Saturday, November 3, 2007

doing what little we can

Adorably and transparently, Iris finds multiple reasons each night to return to our house, if only for 30 frantic seconds. She brings one of our cats inside for us, she brings the other cat inside for us, she stops by "on her way" to deliver the compost into the compost bin in her own back yard, she wonders if she's left this scrap of paper or that somewhere over here. And then, invariably, she panics about how much time she's taken, and what the consequences will be when she gets back home.

"Gotta go!" she'll announce, and then practically bolt out the door.

Earlier this week, on one of these whirlwind unauthorized visits, Iris asked us if we would like to come hear her sing a song at her school's "harvest festival" on Saturday.

"You're performing!" I said.

"Most likely," she said. "If I can get a ride there."

Because mom's weekends are apparently so booked with Qi Gong and chanting and all the other activities that help her be "present as a parent" (direct quote) that she can't actually be present, Iris spends both nights of every weekend at a somewhat mysterious friend's house. (We've asked her a bit about the family, and what her connection is to them, but she's always been cagey about the details.)

This particular Saturday was apparently booked with flu shots for the family's kids and Christmas pictures at WalMart, so it wasn't clear they'd be able to get Iris to where she needed to be.

I told Iris we would love to come and we could drive her there as well if her friend couldn't take her. She smiled a great big smile and practically skipped her way home.

We found out this morning that Iris would indeed be getting a ride from her friend, so we all piled into the car and drove directly (except for the getting lost part) to Iris' school.

There's Iris on the left, just before the performance began. She was pretty psyched to see us.

The kids sang their song laughably out of key, and they forgot half the words, but I almost cried watching Iris up there--because her mom couldn't be bothered to come for her daughter's performance, and also because I really do love that girl.

We spent another couple of hours there with Iris before driving her back to her friend's house. The kids bounced around in one of those portable bouncy houses that are a carnival staple, got their faces painted, went on a hay ride, toured the "haunted gym" (which pretty much scared the pants off of Levi), did crafts projects, and ate hot dogs.

There's Iris about to dive into her hot dog, which she can't tell her mom about or she'll be punished.

There are Ezra and Levi with Iris, who is proudly displaying the painted rock that her mom will make her throw away.

There's Iris just plain old enjoying herself. That will have to be a secret to. It's one I hope she can hold onto.


family-of-five said...

oh, honey. she's breaking my heart. and you are, too.

Ginny said...

She's just as sweet and cute as I expected. Thanks for doing what you're making a huge difference.

BrianJ said...

it matters...