Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Kate Gosselin, You Are SO Wrong!

You know, sometimes we go along for weeks or even months at a time, where adoption is never mentioned or thought much about.  The kids are older, we are out of "adoption mode" as we feel our family is as complete as God wanted it to be, and in many ways we have moved on to Stage 2 of our life together.

This week has brought issues to the forefront, and once again we have had adoption related conversations almost daily around the kitchen table.

We live in a largely rural area, where the Asian population is minimal.  I mean, less than 150 people out of 40,000.  Our three sons are part of a super minority.  Most of the time it is a non-issue, this week though, Kenny had an encounter while volunteering that reminded us of our difference, and it happened to occur during a week when former reality star Kate Gosselin also got called out for the same thing.  While working, one of the local older teens fulfilling community service requirements didn't like Kenny  offering minor direction as the teen was going about something incorrectly.  By all reports, Kenny was not bossy and simply explained why we didn't do the work that particular way.  This teen who was with other "friends" for whom he needed to show off decided it would be funny to make slant eyes behind Kenny's back and get a laugh out of his peers.

His laughter didn't last long when he found himself on the receiving end of a tongue lashing from Angela!!  She put him in his place, telling him he ought to be ashamed of himself for doing something so racist, and it made him look ignorant.  I didn't witness this, instead I heard of it later on second hand.  Angela and I spoke at length about the episode later, and she simply cannot understand why anyone would make fun of another person for their skin color or eye shape.  It makes no sense to her at all.  It also disturbs her to see her brothers whom she deeply loves being teased or taunted.  She has witnessed this on several occasions with all three boys, and she worries that they are made fun of but she and Olesya are not.

How does one explain such juvenile behavior when someone who is in the public light whose own CHILDREN are Asian does exactly the same thing?

I am sorry, Kate Gosselin, your immaturity and disdain for your children's heritage shined through. I have to put this bluntly, you are an idiot. You can justify it all you want in People magazine, but it was wrong...completely and totally wrong.  Why don't you just call them "little gooks" and be done with it? What you did is equally offensive, regardless of how you've tried to normalize it.  I would bet you $100 that if you caught a kid on a playground making fun of your child's race, you'd chew them out, but somehow it is acceptable for you to do it?

I am well aware that everyone gets made fun of for something.  We all got teased as children.  I was called Four Eyes, Smack, and a few other lovely terms.  I was lucky in that most of the teasing was fairly benign.  I know it has somehow become an acceptable part of our "kid culture" to say "kids'll be kids" and you just need to buck up and handle it.  What a double standard though that we accept this from our children as just part of being a kid, but we immediately call for firing someone like Paula Deen for saying a derogatory word about African Americans.  We hold adults to a standard we don't establish for our youth, but when do you think that behavior or language is overlooked so it became ingrained?  If we don't call our kids out on it now, they grow into adults we then hold accountable for something that as children they were forgiven for.  After all, they're only kids.

Adoption conversation entered our life through biology and health yesterday as well.  Wow...talk about some tough stuff.  Try having an educational conversation about the damage caused by alcoholism when sitting at your very table are two children whose mom and dad were both so severely disabled by it that one of them committed a heinous act in front of those very children and then had their rights taken away.  Try talking about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome when several of your children were at risk of having it, and one it is still questionable about whether it has played a part in his struggles in life.  Or try talking about Sexually Transmitted Diseases and the consequences of unplanned pregnancy with five orphans sitting in front of you whose parents couldn't take care of them or may not be alive to do so.

The living proof of the validity of these concerns was sitting right next to us.  It takes the conversation to a whole different level, one I doubt few would expect.  Try answering if you think someone's birth mom could have ever gotten sober enough to take care of them, or try looking your son in the eye as he asks, "So mom, do YOU think I have FAS...is that why my brain is so messed up?"

We are matter of fact about it all, as is our custom.  We talk about possibilities, we talk about mistakes made...and yes we do call it a mistake...I do not dress it up in pretty language, we talk about how alcoholism often runs in families, about risk factors, about what is unknown history for some of our kids.  I don't ever try to help them view it through rose colored glasses.  It is not my job to hide their history from them, it is my job to help them understand who they are and where they came from, but most importantly who they can become and who they don't automatically have to become.  The conversation grows quieter, more hesitant, and ever more real.  It is what it needs to be, but it is still very difficult to work through all of it.  It is times like these, no matter how much heartache it brings me, when I am glad we are having these sorts of discussions here at home, and they are not in a crowded school room surrounded by 30 other kids as they are trying to process this sort of information that hits so close to home.

