Going on almost five years ago, we started this whole process of the kids becoming “mine.”  It was a long drawn out ordeal that started and never really ended.  It was off and on, up and down.  Every Monday for I don’t know how many years – I would open the door to yet another stranger as they poked around and made sure everything was still “ok.”  I bluffed my way through many court hearings, lawyer visits and had many, MANY sleepless nights.

But eventually the dust settled, the visitors stopped coming, and somehow – I was handed the reigns of three lives.  It was only then that I wondered: Was that the right move?  I was too far in to back out, but still was unsure.  The doubt never really left.  For the past almost few years I have mulled over my decision, I have drug it to every appointment, school meeting, teachers conference and grocery store.  Every time something would go wrong – I would pull the doubt out of seemingly mid air and we would be right back to where we started.

I don’t know really, when, but somewhere over the course of the past two years – that doubt has slowly subsided.  Little things, such as realizing that family I thought had it all?  Struggled too.  Seeing that house with six kids and never a dirty floor?  Had a maid.  Watching a parent struggle to stop a tantrum, and have no idea what to do?  Was ok.  It was a slow realization that I may not have a clue what I am doing, but neither does anyone else.  It was a hard lesson to learn, and one that took far too long to grasp.

While I still don’t have a clue what I am doing, I accept that I don’t.  We move about life and go with the flow.  We cross the bridges as they come, and fight the battles every day.  I do what I can, and at the end of the day – I tell myself that tomorrow is a brand new day.  I try not to carry the harsh feelings into another day.  I try to live by example.  I try to speak softly.  But anyone who knows me knows that most days I am out of bed late, and while I may not hold grudges too long – I certainly hope the boys don’t follow my footsteps.  Speaking softly?  Is something that is done at night – when I don’t want to wake the sleeping heads up.

Nearly five years later, we have reached the point.

That point.  The point where, five years ago – I never even gave it much thought because we were certainly not going to make it to the five year point.  Monday we will revisit the past.  While there isn’t much fear that I will lose the kids, there is still that twinge from deep down somewhere inside that worries.  And brings the doubt with it.

“What if…”

What if Josh hasn’t made enough “Progress.”  What if the recent events with Dylan somehow jeopardize things.  What if Madison moving south makes things look bad.  What if the judge is having a bad day.  What if by some stroke of my luck, I lose the kids.

Of course, those thoughts are kept mostly at bay by the day to day busyness that occupies most of my time.  These days I don’t have much time for doubt.  I don’t have much time to wonder or worry.  These days most of what I am doing is done spur of the moment.  And because there is no time like the present, I suspect that most of my fear and worry and doubt will show up Monday morning.

I don’t expect things to go south, mostly because I cant.  A lot of the times I prepare myself for the worst, and when something better happens – I choose to be pleasantly surprised.  Instead of the other way around.  But this time?  I cant.  I cant even let myself THINK about it.  Which tells me a small something.

Five years ago, I was worried about the worst.  I feared the kids being taken away again, and I worried what would happen.  I held my breath, and lost sleep over these what if thoughts.  But today?  I worry what would happen should I let myself entertain those thoughts.  Those thoughts are something that were buried in the past.  Something I don’t WANT to consider.  Something I don’t WANT to know about.

I may not know what I am doing, I may not be right all the time.  I may still worry about certain things.  But somehow, in my mind and in my heart – those kids have become mine.  Losing them isn’t something that is even on the radar, because it isn’t something I can fathom.  Monday will come, and Monday will go – and we will keep on making the best of these mistakes.  Somehow.


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