Ive been debating, for the past day, even though it seems longer, about writing whats been on my mind. Mainly because I don’t like to mention it in the context that its going to be mentioned in, and partly because it doesn’t really make any sense. But I figured I might as well try and give it a shot.
The kids came home yesterday, and while everything has been smooth sailing thus far, there was one thing that stuck out in my mind. One thing that grabbed my attention. One thing that made the whole process of being happy (again) that they were back (again) and that I still have custody of them…a not so happy process.
I was contemplating on how much they had changed. How big they’ve seemed to have gotten, how much they have changed…and generally how far we have come. I was comparing posts, from last year, and the year before to this year. When I still wasn’t sure if I was getting them back, their first summer back, and now this year…
I was going to do a comparison post. A now vs. then…and I started looking for pictures, got a bit distracted, and ended up in some pictures that I probably shouldn’t have been in, when it hit me. Shes missing.
Its kind of a conversation stopper, to mention something like that. That you are happy to have the kids back…but also a little…distant because one of them is missing. They arent the group of four, they are three. Molly isn’t here anymore.
And while I know that. Its not something I dwell on everyday, and for the past two months, its something I havent thought about much. But getting them back, opening the door and ushering them in…makes me stop and look behind me once more, just to make sure Im just not forgetting her somewhere.
I was looking through the pictures, realizing that the “Group photos” are no longer “Group photos.” That the only “Group” is of the three…and while its ok, because it really is as much as it can be, there are still times when I look at them, and think that something is missing, and cant help but notice the gap.
Even though I don’t want to.
Having the kids, for the most part, is ok. Its good. Its what needs to be done. And most times I can agree with myself on that (except for when I cant, and then I just cant). But sometimes looking at them, you see what isn’t there…Getting them back this month, in one way, was good – there weren’t any complications, the state wasn’t involved, it was a pretty much straight forward case where I left, came back and picked them up from where they were staying – with friends.
But it also concreted what I already knew, that she was gone. And while I know that. And knew that. And will continue to know this. It still isn’t easy to pick them up, and know that she just isn’t missing, or in the other room, or even down the road.
But that she isn’t coming back. And she wont be.
…and no matter how many times they are apart, and brought back together…they wont ever be all together again.