It's Saturday afternoon, the sun is out. The French windows are open for the first time this year, April, not bad.
I was drowsing on our swing seat with my iPad hot on my lap, other half watching sport in a darkened front room.
Birds are singing, there's been the odd buzz from an optimistic bee, or maybe it was just a bluebottle, whatever, the sounds are lovely.
There's one extra sound which beats the lot. It's coming from the downstairs back room.
The room where we keep the family PC and XBox and the tubs of Lego and Brio and assorted toys. Having the toys and play stuff downstairs means we can keep an eye.
I could hear the sound as I drowsed because the French windows were open.
The sound lifted my spirits almost up there with the first time our own children said "Mama"
It was the sound...
...of our current foster child...
First time I've heard her hum, I think.
While I'm on the subject, you can be offered newborn babies yet to say "Mama". Up to you if you want to take the offer, as always.
Oh blimey, can I tell you about one we were nearly offered? It was a baby who hadn't been born yet. The very upsetting story was that a female prisoner serving several years for a crime that wasn't disclosed to us had become pregnant. In a womens prison. She'd been in prison for nearly two years.
You tell me.
Not only that, she'd managed to keep her pregnacy secret from the prison guards until she was close to giving birth. All the services involved; the prison service, probation, the police, social services were lined up ten deep to make sure the 'parents' would never locate their child and the foster carers would be safe from anyone knocking on their door. The child would eventually be adopted, but it's us foster carers who step in whenever a child needs a home pronto. We allowed our names to go forward but the baby went elsewhere. I hope things turned out alright for him or her, the baby will be three years old by now. I wonder what they are planning to tell the child when old enough?
Back to our child.
She is still humming, I can hear her now. She's been humming for half an hour. I don't know exactly what she's doing, drawing maybe, or having a game with the Lego characters, but she's humming while she does it. I'm nosy and I like to keep up with what they're doing, so I'll find an excuse soon to go in and see, maybe I'll cut up an apple and take it in to her.
She's humming the hum of someone who is content with whatever their life is like when they start humming.
This isn't big, it's huge.
When your foster child laughs they're happy, but happy only lasts a bit longer than the laugh. What we are after is contentment.
A mind free from turmoil and filled with either postive things or maybe just plain nothing.
I'd be the first to admit I don't get many moments of contentment myself, there always seems to be something to worry about. If a foster child asked me how to have a peaceful mind, I'm not sure I shouldn't say "Don't ask me". That said I don't think my busy mind is as bleak and turbulent as the average foster child.
But here's this young girl humming a tuneless hum for thirty minutes now. I might start humming myself, because like a lot of us, I'm contented when everyone else in the house is contented.
I'd start humming except that the woman who was coming to buy the bike I'm selling on eBay said she'd be here at 2.00 and it's nearly half past.
Maybe I fell asleep and missed her.
Maybe it was a scam.
There's always something to worry about.
Foster child still humming though.