Lately, my entire waking life has consisted of kids, work, Big Brothers Big Sisters, schoolwork, repeat. Yeah, there have been some showers and eating in there, too, but you get the idea. But everything in my life came to a screeching halt yesterday when I heard these words:
"Mom, not right this second, but soon...I want to go live with Dad."
WHAT?! ARE YOU CRAZY?!
I didn't say that, but I totally thought them. I tried to discuss it calmly and rationally, but it just hurt so much. There are certain things stab you to the core of your soul...this is one of them. I ended up sending her to her room. We both took a few minutes and by dinner we were somewhat relaxed, but things have an ugly way of reappearing at the dinner table.
We didn't really yell, and no horrible words were said, but we both argued our points and, no matter what, neither of us was seeing things from the other's perspective. I cried, so Emily cried. Destiny was indignant. And Ryan just wanted to get away with not eating his greens.
The bottom line is this: it doesn't really matter what she wants. She can't live with her dad. He loves her and her siblings dearly, but he isn't in any position to take care of them...financially, emotionally, or spiritually. He knows this, and it isn't news to anyone else either...except Destiny.
I try so hard to be someone she can admire and look up to. I try so hard to give her love, affection, and acceptance balanced with discipline, pragmatism, and guidance. It's a tightrope walk folks...and I swear I fall every day...but I'm trying.
It probably isn't even about me. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that she is a hormonal teenager who doesn't get to see her dad often (or her boyfriend that lives next to her dad). It probably has something to do with her growing up, but still wanting to cling to being Daddy's Little Girl and all the conflicting feelings that goes along with that.
It probably isn't even about me...but it still kills me. This is my little girl. This is my first. This is my Cindy Lou Who with the big blue eyes...the baby that was so good people would come up to me in public places to ask about her. This is the child who I let sleep on top of me every night when she was a year old because she was sick, and I was scared she might need me and I wouldn't be there. I've held her when she was sick, taken her everywhere, given her all that I have, helped raise money for her to go to Arizona...given everything I have and more, in every way.
At the end of the day Josiah came in and helped calm the storm. He talked to her very sensibly (in a way that I couldn't because of my obvious emotional roadblocks) and by the end they were both laughing and the subject seemed to be dropped. I'm sure it will raise its ugly head again...but for now, that monster is sleeping.
I hope someday she looks back with an adult perspective and can see and appreciate the efforts. Until then, I'm just praying to God for guidance. Outside prayers are always welcome....