Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Reunification Plan

I'm starting to feel the sneak attacks of my pending reality, like the tattered tuft of a monsters tail as it scurries to hide. I've never been good at feeling the complex emotions. I'm kind of an extremist; it's either all or nothing and nothing is definitely easier so I ride the tide as long as possible. We are waiting for a judge to sign reunification plans that are sitting on his desk. Once signed, it will be 30 days and the boys will be back full time in their bio mom's care. We've had them since October 2015. Up until a few weeks ago, there was only one four hour visit per week, which was supervised by a caseworker. That's 4 hours (or less) per week of being a parent, for a year and a half. DCS has now haphazardly started slapping in overnight visits. Two weeks ago it was a one-nighter, last week it was a two-nighter. Each time they come back haggard and take a couple days to get their bearings and stop acting like jerks. Last time one of the boys returned with his back riddled with bed bug bites. I guess it could happen anywhere, but the situation makes it extra shitty. The daycare asked me today if they should write something to log the obvious behavior change in the youngest (2). I told them it's a nice sentiment, but our Case Manager has reiterated on many occasions the "minimum standards of care" are all that is necessary. This means if they are not in clear physical or emotional danger, they're going back. She's checked off all the boxes; danger is not evident.

The boys literally didn't know what a hug was when they came to us. When I tried to give them one, they'd get all stiff and wait for it to end. I shouldn't remind myself of things like that right now. I'm powerless to stop this march toward the deadline. Yesterday night I was cooking dinner and they wanted to help. Formerly I'd be in such a rush to do life, I'd tell them to go play while I cook. Since I've learned they've got an expiration date I've been trying to be better at making memories (not to mention preparations for their self-reliance). So I said yes to two helpers at dinner. I had them wash veggies, put them in bowls, etc. In the middle of our preparations, the oldest (4), said "I really love you mommy." One amazing takeaway from this is moments like that, where a kid can go from not knowing what a hug is to recognizing all the love in the air and expressing a sentiment like that so plainly. It really struck me. I did something right. I've fucked up a lot and had to re-do and re-do, and they provide endless opportunities for such because they're constantly challenging and making me feel like a child myself at my ineptitude, but things like that happen and it makes me think of how much they've grown. How much they've learned. All the things that make up a person, especially at such a young age, and even if they end up reverting to their former haggard savagery, they've learned a whole hell of a lot. We've planted some seeds in them that they wouldn't have otherwise had. We've helped shape two little people and if not for this situation, I shudder to think where they might be right now. Two little forgotten kids, floating in the wind. I'm grateful that at least for these formative years, I had a chance to influence them.

I'm not that great of a person. I've had thoughts like "now I can finally go back to school" or "I'm getting my life back." Selfish thoughts. I know we're all selfish at our core. We are the only one who will be there until the last breath; it makes sense to be selfish to a point. I was even worried I wouldn't feel bad about them leaving at all, but that little monster scurrying around the corner has proven otherwise. I'm just putting off having emotions until I can't possibly deny them any longer. So far I'm holding up pretty good. I'm not sure what it is about me that makes me want to do things to myself that are fucking emotionally treacherous. It's like a driving need in me that I don't understand. It makes for a more rich life experience, so that's something.

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