We have had our fair share of “Oh shit” moments. We have had a good portion of days where we cant find up from down. Have had moments where I wonder if this is even the right thing, and had days where I have questioned everything and everyone. And we have even had days when I think packing up and moving everyone to separate corners of the world will solve all these problems.
I have had people question and wonder, and push and prod. People who have made it their personal goal to find something wrong with everything I do, and people who have set out to make our lives a living hell. Some have succeeded, and others havent.
There have been those days when I wonder why. And those days when I know why. Those days when I cant see the end, and those days when the end is in sight, but it is just too far away.
We have had those days where up seems like down and down seems like up, and nothing. NOTHING. Can be done to fix anything, and you just have to hold on and hope that you make it out the other end. Alive. Because sometimes that’s all you can really hope for.
I have had people predict things for the kids future. Horrible things. Things I hope to never see happen to ANYONE, and yet I had to wonder – is that whats in store for us? Is that really what we have to look forward to? Is that REALLY it?
Not everyone has supported this idea. The idea of me, taking on the kids. And I cant say I blame them. There have been people who havent been able to see through the thicket, and have told me that. Flat out. In more than one way. I have told myself that. In more than one way. Wondering just WHAT I am doing, and why.
There are days when I don’t honestly know what I am doing, and to be honest, those days come frequent. I don’t know what Im doing. Im flying blind. By the seat of my pants. Trying to hear what everyone is saying, while trying to listen to what really matters. There is no down time, no days off, no second player. This is it, and it is what it is, and sometimes, things have to slide.
Sometimes I rely on the kids too much, and have been told that they have all but forgotten what its like to be a kid. There are people who don’t think they are happy. That they are struggling, and are being forced in a situation that they shouldn’t be in. And you know what? Its all true. They have been put in a situation that they shouldn’t be in. And yes, they have had to grow up. All too soon. They have had to take on responsibilities that other kids their age don’t even know about. They have been through far more than they should have, and I take the blame. Every last bit of it. Its not ideal, and it sometimes doesn’t even work.
I try to teach them what I hope they need to know, things like how to cross a street, and keeping your legs off the table. Forget the elbows, were still working on limbs. I have tried to teach them to use their manners, and to say please and thank you. I have tried to instill qualities that will hopefully take them far, and make them productive members in this world. But I have come up short. Every time. And there is always that one time when a word slips, and that word finds its way to every friends house, principals office, and the person who has told you how wrong you are already. Its just how it is. I try, but I fail.
But there is one thing, that I cant teach them. Something they have to learn on their own, and as they get older…I watch and I wonder. I see the cold shoulder, the slamming of a door. The calling of a name. The red face hot attitude tempers that fly. And I cringe. Knowing that this is something they must figure out on their own. If its something worth having, then its something worth fighting for, and I hope they know that they ARE worth fighting for. And they ARE worth having.
I hope they learn these lessons that I cant teach them. I hope they know that they are special. That no matter what – they will have each other, and I hope they do. I hope they want each other. I hope they grow up learning to be there for each other, through the hard and messy, picking up the very person you have shoved down. I hope they learn what it means to take the higher road, even if that means setting themselves aside for the moment.
Something tells me. Something small whispers. Something nudges me in the back and quietly says “Its going to be alright. They. Are going to be alright.” And if that’s true? If they are ok, if they are alright…then everything is ok in my world. I can sigh relief, because something says….”I think we’re going to be alright.”