THE FIRE

As we were sitting under the trees, waiting for a concert to start, I said..."last time we were here a man was smoking under these trees."  My daughter said, "he could have started the fire on forest."

Yes, she often says things backwards. One of the ones I love is, instead of last night, she says yesterday night. I don't know why, but I think that sounds better.

But this daughter is both fire and joy. We sometimes rub each other with enough friction that we are like two fire sticks trying to start a fire. Then I ignite. Yes, I yell and scream. My life isn't perfect and great all the time. In fact I yell a lot. Mostly at her but at the others too. Don't even get me started on when I drive, but that is entirely another story.

I think one of the reasons for this fire between us is we are so much alike. But another is her personality and her disability. She was a product of an alcoholic/drug mother. Her mother died when she was nine. She doesn't remember a lot about her mother because she didn't spend much time with her. Her first three years were mostly in a hospital. She was born without a cleft palette. She had many surgeries to repair this and also had  heart surgery. Through all this she was somewhat alone. She lived with various different relatives and in foster homes. She was 11 when we adopted her and was kind of a wild child. She spent a lot of time in her special ed classes throwing furniture around and having bad spells. She didn't know how to read or even cross a street alone.

She is Hispanic and  she was adopted right in the middle of a white family with 6 kids, in an area of the Santa Cruz mountains, that was predominately white. She was tiny and except for 2 sisters the rest were tall brothers and a tall mother and father. No wonder the poor girl had such a hard time adjusting.

She was mean to the sister we thought she needed and adored the brothers that didn't want to be adored. She had black moods that could last for days. It was some very hard years.

There were many adjustments that needed to be made on all sides. We didn't all do it right all the time and we still get it wrong some of the time. But we are constantly working on it.

She still has black moods but at 44 she is sometimes my best friend. That is when I'm not trying to put out the fire between us. We hang out the most of any of my girls, yet at times that doesn't seem like enough. I am not always sure how to help her and she is not always sure how to react to me.
I threaten and she clams up. So I am working, always working on doing better. I am working on leaving her alone when she needs time to put out her own fires. Most of the time we get it right.

We are not created perfect but created in His image. This means we can rely on the Lord to help us. It is hard in the midst of putting out fires to call on Him. Most of the time I don't want to. But I am learning, one little step at a time.
I just love this picture of her tiny self in this big chair. We were at Farmers Market Dance night hanging out in the Antique shop.