Thursday, November 3, 2011

Clam chowder with pepper, mustard, and ketchup

I'm super behind in my posts. Today it's Nov. 3 already (2011 is almost gone!!!), and I'm posting pix from July 3, four months ago, when the day before the 4th of July the local fire station held a very nice family event, culminating with breathtaking fireworks.

Why did I give such a strange title to my post? I hate clam chowder. Yet, that day I had a full bowl of it for one single reason: the Fire Department was offering it for free. I cannot believe I used to feel unhappy about  the over-protected, over-privileged, pampered childhood I had. I cannot believe that as a child I arrived to pray for problems because I wanted some merit of my own. I wanted a chance to prove myself. Yet, against the common opinion that spoiled kids develop into spoiled adults, for my mom's sake and for the memory of my dad and my grandparents I can say that it was precisely that pampered, overprotected past what best prepared me to face life challenges in my adulthood. If in order to fulfill adoption training requirements anyone ever took the Heart of the Matter online seminar, they say something very similar: "In order to build independence first you need to build secured dependence." Although that refers to adopted children, who never felt loved and secure before, it is true for all children.

In my case, I had a little too much perhaps---but was not spoiled either. Far from being raised to be selfish and conceited, I was always taught by word and example by my parents and grandparents about love, caring, reaching out, equality, social sensitivity, and social justice, in the light of the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church.

So, even with the free clam chowder, we had a great time. It takes a while to get settled in a new place--but still I don't regret our move to RI at all. Catherine arrived a little later, and with her own money bought popsicles for everyone--even for me. Everything would be perfect if we did not have the omnipresent shared concern over those two little boys still so very far away.  It's not easy to enjoy the present when you feel that something is not totally complete.--and we all feel that, no matter how much love we have each other, our family is not yet complete.

I hate how I look in that picture--but they look nice!

Using some very trite wording, I can say that financially things were far from what they used to be--but their smiles are priceless!!!

Here there is another picture. I'm right, am I not?

Isn't it heartbraking to see that the very first thing that Nicholas did when on the fire truck was to pick up the radio and talk into it? His speech is not intelligible--but he does know what he wants to say!

Look how happy he is with the radio in his hands!

And more priceless smiles. . .

Nicholas' determination is admirable. In Haiti, he learned to walk on his own--defying doctors' prognosis that he'd never be able to walk.

Gerard is helping Nicholas off the fire truck

Stephen's turn to get down. Warren is picking him up.

Thomas is enjoying his turn on the fire truck.

Thomas is comign down by himself, with a fire fighter ready to cathc him just in case.

Waiting to watch the fireworks.

It was Stephen's first time to watch fireworks.

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