I am joining Two Writing Teachers for the Slice of Life Story Challenge. I appreciate this space for writers to tell their stories and connect with each other.
Driving to school, I looked in the rearview mirror and see the sadness in her eyes. I quietly ask her what's wrong and she tells me, "Nothing."
I don't believe her.
I nonchalantly read the bumper sticker on the car in front of me and she says, "We need to get one of those sticky things for our car."
"What would you pick for our car?"
She replies, "A family. You can get people and dogs and cats."
"What would we get?"
"A mom and dad for you and Keith and then 5 kids for Molly, Zach, Annie, Autumn and me. Oh and we need 5 dogs too."
I smile and sigh. I know where her sadness comes from. She's trying hard to make sense of what comes next. She gets regular visits with her mom now and there's talk of them going back home. Her little 9 year old self is confused. She loves her mom and she loves us.
The arguing and refusal to do things are becoming more frequent. We were warned that this would happen. She has to put up that barrier and disconnect with us in order to be able to protect herself. I know she has to do it, but it doesn't make it easy. In fact, it hurts me to my core.
How do I let her know that it's ok to love us both? That we will always be here no matter what?
There are no easy answers. So for now, we just keep doing what we do. We love these 2 little girls and we take care of them the best we know how.
That's all I know to do.