Yea, it's been a long, hard week already, and it isn't even half over.

Monday, June 24, 2013

What Is It, Really?

Oh man, this is a total rambler of a post...close the window if you wish!

After my last post, I made a decision to take a Facebook hiatus for a bit, as I try to re-center myself and gain some perspective on a lot of different things in my life.  I was going to set a fixed time frame, but decided against it because I just want it to be what it needs to be.  I might pop on for a quick post or two, but I am not going to read anyone else's posts for now.  I am also making a concerted effort to limit my emails, though I know I can't just walk away from that form of communication.  However, I am going to view it more like I do my phone, which I know drives everyone nuts.  I have long refused to be a slave to my phone, but I haven't quite done that with my email.  Just because someone wants me right now, doesn't always mean I have the time, or am even in the frame of mind, to be able to respond immediately.  I know...how Un-21st Century of me.  So what?  I will no longer offer excuses for it.  With the advent of current technology, we all lost our ability to control the when and how of when we interact with others.  I love people, I love socializing, and I dearly love my friends, but I don't want to feel tethered 24/7.  I know some love it, I have come to recognize that I don't, and letting technology dictate its influence in my life rather than the reverse is totally wrong.

Somehow, life got away from me.  Somewhere along the way, it became about the constant doing and busyness that I never wanted, and that needs to stop. It became about being so concerned that everyone else was happy, that I was no longer happy.  With five kids, it will never be anyone's idea of "slow", I am not naive enough to believe that, but it has to be better than this.

I went for a walk this evening, something I haven't squeezed into my schedule for quite a while, and I realized I haven't made any room for God to speak to me, and that is a good chunk of what has been missing in my life the past year or more.  Gradually, my life became too much about "being church" or "doing school" rather than being with God, or being Mom.  It happened a little at a time, without me even realizing it.  I could care less, in the long run, about "being church", and though it is important, teaching school should always take a back seat to being a mom. But I am, and always will be, passionate about being engaged with the Spirit and my family in ways that are meaningful.

I read a quote that spoke to me today in the recent issue of Guideposts.  "Spirituality doesn't look like sitting down and meditating.  Spirituality looks like folding the towels in a sweet way and talking kindly to the people in the family even though you've had a long day."

My spirituality, and I think I can safely say the spirituality of our entire family, is not the "sit and meditate"  type, though I'd never knock that for those for whom that works.  My spirituality isn't as pretty, artful, or even "churchy".   It is practical, practiced daily (and often failed at), and witnessed in things most people would never regard as "spiritual", probably because it is too "blue collar".  Funny though, Jesus was a blue collar kind of guy, so I guess my spirituality doesn't have to look like anything different than what it is.

I need my simple,  unsophisticated faith.  I need to lean on it, I need to experience the sacred daily, and I need it to help lift me out of the gutter when things feel so icky...even if others don't realize it feels icky.

Things are growing harder right now.  Teaching the kids is much harder, making ends meet is harder, church life is harder, thinking about the future is harder.  I need to simplify it all.  I need to re-learn a few things, things I think I have forgotten.  It's never going to feel easy, but there have been times in my life when it hasn't felt so burdensome.  I am realizing as well that I have been quite unsuccessful in the ongoing daily dialogue I need to have with myself to pick myself up.

You see, homeschooling is one thing.  You'll have those up and down days, that is natural.  Homeschooling our five is the richest reward I could ever want, but if I am truthful it is also an activity in which I have failure thrown in my face every. single. day.  There is no blame to be laid, but our kids struggle in daily tasks in ways others don't.  Yes, I know they succeed in other ways, so totally true.  But I have to be my own cheerleader when yet again I read something Matt has written and after 4 years of hard work it shows relatively little improvement.  I have to encourage myself to not see failure every single time I sit and listen to Kenny read or watch him try to spell ANYTHING, or things don't stick with Olesya with math when I ask her a simple multiplication question.  I feel like a failure that Josh continues to be filled with anxiety off and on and has to carry his blankie EVERYWHERE, or when things don't click with Angela as they should, or when Olesya hasn't made the progress in closeness of relationships that I dearly want for her to have.  I have to ensure I have the stamina to read every single word on every single page with every single child...stop...explain...question...re-explain...find a new synonym they know...re-inquire to make sure they have "it"...then go on to...the next sentence.  Add in failure in other areas of my life right now, and it is...well...icky.  It's been a year and a half or so of failure over and over again in many things I have attempted, and throw that in with my everyday life, and I think I am just too pooped to get up and try anew right now.

