A few months ago, when I was working at a different place, a customer came in with her kid. Who was in the habit of repeating herself. Every so often the kids eyes would light up and she would say “I have a green jacket!” repeat 20 times before her mom would ask her to say something new. She would think a few seconds, her eyes would light up and she would say “YOU have a green jacket” repeat 20 times, before she went back to her original point that she “Had a green jacket”
Lately, that’s how Ive felt.
Like everything I say is a cliché, like Im just repeating myself, working myself further and further down into the downward spiral where I don’t want to be.
I told myself that just because the year ended on a sour note, didn’t mean it was going to start on one, and I promised myself that I was going to be more “Upbeat” and “Positive” and so forth. But the first came and went, and so far I have deleted atleast three complete posts, because they are downwards, negative, and don’t focus on the good as much as they should.
I go back and forth with myself. “I need to say these things to get them out so I can focus on the positive” and then “I don’t need to say these things, they really wont matter in a few minutes” and I remind myself of the kid who came into the shop, who flipped back and forth between two subjects.
Things are usually pretty upbeat around here – with three kids its really hard NOT to be upbeat most of the time, but sometimes, and more and more lately, things have been…downward. Not on purpose, its just how its been. How things have fallen into place, and as much as I try to argue with myself that “Its normal this time of year” I cant help but shake it…
And as clichéd as it sounds, and repeated as it is…it still holds as much importance to me as it did on day one, when I made the choice to follow through with this decision.
Two years ago I gave up drinking in hopes of getting visitation rights of the kids. Two years ago that was all I could hope for – visitation rights. I wasn’t even hoping to see them alone, I was just hoping for a few minutes to see them, to know that they were ok, to hear from them what they wanted. I honestly didn’t know what my next move would be. I hadn’t PLANNED on getting them back, atleast not this (that?) soon…its just, happened.
When Molly passed, I hit that bottom that people talk about, the bottom that I thought I had hit many times before – but didn’t reach until I walked out of the hospital that morning in August. The bottom. Where there was no other way TO go but up. To go up, or be done…and as much as I wanted to be done, at that very moment, I wanted to atleast see the kids first. That was all I could hope for, all that I could look for, and all that I could even think about.
Two years later I have full custody of them.
I don’t know when, or where I made the decision that I was going to fight for them. I don’t remember the day, the moment or the time. I don’t even remember making the choice. It was gradual. Step by step. One thing after another, and pretty soon I was knee deep in kids, kids and kids.
I sit here tonight and toss around a number of thoughts, a number of clichéd, over done, “My jacket is green” thoughts. Is this the right choice? Did I make the right decision? Is this the best for the kids? Did I jump the gun, decide to fast, make a decision I shouldn’t have?
I think back over the circumstances, and try to remember why I thought I *could* or *should* get them back. I know I wanted them to grow up, together, and that really, at the time there weren’t too many other options for that.
But. There is always a but.
What about now? Now that things have calmed down, now that the kids are legally mine, what now? Is this it? What I was hoping for? Is this the end? Is this where is stops? Is this…really it?
It wasnt one thing that made the choice final, it wasnt simply one option, or one thing that decided the case for me, it wasnt any one thing….it wasnt even a combination of things, it was the kids…and what Ive always wanted for them. The best. Im not saying that Im giving them the best, Im not trying to even say I come close to giving them the best…Im just saying that I cant see to it that they are (mostly) healthy, happy, and safe…if they are all off somewhere else, but more importantly, that they are together…because while I might not always be able to give them the best, they have each other…and that is what I hope they will always have.
That statement has taken us through some rough roads. Through courts, state visits, Mondays, social workers and all the rest.
But now that its all over, now that the kids are mine, and I am solely responsible for them, the full impact its beginning to sink in. The full responsibility that I took on, is starting to hit…and Im beginning to wonder, like Ive been asked so many times: Am I cut out for this?
I want the best for them, and I will continue to seek out whats best for them, and fight for whats best for them…but Ive reached a point…a point where I have to stop, and wonder…what IS best?
Is THIS best?