Looking back on my childhood, I realize my brothers and I won the Parent Powerball! My mom and dad are high school sweethearts who recently celebrated 50 years of marriage. They raised three children with a dedication to each of them like no other. But as grandparents, they have taken that dedication to a whole new level.
One of my favorite events with my parents and children is a little something we call “Hotel Grandma/Grandpa.” Despite living only 10 miles away and seeing them weekly, a stay at “Hotel G & G” is looked upon with the excitement and anticipation of Christmas morning. Each child gets their turn, with mom, to stay at this luxury hotel for a night. Important details like snacks, flavor of ice cream, movie choice and dinner menu are all set beforehand. For me, the excitement lies in all the “feels” — relaxing in the comfort of my childhood home, the hugs from my mom and dad, their attention and time to talk, a warm meal made with love, comfy blankets and couch snuggles.
Keep your focus
Dear foster parents this is EXACTLY what you all do — child after child. You open your home and become the Parent Powerball for those children. You allow them to be covered in all the “feels” of love, safety, kindness and attention. The children are able to exhale, relax and rely on you — to simply be children. The provisions of couch snuggles, warm meals or a simple snack should never be overlooked or underestimated. You show them every day what love and commitment looks and feels like. The books you read, the bubble bath you run or the countless moments of just listening to them, are each etched on their hearts and minds. Keep your focus on those daily things you do, without much thought, but with great purpose.
The ordinary is really the extraordinary
Recently a good friend of mine (Corin Plucinski) reminded me about focus with one simple question, “Why are you smiling?” This question causes me to stop for a moment, every day, and find an answer — an answer that almost always comes in the memory of something small that I had overlooked. It reminds me again that the small is really the big, and the ordinary is really the extraordinary. The comfort, love, security, reassurance and perseverance we show our children every day is what needs to be focused on and celebrated!
So I ask you, why are YOU smiling?
– Betsy DuKatz, licensed foster parent
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services recruits, trains and provides support services for foster families. The need for foster parents in Wisconsin is great. Contact us to receive information about becoming a foster or adoptive parent, or visit our website to learn more.