When we ask, though, God lifts us up.  As I asked God this past week about my online life and gave it deep thought, I wanted some clear guidance about what activities I should or shouldn't be taking part in.  There have been several times in the past when I have seriously considered closing the blog down for public view, and keeping it up privately solely for scrapbook replacement.  Today I received a totally unexpected email from someone I have never spoken to or written.  She discovered the blog through a homeschool forum I participate in...the one that at times is so overwhelming when I read the posts from other very high achieving homeschoolers.

It was in this place...a place that has caused me many hours of self-flagellation.... where someone discovered our blog and then read it.  Yea, read almost all of it she said (Whew!  I've never even gone back and done that!).  This mom emailed me to share how much she appreciated what I had written, and   that so much of it resonated with her even though I assume from her wording that she hasn't adopted nor homeschools special needs kids.   In a post she made on the forum separately, she highly complimented my teaching style, which just may have been exactly what I needed to hear as we have tried...and failed...and tried...and might make it with a new Biology curriculum. I needed that virtual hug today.  I also needed the kind question or two from a dear friend earlier today, trying to tune in, not sure what the station is for me right now.  I wish I could explain it.  I was so grateful for the experiences today, as I needed to know that even though life itself can be very, very hard, someone other than those under this roof tonight cares about me, appreciates me for whatever meager offerings I have to give, and understands there may be things they might  not quite understand about how challenging it can be to do what is mostly unseen work.

Unseen work and unseen God.  Isn't it funny how the things that can be the most important can also be invisible at times? Wouldn't it be terrific if we could just know somehow that our life had impacted someone in a way we never would have guessed?  It might help keep us motivated to continue doing whatever it is that we do, which is often seemingly insignificant.  If we only knew what it really is that we do that touches a heart, we might be less likely to give up on ourselves.  Alas, most often, we never discover that and it makes me wonder what activities have been abandoned that had far more of an impact than we ever might have suspected.

What is it, really, that makes us uniquely who we are...and how do we get so far off course?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Facebook Shame

I have spent a considerable amount of time lately 
re-evaluating my life.  I have been engaged in a lot of activities that were "must do" kinds of things, but not at all soul fulfilling.  I also realized that I have been falling prey to some not-so-nice thoughts, the sort of thing I ought to have long ago left behind.  I very much think it is due, in large part, to misplaced priorities and an encounter this weekend sort of woke me up to just how far I have strayed from what keeps me grounded and stable.  I also realized that the online world I enter every day isn't helping one little bit.

I think I am developing a case of Facebook Envy Syndrome.  It is not at all limited to Facebook, but it is a catch all that works well.  

Our culture screams at us over and over again that we need more, that we don't have enough, and what we do have is never good enough. We also find ourselves subjected to a lack of civility in our media and online encounters that is disheartening, and deeply disturbing.  It isn't getting better, it only gets worse the more we distance ourselves from one another in real life, and exist more and more in that netherworld of online encounters.  Being aware of how easy it is to get sucked in to marketing and media pressures, I realized years ago how much happier I seemed to be when I didn't hit the shopping malls regularly just to window shop.  I also realized how much less I seemed to "need" when I didn't watch commercial TV that told me over and over again that I just HAD to have some item.  So, I proceeded to cut out network TV with all its advertising, and enter shopping malls only on an "as needed basis", and it gradually made a huge difference in my perspective.  Then, along came Facebook, and its insidious effect slowly took hold.

You see, Facebook allows us to see only the best and brightest moments of someone's life.  We seldom share the day to day struggles, and it gives us a distorted view which we often use to contrast our own lives with.  I am not a jealous sort of person, and I truly don't envy anyone what they do or don't have.  I also have always considered my life pretty darned perfect in all the ways that are important.  But a gentle growing nasty little sense of discomfort has entered my life, and I am ashamed by how easily I fell for it.

