Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I think I found my new “Skinny Boy.” (This post will make a lot more sense if you've read that one.)  However, to sum up, we have another boy who spends a LOT of time here because frankly his home life isn't "satisfactory."  He hasn't been as easy to warm to – he just has a different personality. But again, like Skinny Boy, amazing work ethic and impeccable mannners. Home situation quite different, too. Again, we'll leave it there. Lives in a nearby rental, reunited with Dad and new girlfriend. The difference in our family life, and I think the explanation for why he spends literally every available moment here, he shared off the cuff with me this afternoon.  What he said really helped me, because I've been wallowing in a the inertia-sucking mire of self-pity for a while.  "Smiles" gave me perspective. (That nickname is for you, Brian - he sure could use your expertise, and he's tries valiantly to cover his pain with a gorgeous smile)

I Finally got my house decorated this weekend by my fabulous Swissie, and this afternoon The Engineer found the Advent House!  

The advent house has 24 doors, big enough to tuck a little treat into. Of course I was ELEVEN days behind, so I wrote privilege cards, not being allowed to leave the house “limited activities, you may walk around your house if you want”. (I'm recovering from a nasty bout of bronchitis that sent my asthma to Olympic Gold...and I cracked at least one rib. While coughing.) So the cards said things like, “Get out of dishes”, “Get a smoothie”, etc. It's a tradition. There are usually trinkets, ornaments, candy, but not so far this year. Not been exactly traditional around here with a laid-up Mom for so long.

I asked “Smiles”  about his favorite Christmas traditions. He gets to spend a lot of time with his Grandparents in another state, so I didn't think it was a hurtful question. I thought there'd be some to share. He just smiled and said, “We're not a put together family like yours.”

Imagine that. I thought I was blowing Christmas for our kids with my infirmity, but no, I'm putting it together. Thanks, Smiles. I needed that. We need each other. We can help each other. Keep coming over.

P.S (Last year I wrote a three-part series about Swedish/American Christmas traditions if you'd like to take a peek.)


D.G. Hudson said...

Tina, you brought back memories of a few kids that were always at our house when our kids were in their early teens. One girl, and one boy at different times. There were different reasons, but one daughter said, her friend liked the atmosphere at our house, and the meals. T'is a good thing you do, Tina. My heart goes out to these kids.

Love that advent house. I'm posting some of my fave seasonal things on the 15th in a new post.

Donna Smith said...

What a sweet post. I haven't been blog hopping for a bit and have missed some of your posts. I'll have to check back on them. I'm so thankful that someone like Smiles has a place to smile.
Is there a tradition you can help him start for himself?

Hart Johnson said...

I think it sounds like you manage to have a super welcoming home, even if it may not live up to the traditions you normally keep this year. Smiles is lucky to have you. I hope you get recovered quickly!

Brian Miller said...

we do need each other...and there are many families that are not put together out there.....i am glad he has you....and def he gives a little perspective...i like the advent calendar too....perhaps he will start some traditions with you...

Misha Gerrick said...

We have someone like that too, although she isn't a kid. Just needs to get away from her family, sometimes.

Hope you get better soon and you have a wonderful and blessed Christmas with your family and friends.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's really sad. We forget that not all families function like a normal family. Hopefully you can continue to give him that.

Tonja Drecker said...

Glad you and Smiles found each other. I'm sure the experiences he'll have (has) with you are ones he'll never forget.

JoJo said...

You are so kind to open your home to kids in need. I hope you are feeling better soon. Bronchitus is no fun.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. that's great to read .. and so pleased the *Smiles* find you and yours ... my goddaughter has a together family and her friends migrate to their house .. Laura is great with the kids .. it's wonderful to see ..

I'm pleased you're able to potter around - and everyone is pulling together. I love the little advent house and the thought of getting out of the dishes via a priviledge card sounds a brilliant idea - do they work over here?!

Cheers and look after yourself, but continue to shine for others .. great post - Hilary

Jenny said...

Oh! The Advent house is so cool!

Shannon Lawrence said...

Your house sounds like my parents' house. We were always taking in kids whose home lives were not great, and my parents are called "mom" and "dad" by a lot more people than they actually birthed. I hope I can carry on the tradition. I'm glad those boys have you. Hope you feel better soon, my friend.

Shannon at The Warrior Muse

Zeba said...

This made me smile to myself.

klahanie said...

Hey Tina,

Yes, it's me, Penny the Jack Russell dog. While my human is rather indisposed aka sleeping, I've taken over the peeboard, I mean, keyboard.

Your posting glows with inspiration and the caring nature you so willingly share with those who need a bit of comfort. It seems that the young fellow, in turn, helped you in a profound way. A positive outcome.

Ah yes, an Advent house. My human opened up an Advent calendar and ate all the chocolates! I'm kidding.

Tina, know that we are here for you as you have been here for us. We are grateful to know you.

Pawsitive wishes and doggy kisses, Penny xx