Rock-O-Bahna and LOVE

We had the boys watch the first 15 minutes or so of the State of the Union Address last month. In light of the snippets of news they’ve seen recently with scary conflicts in places like Syria, where they ask why people are killing each other, it was pretty interesting to point out the reactions in the House chambers where those congressmen and women who disagree with the president, don’t applaud his comments. They asked about it, by the way…”Mommy why that man no clapping?” It struck me how my answers to both questions were similar: In one case people are killing each other because of political disagreements, in another they are refusing to applaud in a very public forum.

But my favorite thing about my boys’ political interest is that they call our President Rock-O-Bahna. It’s awesome. We aren’t trying to cultivate the mispronunciation, but I’ve stopped trying to correct it because I find it so charming. Is that wrong? Other favorites include: Acobado=Avocado, Algalator=Aligator, and then there’s Eliana, who talks all the time now and is very certain about what she’s saying…it’s just that the rest of us can’t always tell. Yuck=Truck, Yock=Sock, Yay-yays=Cereal (yes, she seems particularly fond of ‘Y’ sounds). This week she inexplicably started saying ‘Star Wars’ for no particular reason. When questioned she confirms that yes, that’s exactly what she’s saying. Don’t know why. I guess she’s just thinking about Star Wars.

I think this may have been my favorite Valentine’s Day in memorable history. Our kids are struggling with LOVE right now. They are very very obviously losing the battle of trying to keep their walls up to keep love out. Loving makes you vulnerable and involves a lot of trust, two things our boys fiercely protect themselves against. But they are SO CAVING! They are giggling while running to hug Daddy, asking for an extra hug before Mommy leaves the house, immensely enjoying cuddly reading time before bed and trying to drag it out as long as possible. Ooh, and guess what! My friend shared with me that when she was reading Where the Wild Things Are to Melkam today and she got to the part where Max decides that he is lonely and “…wants to be where someone loves him best of all.” and she asked what that meant, Melkam immediately said “Mommy!” Oh, be still my heart!

Ok, back to Valentine’s day. Well last weekend I spent a lot of time with the boys making these paper heart flowers to distribute at school. I couldn’t bring myself to buy the grocery store valentines. I confess I kind of hate them. Wonder how long my ‘we will make crafty valentines at home’ phase will last? So anyways, that was fun (I love a good excuse for paper and art crafts!). We talked about Valentine’s day over the two weeks before…not to amp them up about the Hallmark version of the holiday, but to share with them that we celebrate LOVE on that day, the greatest gift God ever gave any of us. The BEST GIFT OF ALL! We prepped them ahead of time that Daddy was going to take Mommy out on a special date, and Charles talked to them about his secret plans to get flowers for Mommy AND for Eliana, because boys celebrate their girls with flowers on this special day. The boys got really into it, which was also really special.

It’s easy to forget how much it helps to just talk about things that we take for granted, because the kids are LEARNING how to be in a functional family. And maybe even their prior family experience before institutional care wasn’t functional. We really don’t know and may never know, but they all do so much better when we can give them some warning, explain what’s going to happen and why, or explain how we do certain things in our family and what that looks like, and then when they see our explanation match the experience.

Wednesday marked 9 months of our family being home together. This is BY FAR the toughest job I’ve ever loved!

And by the way, both of the boys are refusing to have their photo taken lately. I’m hoping this phase will pass and I can show you some recent pics! Here’s a possibly sideways video of Eliana enjoying her Valentine’s flowers.

One response to “Rock-O-Bahna and LOVE

  • Dakota Corey

    Great post Kimberly. We find too that our kids do so much better when we explain things that we take for granted to them ahead of time. Its kind of awkward to be so explicit about family and relationships sometimes, but in a way it also makes things easier because you can break it down for them and quickly get everyone on the same page.

    Oh, and I think the boys’ pronunciation of avocado might actually be the Amharic pronunciation. They’re very similar – but just a little bit different – and that sounded about right.

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