A large part of my feelings of inadequacy comes from being part of the Well Trained Mind forum, a gigantic homeschool online support group where I have found some great guidance and suggestions...but where the majority of homeschoolers are academically way ahead of where we are, or where we ever will be.  These are the folks who are homeschooling to compete to get into the best colleges, who live and die by their kids' SAT scores, and where accomplishment after accomplishment is heralded.  

It is disheartening during the best of times, it is demoralizing during the worst.

There are the women accomplishing SO much with their kids, and on Facebook there are the women accomplishing SO much with their lives...degrees and business ownership, travels and success stories. There are photos of beautifully coifed women gathered with cute drinks with umbrellas raised for the camera.  There are huge backyard swimming pools and homes from House Beautiful.  There are the sweet, tender wives and moms who never fail to say the right thing, who post recipes and home design ideas, craft projects and homemade dresses for their fresh faced daughters whose hair is tied perfectly with matching ribbons.

It is a life I can't imagine, can't live up to, and don't really want. I know that.  So why is it getting to me?

Maybe because my heart is not in the right place, and needs to be readjusted.  My life doesn't look anything like that.  In fact, it doesn't look like anyone else's I know.  That can be quite awesome, actually, but it can also be a little lonely, and leave you lacking confidence.

I can't begin to explain how often lately I feel like a failure.  How I look around me and think I ought to be something other than who I am. How I wish I was a different, more polished sort of wife and mom for Dominick and the kids.  I am not that kind of person, and don't know where to begin to become one. I sometimes ask myself if I am just too lazy to do the work necessary to be "that" wife and mom.  Maybe that's the truth, I don't know.

This weekend we visited a friend in the hospital over in Denver, and it was a reminder of how to be real with one another.  It didn't matter that I was in a TShirt and Walmart jeans, and he was in a yellow hospital gown.  As I helped him snap up his sleeves and we spent time talking quietly about love, we were just two people there for each other.  It was a moment so antithetical to anything Facebook is all about.  It was raw and real, it was vulnerable and rich.

I need my life to get back to that place.  I used to live there, but lately...not so much. It hasn't all been about Facebook, there are other stressors in life that have distanced me from Spirit and Hope.  I need to stop comparing and start appreciating.  I need to stop feeling so disconnected and start reaching out.  I need to quit looking at everyone's best and realize that behind all that is just as much doubt, insecurity, fear, and concern as there is in my own life, just over different things. I need to remove myself from the anger and venom that gets spewed from opinionated and unkind rants, and offer up love and complete acceptance as often as possible without agenda and without need to confront anyone or force them to agree with me. The world needs a lot more of that.

When I start feeling this way, God always sends reminders, and it both lifts me and shames me a little at the same time.

Today Angela told me that she hopes one day she can be as strong and caring as I am.  She shared with me that she would have been afraid and uncomfortable to be with our friend alone with his fear and sorrow, and she wanted to grow up to be a person who would be able to stay beside someone and hold their hand while they cried and offer encouragement.  She said, "You are the best person I know, Mom. I don't know anyone who tries so hard to be there for people, even when it is hard because you are so busy with all of us.  You have a lot of guts, and a lot of kindness."
And I realized I am OK.

I read a Skype message Joshie left me this weekend when we missed one another, and he told me how much he loved me...more than I could love him!

And I realized I am OK.

I spent the day cleaning our office and finally emerged 3 hours later.  I looked out in the backyard this afternoon as all the boys were working hard moving a huge dirt pile while behind me Olesya is helping Dominick prepare dinner and not a complaint was heard from a single child, and I know I am blessed in a different kind of way...a way that is far more meaningful to me than all the other things combined.

And I realized I am OK.

I have known for years how dangerous it can be to keep my eyes on that which has little value, despite how our world might categorize it.  Sometimes, no matter how much we know something to be true, we slip here and there and fall back into old patterns.

The good thing is that awareness can lead to change, and now that I have caught myself I can switch gears.  After much thought, I have decided not to leave Facebook, but not to read newsfeeds often. Instead of contributing to the nastier side of online life, I will make a commitment to do my best to post uplifting comments, and I will go out of my way to use Facebook as a tool for complimenting and encouraging.  I will try to lift up the ordinary, and more often celebrate the mundane with gratitude.

