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.