“You’re not going to want me anymore after we’re together for like a month.” ~ Hope
Oh good grief, here we go. I’ve read the books on loss and abandonment. I get it. I do, but wow. Sitting in the middle of this conversation was hard for both of us. I love that my Hope is so transparent and forthcoming, but this stuff just kind of comes out and catches you off-guard.
Hope’s rationale was that a fun weekend together isn’t real, and that when real life starts after she comes to live with me, school, work and other stuff would be real. It would be different, and I wouldn’t want her. She said this was better than just jumping onto all of that stuff, but she was worried.
So, in some ways she’s right. This weekend is very artificial. It is an extended date for an arranged relationship. We won’t be going to the museum, the great wheel or the Cheesecake Factory every day after we start our new lives together. It will be different and likely weird for both of us. It’s bound to get tense sometimes. But I don’t ever plan on sending her back.
So, eventually after hearing her explanation, I replied, “You’re right that it will be different, but I don’t plan to send you back. How do you know you won’t want me anymore?”
“Well…I don’t know. I know I’ll want you.”
“Good. Sometimes I don’t know how I know either, but I know I want you. I just know. We will work together at being a family, and we will be ok together.”
Overall, we’re bonding just fine, I think. We have moments of light discipline, but we talk about why there is a need for it. Today in order to just be a little more real, we’ll do brunch and lay low most of the day. We started reading our huge novel out loud last night and watched cartoons for a while. I have a day and a half left with her; less is more at this point.
Hope will give me great big challenges. Some aspects of how she moves through the world seem to suggest she’s more like a 5 year old, while others clue me in on the fact that she wishes she was older like 16 or so. We spent an hour at the touch pools in the aquarium as she touched everything she could, like a little kid (she was the biggest kid at the touch pools most of the time). She has moments of hyperactivity that are somewhat exhausting. Other times when she’s just a tad withdrawn, and I have to make a decision to draw her out a bit or let her be.
I hope she will have a chance to visit me before she moves, but funding seems to be an issue, so I may return to have a short weekend with her. I think we’ll be talking every day from here on out, so we can try to hold this bond together and strengthen it.
- Gift shops are the devil. Seriously, Living Sand for $20?
- Our sweet teeth are a problem. We will have focus on less processed sugar and making yummy treats at home.
- We look the part! A cashier at lunch commented on us as a mother/daughter pair. It caught both of us off guard, but then we smiled.
- I am exhausted. The quiet this morning is great, but I think I’m going to roll over and snooze a bit more.
- My rough origami skills have improved modestly. Origami is definitely not one of my talent gifts so I’ll stay in my lane on that. It’s been a nice way to spend some time together.
- I love this kid, but this isn’t going to be easy. This isn’t a new lesson, but I am getting constant reinforcement of this lesson this weekend. It really is stepping into a new purpose.