I am also taking the next couple of weeks just for me.  I am going to be as removed from outer life as possible other than with Dominick and the kids, and I am going to refocus myself and dig around to find "me" again.  It's been a long while since I've seen "me".  I need to simply be for a spell.

Intentional living is hard.  Staying in that intentional place is even harder.

Monday, June 10, 2013

You Just Never Know

You just never know when something you say or do will ripple out in directions you'd never expect.  Angela and I are discovering the power of the written word all over again this week, as the post I wrote in which I shared Angela's adoption advice for parents adopting older kids went "mini-viral" in the international adoption community. Though it was written two months ago, somehow it took hold last week and spread in many directions, unbeknownst to me until I started receiving emails from complete strangers.

The past couple of days have brought surprising requests, as the blog post ended up in the hands of social workers and adoption agencies across the United States.  In fact, Bethany Christian Services liked the post so much they asked if they could reprint it in a future issue of their magazine, LifeLines, which has 40,000 subscribers!!  It appears that it will be used in their January 2014 issue.  I have heard from 3 other adoption agencies asking for permission to share it with prospective adoptive parents, and a hosting agency/ministry which may even want  us to come and speak at a host family training, and video tape it to be used at other trainings.

You just never know...

It completely surprised Angela, as I had told her I had shared what we had talked about, but it wasn't a big deal in either of our minds so it wasn't something either of us expected.  She was quite pleased, and said it was "so cool" that other families might be helped.  

On another note, I spent an enjoyable, relatively quiet weekend at our church conference annual meeting, where I met folks from all over Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.  I learned a lot about our wider church ministry, but I learned a couple of things about myself as well, and came to a few conclusions.

#1 - My life is louder and more complicated than I thought.  It is still far quieter than many might expect with 5 kids, but it definitely caught me a bit off guard when we arrived home and I had to ramp up quickly to get back in Family Mode after a more subdued, calm few days away.  I love the energy of family life, I deeply love my entire family, but being away and returning helps me understand why folks sometimes look at our life and are exhausted for us! Hahaha!  But it is such a wonderful, love filled exhaustion.  There can be nothing better than coming home and being gleefully and excitedly greeted by so many warm arms wanting to wrap around you, and so many wide smiles awaiting your arrival.  

#2 - I have a need to draw stronger boundaries around my time, and what I am willing to do.  I have
spent an inordinate amount of time the past year and a half or so engaged in activities that were necessary, but not always soul filling.  Soul stretching, yes, but not what I would always wish to be doing.  I am going to be very intentional about the things I agree to do in the coming months.  I need a little less "have to" and a  little more "want to".  We all go through periods where we find ourselves needing to step up, but I've done a lot of that recently and now it is time to step back a little so I can find a little more heart space and get filled up again.

#3 -  There is something warm and wonderful about compatibility...with friends or with family.  Being with those who are "easy" and flexible is a gift that we don't always have.  Being you, and being accepted for being you is just so nice.  I am lucky to find it in unexpected corners of my life, and I appreciate it so much.

#4 - As I am growing older, I may not yet have figured out what I want to be, but I am making progress in figuring out what I don't want to be.  That's progress, isn't it?

#5 - I need more patience.  I have changed a lot in this area, but could use a passel more. Maybe mostly with myself.

#6 - I don't find God in the traditional places.  The Spirit is predictable for me only in its unpredictable appearances.  Every once in awhile worship is the place I encounter God, but more often than not it is in the car on a mountain drive, at the kitchen table, in an embrace, or in an email.  I no longer feel "less than" because of that, and in fact would prefer it that way.

#7 - I like my life. A lot.  I like what and who I am surrounded by, I like what I am engaged in on a daily basis, and I like the simplicity of it.  I have no need for much more than I have, and I think that my life is just about perfect...for me.  I know it is not many people's cup of tea, but it is mine.

#8 -  My life can also be frustrating, difficult, challenging, and hard work.  But #7 makes all of that much, much easier.

