Shrimp and Oreos

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Our New Year’s Eve plans are well underway.. we will have shrimp and Oreos.. and of course orange soda. My husband asked if they really went together and they don’t, but they are now our traditions.
We rang in 2011 our first New Year with the grandchildren in a small hotel room in South Carolina eating snacks we had grabbed from a vending machine. (not shrimp..just the Oreos and orange soda) It was our last night with them before we returned them to their foster-mother (until we got them for good) They remember that night and reminisce about what a good time we had watching the ball drop on the ugly hotel bedspreads.

Although they didn’t know it at the time, January 1, 2011 was the last time they would see their mother. They have talked to her about two dozen times since then, but the conversations are stilted and short.

Conversations with the Dads are much friendlier, full of daily tidbits and the patter of intimacy.

They keep their hopes high, writing her cards, making her gifts for Mother’s day, but they are also very much jaded children. When she promises to send gifts or money, they have stopped waiting by the mailbox. When she talks about the job she has had for many months, the boys eye me with a knowing look. (we follow her criminal record through the internet and know her arrests and constant changes of address) They love her with a fierceness despite all the flaws, but they know this is the home they will continue to grow up in.

Despite the drama and heartache they have been through, they still are excited by all the things kids should be excited about (fresh snowfall, Christmas morning, birthdays) It amazes me that they still look forward to the new year. They plan and they dream and they hope. So when the ball drops, they get their Oreos and orange soda.. We will play board games and just dance and get very silly in their forever home.

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