Now Jewel never has been and I suspect never will be warm to the idea of sharing her growing up pictures, but since they’re relatively small and indistinct, perhaps she’ll get over it. This is Jewel at six months. She was quite the attraction at church and people were always asking to hold her but she’d have none of it. Our ward had about thirty adults and children who had been adopted and new arrivals were duly noted and extra exciting. One of the group, a young married sister, said she had everything any girl could want: a natural tan, naturally curly hair, and dark beautiful eyes with extra long eyelashes.
One of the ward families had adopted five children and the dad would tease me relentlessly -- when were we going to get another one (as good Mormons are supposed to do, you know). I got so I’d say I got my six kids’ worth in Jewel, but he continued to tease and make me feel uncomfortable. Their last, number six, was a major handful. Their home had windows that were about four feet off the ground, yet the little guy at age three, when put down for a nap, crawled out the window and was found downtown (miles away), on his big wheel! (It was downhill, so the ease was what got him that far.) After that I would say every Sunday, “So Dennis ... when are you getting the next one?” and his face would turn beet red.
Another of the adoptee group, a grandma, made the statement that the best thing they ever got their kids was a playhouse, hours of unsupervised entertainment for them and their friends. Sounded good to me and we outfitted ours with a table and chairs, cupboard (the one in my current playroom), dishes (plenty left for today's kids to play with), play phone, play t.v., play piano, but I actually hated it and was glad to finally see it go. The biggest attraction it created was Jewel and friends using the utensils to shovel gravel and dirt inside, through the door and the windows, where it stayed until mom shoveled all of it back out! Repeated ad nauseam. They also thought it was a great idea to drag everything out … and leave it out. When it was sold, and the man and his wife came to get it, we all stood around trying to figure out how to load it. The biggest problem was it wouldn’t fit flat into the truck bed and created too big of tipping load for the adults to deal with. They almost gave up the deal when Grant who was seven, piped up, “Why don’t you use the camper jacks.” (Direct quote from my journal.)
Notice Butch in the foreground. Butch met an untimely death when Jewel was three, and when she noticed his absence and learned why, she said, “He can’t be dead! I love him!!” It was a Sunday morning. We’d been packing up Saturday and planned to move on Monday, but in our sadness we decided to just move the beds up that day after church and sleep there as a diversion to get our minds off it.
Tune in for the next installment, the last Sunday in April.