Monday, December 6, 2010


The truth about adopting "older" kids
is that they do have baggage.
You were right all along!
They come with their own circumstances,
their own ideas,
their own opinions,
their own tastes,
their own memories,
their own fears,
their own everything.

And then you plunk them down in the middle
of YOUR ideas,
your opinions,
your tastes,
your memories,
your fears,
your everything.

And sometimes things clash.
Sometimes you just flat out FORGET.
You wake up one morning and you FORGET
that you are dealing with small people with baggage.
It's easier than you might think.

I forget that they have witnessed sickness.
I forget that they know all about death
and disease
and suffering
and hunger.

And I go and get sick.

Achy back, coughing, losing-my-voice, 
feel like just sleeping all day...
And I'm missing my other half this week.

I stumble through the day...
trying to keep things under some
semblance of control.
I realize I am getting worse,
not better,
no matter how many bottles of 
magical vitamins I consume.

I let the oldest make 
PB&J for dinner,
I slice the apples.
I haphazardly do teeth brushing
and pajamas
and be sure not to kiss them on their lips
as I say goodnight
even though I always do.

I walk into the hall coughing
and trying to catch my breath.

And there is this little voice.

"Mommy... Nay!"

He needs me.
He needs me to feel secure,
to feel comforted,
he needs me to be near
so he can fall asleep
and know he is safe
and secure
and loved.

So I delay my plans of a blissfully
early bedtime
with the heating pad,
some ibuprophen, 
and perhaps some cough syrup concoction...

and I go sit next to my baby.

He immediately stops crying once I enter the room
and just says "Mommy, stay?"
How can I not?

When the cough returns
he sits straight up in the bed.
"Mommy... yokay?"

Is it fear in his voice?
Is it concern?
He was so little when he would have witnessed
the trauma that brought him into our lives...
does he somehow remember?

"I'm okay, baby. Go to sleep."

"Yokay? Mommy yokay?"

"Yes, Mommy is okay. 
Lay down..."

He asks about Daddy...
He's at work.

Minutes pass.
He's watching me.
I breathe shallow, slow breaths
to try to keep from coughing.

"It's okay, baby. Go to sleep."

Then I start to feel his body relax into his bed,
his breathing gets slower and deeper
and I know he is finally
able to relax
and sleep.

So now I drown myself in potions,
magical lotions,
syrups and pills...
and pray that I am better tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry you're sick...hope you will be "yokay" very soon. Love the photo so much!


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