A few days before Patrick was scheduled to leave, Lizzie looked at me, and asked “Are we going to keep Patrick?”
I don’t even know what I said. I was too busy emotionally reacting and unsure of what in the world my response should be.
Then when I let her know, the night before, that we were taking him back, she said, sadly, “Aw, but we have to keep him.”
I told her that he’d come back again and she accepted that response, for the time being.
So, we took him back. It was a quick, anti-climatic good-bye because he instantly became guarded around his new case worker who he doesn’t trust yet. Oh, those walls. But, he hugged us (or let us hug him) and I hugged him for at least 3 seconds longer than he (acted like) he wanted me to because I was getting my money’s worth. And, they drove off. The whole things took 5 minutes; less time than it took me to get the kids back in the van. And, we headed out. No one really said anything because I don’t think any of us knew what to say.
So, he’s back in his foster home. The laptop and phone are all mine again. The house is back to its usual routine. And, everything is a little calmer. But, I miss him.
It was pretty amazing to Brian and I how everything fell into a routine. Of course, the routine involved him constantly wanting to listen to music or play Ruzzle on my phone because he forgot to bring his 3DS. It included constant trips to the pantry and the fridge for more snacks and drinks. This meant that I was constantly out of snacks and drinks. It included his shoes on the floor, no matter how many times we pointed out that there is a shoe bin in the living room.
But, it also included him wrestling with Antwan and William and hearing them shriek with joy. It included him repeatedly covering Lizzie with her blanket because she thought it was hilarious. It included dying eggs. It included Jennice and I dictating the wonderful things he should post about us on facebook and him actually doing it. It included watching him solve Blue’s Clues as he pretended to think the show was ridiculous. It included seeing him wear his new Batman shirt that the Easter Bunny brought him. It included seeing the pride on his face when he solved part of his Rubik’s cube (another Easter goodie). It included countless sweet moments that I never thought, in a million years, any of us would have with him.
It even included him knocking on the door when I was going to the bathroom. Because, as every mom/dad/caregiver knows, you are never more popular than you are when you make a phone call or run to the bathroom.
It never occurred to me that it was him when I heard the knock, but then I heard him say, “I’ve got something to show you when you come out.”
It turned out to be a commercial that he had been telling me about. When he saw it, he instantly rewound and paused, so he could show me. If I didn’t know it before, I knew it then. We were bonded. No matter how it play outs, we’ll always have the Axe Apollo commercial. 🙂
Now that he’s gone, I’m free to start obsessing. This is not to suggest that I ever stopped obsessing, but now I have a little more time to focus on it. 😉
It’s clear that it’s easier without him. It is quieter, calmer, and slightly cleaner (but not actually quiet and calm). The shoes are in the shoe bin, I haven’t had to go to the store nearly as much, and no one (besides Lizzie, of course) has begged for my phone, in days.
But, all of the other stuff is gone, too.
I miss him.
When we left the house on Monday morning, Lizzie called to me from the back seat and asked ” Mommy, Patrick is going to come back again, right?”
I promised her that he was. The fact is, I didn’t particularly want him to leave. I just want him to keep his mitts off my phone. 😉
I have many regrets in my life and things that I don’t like about myself, with three obvious exceptions.
Well, maybe four exceptions.
I didn’t finish college. I’m a terrible budget-er. I’m clumsy. I’m a terrible housekeeper. I talk too fast. I fidget constantly.
But, I know how to love. I’m really, really good at that. And, if this kid wants me to love him, that’s what exactly I’m going to do.
Now, excuse me, while I try to stop myself from sobbing in Wendy’s. Maybe I should have written this at home. 😉