Monday, April 26, 2021


 In all my years of fostering one particularly poignant moment was when a tiny child asked me:

"Will you come and find me in Heaven because obviously I won't know anyone there."

The child was parentless, family-less, unfriended. 

Child had nobody on planet earth, until enter foster mum.

That memory is not alone, I could offload hundreds of scintillatingly powerful flashbulb memories of fostering, never mind the memories yet to come.

Interesting question, though… is there a Heaven?

Yes. Well, maybe.

I'm sitting at our kitchen table tapping away at my laptop. It's 8.05am on a Monday morning. I'm still in my dressing gown, the house is empty, just me and the dog who is flat out, recovering from the maelstrom of getting everyone off to school and work. 

I have a mug of tea to the left of the laptop, and to the right a sausage and brown sauce sandwich. 

I earmarked the sausages when I did Sunday breakfast for a housefull 24 hours ago, and when I put the two spare bangers back in the fridge I thought to myself "Those are mine." And so they are.

I used to hate Monday mornings when I was at school.

And when I worked.

In fostering they are Heaven.

Fostering can be long days every day of the week. But Saturdays and Sundays are 48 hour days. 

From daybreak on a Saturday morning you're it; you have other people's children in your care, children who have weathered a week of school. A week of sitting still, being told what to do and being told to be quiet. 

Weekends are freedom for all children, but for looked after children weekends can be a right old high.

Yesterday our eldest foster child had a Sunday meltdown. 

Meltdowns happen. Don't go into fostering thinking it's a bed of roses, you have to have a bit of backbone at times to go along with a good heart and mind.

Eldest was triggered by nothing we could pinpoint, the likeliest cause being a build-up of awareness of all the injustices and bad luck that had come their way down the years through no fault of the child.

It would make me mad, you'd have to be on Seratonin not to get het up too. 

So the child let loose and aimed the frustration at us, because we are the only people the child trusts could take it and still be there for the child.

Child was furious, cantankerous - even threw something (a magazine, and not in anyone's direction).

It was a draining morning for us, and we felt bruised for the rest of the day. We soaked it all up, never confronted, maintained all the de-escalation techniques Blue Sky train us in.

For the child though the outlet was just what was needed.

Child finished the rant and galloped upstairs slamming the bedroom door behind.

An hour later the previously frantic child emerged, all smiles and cheer; brought down and washed up the plates that had gathered in the bedroom and…

…asked if there were any jobs needed doing.

Okay, the child, wanted paying, but no-one, not even Karl Marx himself would see the child's capitalism as anything but gilded. Child was back.

So. Where and what is Heaven?

Right here, right now. It doesn't get any better than this;

Here I sit with another day of jobs ahead but with a few moments to myself, moments to reflect and enjoy an important job done to the best of one's ability.

If anyone wants come and find me in Heaven, they can pull up a chair at my kitchen table right now and have half of my sausage and brown sauce sandwich. 

But be warned.

It has a splash of Tabasco to get one going...


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