Today, we have been unable to pry ourselves from the depths of our sofa except, of course, to peer into the computer screen at the photolisting of Georgia’s adoptable children. And there we would sit looking at sibling groups (generally four beautiful children or more) that we could never afford to support and which would require us to replace our vehicles just so we could vacation as a family. This dangerous pastime had us walking from room to room (this does not take long in a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom rancher) and saying things like, “We could store that queen size pillow top mattress somewhere and replace it with bunk beds. The kids wouldn’t mind.”
But wouldn’t they? For a brief and unhappy moment in time, I shared a bedroom with a sibling. Personal space is not really that important until you no longer have any of it to call your own. You know? Then chalk lines appear down the center of the room — battle lines are drawn and full on war begins.
Of course, kids have been sharing rooms for centuries. I feel fairly sure that cave families didn’t divide at night into separate caverns. Perhaps cave drawings were just a primitive form of individualizing kid’s rooms… er… sleeping walls. Like cartoon animal borders or something. Hey, it could’ve happened.
We could make the bedrooms work. It’ll be like The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, or Survivor. I’m feeling quite hopeful, aren’t you?
Having figured out the sleeping quarters, we move on to the transportation. We have one car and one truck. The truck holds two people comfortably, three if you are fleeing a house fire. The car, a compact fuel-efficient little number claims to hold five people unless one of those people is American or in a car seat. And with that many passengers, it transforms into a gas-sucking clown car with a max speed of 55 (m.p.h.) if the air conditioning is rockin.’ And with that many people riding together in southern Georgia, the A/C will be permanently cranked to “arctic wind.”
So, as we look at the pictures of the lovely sibling groups and long for a child (ANY child!) to love and parent — all rational sense runs like Kenny G from a Slipknot concert. We are shopping for minivans in our heads and imagining the chairs around our dining table filled with squirming happy youths who just came from a 4-H meet. We suddenly have tents pitched in the backyard, Barbies and Legos under foot, and little tiny socks which we cannot find the mates to.
And then the horrible reality rears its ugly head: we cannot save them all. At least not right now. The flight into parenting more than two children, however brief, usually fills us with plans for a future home with many bedrooms. The house, we hope, will be off-grid which will enable us to afford to drive that minivan full of wriggling and jubilant young people with soaring gas prices and ever-increasing food costs.
So watch out 4-H, FFA, and Scouting programs in towns with military posts — we’re coming to you with our minivan bursting at the seams. We’re going take over your Sunday Schools and bring good manners back in style. Believe it.