As a foster mom, I’ve been called a lot of unsavory names. I hesitate to share them, to repeat them. But I also hesitate not to. 5 and 10 year old babies are saying these words. Knowing these words.
We as adults should know too. It’s hard to know though.
Not just the words. But the reality that these little ones hurt so much inside that they want to hurt you. And so they try. With ugly racial slurs and mean spiteful adjectives.
I try not to take them personally. And some are so far from reality that it’s impossible to even take them seriously.
But they are said seriously. With fire in their eyes and many decibels in their voices. And that is taken seriously. That anger. That hurt.
So often though, I focus on separating myself from the words these precious kids use. My precious kids call me. I build walls to block the lies.
I’m not a wh*re. I’m not a motherf*cker. I don’t eat poop.
Important reminders of reality. Of who I am.
These walls protect me. I can listen through them without hearing. I can love through them without expecting in return.
But then. Then there’s something different being said. Truth in a quiet moment. Yes. You can come in.
My often caustic 5 year old foster son is sick. His illness sweetening his sour. And allowing him to see me. To know me. To name me.
A simple act I’ve done a thousand times gets a different response. I hand him crackers and he looks me in the eye.
“You are a good foster mom.”
Tomorrow will surely bring more slurs but today. Today I will let those walls down and soak in that truth.
Not just that I’m a good foster mom, but that he knows it. He feels it.