How do you explain the concept of colours to a small child who had never seen anything but black? When we got told that there was to be a blind child at our kindergarten class, we got sent to a course in how to best stimulate such a child. The number one thing we learned was to play with her other senses, which is often more developed than in people with normal eye sight.
We started with a basic conversation on how not everyone online is who they seem, and that she shouldn’t give out personal information. I kept it light, like “In your game you’re a wizard with purple skin, and we know you’re not really a wizard and you have peach skin, so the person you meet who say’s they’re an 11 year old boy with a Mohawk could really be an eight-year-old girl with a ponytail”, etc. Through the course of our conversation, she asked why safety is an issue online, and I let her know, in generic terms, that sometimes people use online personas to manipulate or bully or hurt other people, and that sometimes it can spill over into offline life.
Even though our story is somewhat unique, the idea of bringing a child into your home years after they’re born isn’t a new one. So often folks are hesitant to bring older children through their home, through adoption or other means, because of a fear that it’ll be more difficult to bond with a child you don’t receive as an infant. Through my limited experience (my own family experience!), I understand where this fear is coming from, but want to say that children bond with people who take care of them. Even without a genetic connection, a child, regardless of age, wants to feel love and likes the idea of being part of a family.
We’re big fans of science experiments and experiences in our home so I’m always on the lookout for fun things to try. I found these experiments at Reading Confetti and Science Bob, and knew we had to try them. I feel like it’s only fair to warn you that each of these experiments has a certain degree of mess involved — there’s a lot of corn starch in this post.
While tucking my son into bed tonight I was flooded by grief and joy simultaneously. He is eight, so I am used to this. Every time he goes and grows up he leaves me with this memory of the younger boy he left behind that day, vanishing in my arms as I reach down to kiss him goodbye. Tonight is different though. Tonight, perhaps I am the one who grew up a little bit too. It’s amazing what a call from school can do.
I have never wanted bio-kids of my own, but I fell in love with a father and now I have two step-kids who I love to pieces! They live full time with their bio-mom and her family and currently are overseas because of the military, so we keep in touch via phone calls, Skype, packages, and very infrequent visits. We just got the news that they will be moving back to the States (yay!) and our visitation will become more frequent and regular. We have a great relationship, but I want them to really feel like our house is their other home, and I especially want them to have social support and friends in our community who they will be able to return to on summers and school holidays.