27th Mar, 2008

Kids of all assorted sizes

With my oldest son’s birthday recently, and oldest daughter’s just a few days later, I tried to organise a time we could all get together to celebrate and share a cake. With three grown up children all leading busy social lives it wasn’t that easy, but we settled on Sunday brunch, giving everyone the opportunity to spend the afternoon as they pleased.

Portia wanted to make her famous all-time favourite gooey chocolate cake, but I suggested she bake a cinnamon tea cake instead, more suitable to finish off a morning meal. She’s really becoming great at this cake-baking! The rest was easy – hubby cooked sausages, bacon, onions and mushrooms on the barbecue, whilst I did grilled tomatoes and poached eggs in the kitchen, and grabbed an apprentice to make lots of toast. While all that was under way we ate warm ham and cheese croissants with orange juice for an appetiser. Breakfast was enjoyed by all, and there was plenty of time afterwards to just hang out together.

When we manage to have all the kids (and partners) together for a meal like this, it really reminds me how great it is being a mum to kids of all ages. Sometimes I get pretty bogged down in Portia’s and Seth’s needs and issues and the constancy of caring for a baby, so it’s a nice change to have all the big kids around the kitchen table, chatting about their jobs and studies, homes, pets, hobbies and holidays, comparing movies and books, and catching up on family gossip. I look at these adult children of ours and see how happy they are in their lives, how close they are to each other, how much we all enjoy each other’s company, and I feel amazingly fortunate.

I recall that is why I started fostering in the first place, sixteen years ago – to share my family’s good fortune.

My older kids have taken on different roles with the young foster kids who have been in our family. Portia and Seth are lucky to have three older siblings (and now their partners too) as mentors and positive role models. I watch now as the two of them come and go, not prepared to sit all morning chatting like the adults of the family, but pausing on their way through the kitchen to tell a big brother or sister the latest news of school or basketball, scrapes or friendships. Little Angel crawls about at everyone’s feet, but every few moments someone picks him up for a bit of a play, or to share a tidbit with him. Seth grabs him to chuck him in the air and makes him chortle gleefully.

I’ve been a mum now for twenty-seven years and fostering for more than half that time. There are no happier times for me than having all the family around. I am a lucky woman.


Your reasons for fostering are very similar to mine and it is very refreshing to read such positivity about being surrounded by kids. You’re an inspiration.

Thank you Bek,
Your comment, and the fact that people are still dropping by, encourages me to keep blogging – I’m giving it another go!

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