was given. I called C&Y....then went home and cried.

Our busy and at times chaotic but fun chaotic household was doing its best to stay on a routine. Events and practices. Halloween is coming around the corner- it seems like only yesterday we met the single Dad and Freckle Boy- and it was Halloween when I refused their invitation to join them in the festivities. This year- we are planning the festivities together.
I packed up my Beetle with kids and headed over to my parents first so they could see the Pirate and Goul. Then over to my brothers neighborhood again for some fun. Single Dad stayed home to hand out candy in our busy neighborhood.

Thanksgiving is approaching...plenty of family "stuff" taking place. As I wrote in a recent post I really enjoy this time of year. It's busy and fun. It is another holiday with my new friend...this time around he's my honey. {{smiling}}
The single Dads mother has scheduled "kid days" for herself. She loves this and so do the kids.
As China Doll and Freckle Boy spend time with "Grammie" a title she wears proudly it gives us some free time- so we take advantage of this time to go on dates.
One of my favorite places to go for food and spirits,concerts and the arts or antiquing/shopping- is Fells Point.
Now, it became our favorite hang out.
Sitting on the corner of Thames Street is a hole in the wall named "Duda's Tavern".
Great crab cakes! not a paid ad
We would end our night in Italia piccola Little Italy loading up with cannoli or biscotti from Vaccaro's for the car ride home. not a paid ad but a must to try!

During visits over to single Dads parents home- I couldn't help but notice the "Wall of Fame" in their game room. The wall was covered with photos of single Dad and his brothers.
But....the single Dad has a shrine- it's as if I walked into a Sports Illustrated page only a mother could have designed. Football surrounds me with a few photos of wresting as I look at a younger handsome face with that scoured look as if he is ready to tackle Godzilla.
Football Hero. Super Star. These are the words that are printed on posters- year books- college papers and cards.
It's time to give the single Dad a new name. Football Superstar

At the shelter - late November begins a month of nothing but food donations from many local churches and organizations. Department stores begin calling with donations. This is the time of year when shelter clients plan with their caseworker a Christmas Wish List. Every employee of the shelter receives an extra task to their job duty. It can be a fun time of year for us working at this over crowded shelter. We are able to become more involved in the community.
My coworkers- the Dr. Phil crew - are busy but never too busy to find out the latest scoop on the newer and hipper Brady Bunch. The Dr. Phil leader is a talented writer. Her poems and writings are beautiful. I asked Dr. Phil-ly if she would create a writing for me to give to my Football Superstar for Christmas. I thought this would be a special Christmas that spoke volumes on my feelings.
I gave Dr. Phil-ly the info she needed and she began to write. Within days she handed me a rough was absolutely perfect...beautiful. I plan to give him this writing on Christmas Eve after we arrive home from a family party....while the kiddos are in bed.....I'll have the egg nog & cinnamon at hand....candles and tree lit....yep, he'll never expect anything like this.

It's Christmas Eve. We attended a family party. I noticed that my Football Superstar was acting a little strange....looking almost pale. Perhaps it was the rich food he ate?
Maybe too much egg nog geez, hope not thats on my agenda he probably just needed some air - there were a lot of people at this gathering.

We decide to head home. As we arrive back to our cozy townhouse, I quickly had the kids get ready for bed and head downstairs to the Christmas tree so we could open up one small gift.
A tradition at Christmas Eve growing up at my house - now I carried it over.
Packs of trading cards or Clear Toy candies for the kids.....Tylenol and Godiva chocolate mini's for us.
we had two bicycles hidden in the neighbors garage for the kids... needed to work that into my late night plan

As my Football Superstar walked down to pick up the bikes- I had the family room glimmering with candles and the Christmas tree lights on. I did mix up two festive glasses of egg nog sprinkled with cinnamon- perfect for the two of us.

He came directly down to the family room still looking - well, awful.
I'm thinking he's getting sick.
He sat down beside me on the love seat- I had to kick Heidi off his lap - and we chatted about how surprised the kids will be on Christmas morning when they see their bikes. I told them they would not get bikes....using all kinds of excuses

Enough chat about the kids......
I decided to hand my Football Superstar his framed writing. Almost in sync he hands me a little black box wrapped with a beautiful silver bow- one from a jeweler not a mixed bag of bows from Wal-Mart.
There it was- sitting in this tiny black box- a dainty and beautiful PastPresentFuture ring.
Football Superstar says....."will you marry me?"
I cried to the point of not remembering that I too had a, what was it?
He did manage to read his framed writing...and loved it. And I did say YES.
Wow. Here I thought I was going to be the only one giving a surprise this Christmas.

Football Superstar wasn't sick....he had a bad case of nerves. giggling

Life Lesson: Get over your trust issue girly- fast.


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