Last week, I went into a local specialty pet store to buy Leo his food. (I bought one normal-sized bag six weeks ago, when I adopted him, and he’s just now finished it.) They had this whole little rack of toys sitting there, and Leo was being adorable and polite, so I decided to get him a new toy. There was this furry yellow Big Bird-lookin’ toy that made a little squeak when you push on it hard enough. I never in a million years thought Leo would be big enough or strong enough to make it squeak.
So I bought the Big Bird, which was a very fortunate thing, because it turned out to be Leo’s soulmate. Seriously Leo has found his soulmate at the age of 14 weeks, and I’m still looking at 26 years. Not fair. But Leo freakin’ loves this thing. He totes it around the house in his mouth all day. He hates having to set it down. They’re BFF. Sometimes I get jealous of the Big Bird toy.
It’s also lovely because now my apartment has its very own soundtrack. The soundtrack goes like this: “squeak squeak squeak SQUEEEEEEEEEAK!!! squeak squeak SQUEAK squeak SQUEEEEEEEEEAK!!!” all day long. It’s horrifically annoying. And I can’t take the toy away because it’s Leo’s soulmate, and I’m afraid if he can’t keep it he’ll spend the rest of his life searching, like his mommy, and he’ll blame me and hate me for it and wear black lipstick and skip school and start smoking speed in his early teens. Parenting is so complicated.
My friend Marta and I had a lovely brunch in Capitol Hill this morning, and then we took Leo to play at a nearby park. The park was gorgeous, and he was in absolute heaven! They had this wide fountain thing with only a few inches of water, that Leo could play in, and he enjoyed skipping around and jumping in and out of the water. At one point, he stood up on the ridge of the fountain, got a running start toward the end, and sailed halfway across the sidewalk. It was probably the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. We all applauded. By the time we left, we’d attracted a full-on audience. People just stopped to watch Leo play in the fountain. He’s that cute. I should have set down an empty guitar case for tips.
Between “raising” Leo and watching a gazillion episodes of Jon & Kate Plus Eight, I am now officially obsessed with the idea of raising kids of my own. I mean, I’ve wanted kids since I was a teenager, but now I’m just in complete and total maternal instinct mode. I spent a bunch of this weekend researching the possibility of adopting a kid from overseas (from all I’ve read, it’s very difficult for single women to adopt in the US), and it’s still an option, but I think maybe right now I’m too young to commit to raising a child on my own for its entire life. So now I have a new idea: foster parenting. I know it’s really stressful, but it’ll give me a chance to be a “mother” without making the lifelong commitment, and maybe make a tiny positive difference for a kid. I know there a billion emotional issues involved, and I haven’t made a decision either way yet — I need to pray about it a lot still, but I’m definitely in info-gathering mode. Does anyone have any experience with fostering? I’d love to hear about it, pros and cons. I’ve done a ton of reading, but there’s nothing like hearing personal experiences.