The kids have been a hot issue on my mind lately. And as usual, when they pop up, Molly comes up right along with the rest of them. Ive been leery to say anything though, for fear of sounding the way I dont mean to be. You know how some people just have that way with words…they can use them to sum things up, and make them mean what they want? Thats not me. What I say, and what I mean, most often are two separate things. For instance, with the kids…I think of them, Molly pops up, I say this, and Id get the talk about how one of them shouldnt mean more than the other, let me say right now, they dont. Its just that beings Molly is gone, well…when she pops up with the others, I have to consciously remind myself, and be aware, that shes gone…which brings my point back around. I tell myself that shes gone, and a whole flock of things come up…about her. And well, beings the kids have been a hot topic, so has the fact that Molly’s gone.
Thinking back to when she was here, and when most often times, it was a lot of her and I. There were times that I really just didnt know how I was going to make it through another second with her. Her strong will, anger, frustration, typical 4 year old stuff, was a new road for me. Id said it before, in a joking way, that if shed make it to 7, Id be ok. Because Id dealt with kids from 7, on up…with the older ones. The age between 3-7 though, was a new one for me.
I didnt know how to deal with the strong temperaments that came from a four year old, the strong will power, and mind set of not being old enough, but thinking she was. The thin line there, between letting her experience, and live, and not get hurt. The line that was so often crossed with four year old activities, and downright, face flat, rebellion. The lines that were drawn, and ran over. I should have understood her better, I was the same way when I was her age. Nap time was a game, Meals were a fit, play time was torture, friends were punching bags…I knew all about it….
But I didnt know how to deal with her, I tried. I really did…I stopped myself from stopping her many of times, things that I could see what was going to happen, things that I wanted to save her the frustration in, but letting her do them, and experience life in itself. Things I knew wouldn’t work…that I knew were stupid, but in the mind and eyes of a four year old, were perfect…I let slide. I took her back when she went to far, and made her wear clothes outside…I drug her out of puddles, and made her wear a coat, I told her no to running in the street, and no to roping herself and her doll to a tree, but let her mix mud with water and dump in on the deck. I let her run the hose as long as she wanted, and soak herself silly, but I made her dry off before coming in the house. She didnt have to take a bath every night, or eat all her food, she could watch movies, and play with Barney, but I wouldnt let her watch cable alone. I didnt let her walk down the road alone, or roam the streets. I tried to give her freedom, and let her live, and express herself how she felt fit, but I had to say no when she felt the need to run stark naked down the road…I let her draw on paper, and cardboard, I brought home gigantic boxes, and let her empty totes to paly with, but I said no to drawing on walls, or herself with perm marker. I let her walk in the stores, and not ride in the cart, even though it would have been so much easier to pick her up and run through the crowded stores…but I had to say no when she wanted to buy the $300 toy. I let her dental floss as much as she pleased, but said no when she wanted to drink toilet water.
I had to decide if tooth pasting the bathroom with Josh was a downright spiteful thing, or if she was just being a 4-yr-old with a 2-yr-old cousin. I had to think if making her eat breakfast was really worth the fuss. I had to make split second decision on wither or not she was big enough to walk down a little road to pick the older kids up from school by herself, was dangerous, even though I could see every move she made, or if it was something that she would enjoy, and be able to grow, and mature from. I had to think if “Growing worms and leaves” was going to hurt her, or if it was just part of growing up. I had to decide wither or not to tell her that her beloved bug, got better and left, or tell her the hard facts of life, that things do die. I had to think if it was better for her to stay in the house during a rain storm, and not get wet, or if dancing and singing in puddles with her was the best thing that ever happened in life, even if we did get soaked. I had to decide if going to her friends house across the street was an ok thing for her to do, and set aside the “What if she has a seizure” thoughts aside, and let her grow a little, and not let them control her life. I had to give her the reigns, and let her steer once and a while….
But then there were times, when her downright, face flat, flipping attitudes got the better of both her and I, and I lost my cool, and a little to much attitude and childishness, made me mad, and I had to put her in time out until I regained myself enough to finish the day with her. Or when she just flat out would not listen, and anything and everything was just….too much, and she didnt want this or that, but nothing would please her, and Id get so mad that Id yell at her, and make things so much worse, because I was 27 and she was just 4. The times when she wanted red, no blue, no green, no orange, and if you didnt jump to every demand shed scream and throw herself to the ground, and it was either leave her, or stop her. Or the times when shed kick and scream and yell and bite, and thrash, and let her frustration out, and I had to either control her, or let her go.
There were times that I walked out of the house on her, just to stay calm and not let loose on her, and times where I put her to bed a screaming raging mess and lie to her and tell her that if shed get out of bed, the monsters would get her. Then collapse outside her door and listen to her wail, and after about 20 minutes, the door would crack open, and shed come out, red faced, and shaking, saying she was sorry, and just wanted a hug. And everything would melt then.
There were the times Id peek in there room just to see her sleep, and know she was still alive, and she DID make it through another day with me, and her little face would be so sad looking, and Id wake her up, just to tell her I was sorry for how the day had went. There were days where I considered walking off for good and leaving her alone. And days that I considered shipping her to Africa. And days I thought I just couldnt take anymore.
Then there were days that I wondered how BIG a mess could she really make? When there was already play-doh, and dolls, and crayons, and papers, and toys, and Barney blasting in the background, and she was outside rolling in the mud. The days where Id wonder if Id have any hair left at the end of the day because she just WOULD NOT LISTEN.
Then there was the day….where I held her little body as they unhooked her, and I watched as she took her last breath, and sigh of relief.
And I think back over the days…and I wonder…really…what else could I have done? And realize…a whole hell of a lot. I could have been a better person to live with, I could have let her live more, I could have made her frustration a little less…..I could have sought out better medical help….I could have, should have, would have…all the things that run wild in my mind…..but I cant. I screwed up. I cant do it over again.
Then I think to the other kids…and I wonder…should I really? Dare I? Do I dare??? Get them back, mess up with them? Josh is just entering the 3yr old stage…what if I screw up with him? What about Madi? Shes 10…Ive never entered that stage either…and Dylan…hes got so many problems that he needs help with…Im not cut out for it…..and after a day like today at work…I begin to wonder why Im really still in hot pursuit of them, and if I should just really just let go already.