- Family and Parenting»
- Foster Care
Coming to Anne's House
I ask the social worker if this is my new house and she says that it is. Even in the darkness, I can tell that it is a large house with two stories. Every window has a light glowing through curtains and my new house looks like a toy with a light bulb inside. The long walkway to the front door has a wall on the right made of cement that is rough and can hurt you really bad if you bump against it. They should call this a “hurt wall.” On the left side, there is a swing hanging from a beam with big bolts. I sit in the swing and the social worker gasps and in a whispery yell says: “DANIEL!” I get up quickly and the swing keeps swinging, making squeaky noises that tell on you. We step up one step to the front porch which is a very small porch. Next to the front door is a cloudy window so you cannot see inside. I try to see inside anyway. A woman with short red hair and glasses opens the door with a big smile. She looks really happy to see me. We go into a wide hall with a wall at the end and on the right is a stairway. I want to see the rooms but I only see walls and a stairway. On my left, there is a large room. In the room is a Christmas tree, a giant mirror with a golden frame and a huge wood cupboard with glass doors. I have never seen anything so old that is not broken. It must be valuable. This is my first time in a house with a Christmas tree. I wonder if it is real. I wonder if they put presents under the tree. I hope I can stay here until Christmas.
I want to walk around and peek behind walls. The social worker puts one of her hands on my shoulder and points to who I know is the mom. “Hello Daniel, I am Anne.” She puts her hand where the social workers hand is and leads me into the kitchen which is on the other side of the wall. Anne pulls out a chair and kind of pushes me into it. She asks me if I would like something to drink. I figure it would be like grape Kool Aid or fake orange juice, but I say: “Do you have chocolate milk?’ Anne laughs and says she could fix some just for me. While she is fixing chocolate milk, three girls come into the room. Two teenage girls, a tall one with red hair, and a girl who is as tall as me. Then, a little girl comes in and hugs me. The red haired girl says: “I am Ivy, this is Lea and the hugger is Nina. I am the BIRTH child. Can we have chocolate milk?” “If you fix it for yourself and Nina.” Anne says. Nina takes a chair next to me, staring and smiling. She puts her body on the table so she can look at my face. She won't stop staring at me.
Anne brings my chocolate milk and sits down with me and the social worker. She doesn’t say anything to Nina who is still staring at me. There is a yellow pad of paper and a pen which Anne picks up. I figure she is going to write down rules and ask me if I am going to delete things on the computer. I like to delete things. Or maybe, someone told her about the hole I made in the wall with my pencil. I didn’t mean to pick at it until I could stick my whole hand in it. It was an accident. I hope she doesn’t ask me about that stuff. Not in front of the girls. Anne says: “I want to know about you, so I am going to ask you some questions.”
“What is your favorite color?” “Red,” I say. I tell her my favorite food is pizza, I like to watch TV and play video games, I like science, I know how to swim and I hate peas and mushrooms. “You are only allowed one hate.” Anne says while she smiles. I think that is OK. I can eat peas if I have to. I don’t think I have ever told anyone my favorite color is red.
Later, I am in my bed and she is sitting on the edge of the bed. I am playing with a rubber band and a paper clip. I always pick things up and play with them. Anne is reading to me. I have never had anyone read to me while I was in my bed. My teachers read to me in school, but I was sitting at a desk. She is older than my real mother, but not as old as a grandmother. I like the sound of her voice. Almost like a man’s voice, but not quite a man’s voice. The kind of voice you don’t want to mess with (ha-ha). It looks like her eyes are closed because she is looking down at the book. My leg is under the covers and touching her back. She doesn’t seem to notice. I think Anne is going to take good care of me.
It took a long time to finish the first chapter. I wasn’t listening the whole time. I wasn’t bored, just not paying attention. Anne stands up and pulls the blanket back a little. “Where are your sheets?” I don’t know what sheets are. “Get out of your bed honey.” I am in my underwear but I do what she says. She shows me that under the blanket is a smooth blanket. It is called a “sheet.” I am supposed to sleep on top of one sheet and underneath the other. Anne separates the sheets and pats the bottom sheet and I get back into bed, between the sheets. She pulls the blankets up to my face and KISSES me on the head. “Goodnight sweetheart,” she says. “My bedroom is right there, you can even see the corner of my bed and I will sleep with my door open so I can hear you.” Anne leaves my room. The sheets feel cold. As soon as she is doing other things and cannot hear me, I close the door and wrap the blanket around me with no sheets.
I am a burrito, not a sandwich. My lights are turned off, but my room still has light because there is a streetlight outside my room. I have a moon all the time. The light goes through the white curtains. The blue walls and blue night make my room like the ocean. I am a fish deep in the sea. This is the first time I have curtains in my room. I didn’t know they put curtains in kids’s rooms. I hear noises because I am quiet. Someone gets up to use the toilet. I hear flushing and a door opening and closing. There is a soft clicking noise I hear after the toilet is quiet. What could it be? It’s the clock. I am hungry. I can’t sleep. There is so much food in the house. I forgot to tell her I like Captain Crunch. I would like to look at the food when no one is watching me. Maybe I could go downstairs now. I open my burrito bed and go to the door which I open just a crack. Susie the dog barks and that’s how come they can leave all that food in the cupboard without locking it up. How can I sleep? I am so hungry. If I get up, the dog will bark and growl and Anne will get up to save me from the dog and ask why I am up. Maybe she will give me a snack. I open the door again and the dog does not bark, nothing happens. I go downstairs to the kitchen and turn on a light. Nobody comes. I open the door to the food cupboard. I have never seen so much food. There are two humungous cases of granola bars. There are probably a thousand granola bars in a case! I take a case of granola bars and go back to my room. I open the case and take about five out. I put the rest of the granola bars in my dresser drawer and hide the box in the closet. I go back to bed with the five granola bars.
The next day, I eat all my food with everybody so they wont suspect me. I am very full with granola bars. Later, when I go back to my dresser, the granola bars are gone. Somebody took all of them and left only two.