I have another trip to Denver ahead of me this coming weekend, a Girls Trip as we go to celebrate the graduation of a friend of Angela and Olesya's.  I am so glad we are doing this, and we are taking along another friend of ours who we all enjoy being with very much.  I was explaining to a friend this weekend that we have priorities that others might not understand, but I am blessed that Dominick and I are both on the same page about so many things.  We have to be careful with our money, and this trip might appear frivolous to an outsider, but to Dominick and I it is important.  The young adult friend of the girls was originally their camp counselor their first summer home, and this young lady has gone out of her way to show great love and friendship to the girls, writing them many times a year, driving an hour to see them when she comes home, and meeting us in Denver just to say hello.  Her commitment to the girls has been very touching, and we feel a strong need to help model for all the kids that if you want great friendships in your life, you have to go out of your way to show you care...you have to show up for the important things and share in both joy and sorrow.  A lifetime of no relationship modeling (or poor modeling) means extra effort must be made during these precious few years.  Olesya and Angela are so excited, and their friend is quite touched that we are coming that far to share her big day with her.  The girls have been debating what to get her for a graduation gift, and I love how thoughtful they always are with everyone.

So, you just never know when a friend will come into your life.  You just never know when you will have some important insight.  And you just never know when something will turn out to be more important than you ever imagined.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Summer of Rest

Summer has finally arrived, the sprinklers were shoosh shoosh shooshing outside my window this morning, and the kids are slept in.  I think today is a day off for all of us, as I need a little time to regroup, and it's just too pretty out to work.  Josh has been wanting to go play tennis, so we went  to the park, the Dollar Store for a popsicle, the library and now we are all cooling off and enjoying a lazy afternoon doing NOTHING but reading and watching a little TV.  I am going to get ready to leave for the weekend, as I will be attending the Annual Meeting of the local conference of our church denomination over in Golden, CO.  I will be kidless and husbandless, and will be talking with adults for an entire 2 days...imagine that! Hahaha!

I thought I had a great start to our summer school session, but ran up against a total road block.  Our science for Angela, Matt and Kenny is just not going to work.  We have spent a couple of weeks working with it, and I am not going to continue to beat my head against a wall with a curriculum that doesn't help them retain a single thing.  You know, the longer I homeschool, the more I realize the importance of working with very good materials, and the more I see how typical textbooks are anything  BUT good.  I had a long conversation with our Resource Consultant at school about my science dilemmas and textbooks in general, and she brought up how the textbooks from the 1970's and 1980's were much clearer to understand, had less "fluff" and less distraction on the pages, and didn't expect high school to be "miniature college" and allowed a student to build knowledge gradually rather than trying to cram it all down their throats in one year.  As she said, and I am seeing it as well, there is so much peripheral information provided in the average textbook these days that the learners can't see what the overall important points are.  I am glad she brought this up, because I thought it was me!  I have a fairly high literacy rate, and when I am struggling to retain information in the kids' textbooks or when I have to read and re-read a section to be able to explain the main points, there is a problem.

So, sadly, I am off in search of something better, and am feeling a tad bit frustrated.

The good thing about homeschooling is that if something is not working, you can shift gears quickly.  The bad thing is that you have choices, sometimes too many, and that can make it difficult.  Actually, in this case, being secular homeschoolers with a public school charter leaves us few choices.  Having English Language Learners adds to the difficulty.  I have a couple of ideas in mind and have ordered a sample to see if it will work, we'll have to wait and see.  I hope so, as I'd like to get past the research stage for this next school year.  But I am emphatic about finding the right texts and resources, as it makes all the difference in the world for our kids who are trying to make up lost ground.  We've done very well thus far, and I believe it has been in large part due to very carefully selecting what we are working with.

I am declaring this summer to be a summer of rest, peace and fun.  We have little scheduled beyond summer camps and California in August, and I want us to lay around a bit, do a little school, and enjoy one another to the fullest.   I want to get back to my harp, which has sat untouched as other things filled my life, I want to read a lot of books this summer for pleasure, I want to take walks, stay up late and snuggle on the couch with Dominick and the kids, make S'mores and go exploring around our area.  I want to have as little paperwork or research as I can possibly have, and I want to forget the challenges of school work for a little while.  I want time with friends, drive in movies, spontaneous ice cream runs, and silly art projects.  I want garden fresh salsa, singing on road trips, and water fights.

I want summer to be filled with the singing of birds outside my front door, and the late afternoon sunlight casting its beautiful golden glow over our neighborhood.

I need rest, I need to refresh, I need to refill myself.

And by golly, that's what we're gonna do!