The signing of my lease was supposed to be the beginning of the end. Right now it feels like the declaration of war.
I cannot express the comfort that comes with this apartment. I no longer have to wait at the front door for a random staff person to let me inside the building. I simply pull my keys from my bag, unlock a series of locks and I walk into a living room with brand new carpet.
I don’t wear shoes in the house. It’s a throwback to my practicing Buddhist days. It’s also a I haven’t bought a carpet shampooer yet thing.
There was no carpet at Randolph Court. There was tile and laminate all around but nothing soft. There was nothing welcoming after a shift on my feet dealing with customers who refuse to be pleased and sitting or leaning sporadically when traffic allowed.
Now I can walk in and take off my shoes and knead my toes in virgin carpet. That is a luxury I appreciate.
With the living room still 60% empty it doesn’t look like much but it’s mine, without question. As long as I can manage to pay rent and keep the lights on there are no rules here except that which I create for myself.
One of my rules is quiet time. Considering that I don’t have a television yet, it seems silly but rules can be silly at times.
Quiet time is 30 or more minutes at the table or in the bedroom without noise. I should clarify, without me making noise or the tablet streaming something. Time where I can just sit and compose myself for the things ahead of me, there is a lot ahead of me.
I got to spend a glorious Mother’s Day weekend with my munchkin. He had his first overnight visit, his first time here in the apartment with his own bed and stuff like food in the fridge.
When I got the keys and before I moved I brought him here and told him that this was gonna be his new home. He was underwhelmed. I can’t say I blame him, it was literally carpet and walls and doors with one roll of toilet paper. It took him coming back and seeing his clothes in his dresser, his bed made, and cheese twists on the counter to make him understand…..he can live here.
His first order of business was to strip to his undershirt and boxers and get into the bed. He was asleep in minutes and snoring softly in minutes more. I shed a thug tear, and then I did what I am prone to do…….bawled my fucking eyes out with snot and all.
For over two years now since the incident I’ve promised my boy this was gonna happen. I told him that his momma would never stop fighting to bring him home, and that truth was finally realized in a snoring child in his bed.
We throw around phrases like “it was hell”, sometimes casually, yet hell doesn’t begin to characterize what these past years have been like for me. I often get lost as lawyers converse about the next step of the process. I am often forgotten in the process. People ignore that I gave up seven years of my life to dedicate full time to the care and comfort of my son and my mother. I gave up my relationship, my education, my employment all to care for them seven days a week, 365 days a year.
They became my sanity and reason for existence. They became my reason for living. They were the center of my universe, my WHY to wake up every morning. I almost died twice in those seven years, yet I powered through understanding that they were my purpose and they needed me more than I needed myself.
In a 48 hour period they were both snatched away from me, without the thought that their removal from my life would come with consequences for me. Correction, that thought did occur…to Andrea.
All things considered the fact I’ve been able to rebuild in only two years should be some kind of exceptional. To me though, it’s not exceptional it’s a reminder of my failings as a human being. I walked away from Limekiln Pike with the clothes on my back and my stuffie Cola, and I’ve had a to recreate a life.
I’ve had to learn to live without my loves, for the sole purpose of returning Clyde to his castle.
As I seeped as quietly as I could watching him, the “last” of the hurdles was behind me. In theory only the finish line remained. Until the obstruction appeared and I wondered if someone entered me into another race without my consent.
I go back to court in 19 days and instead of hearing the judge rescind that fateful decision, it now appears that I have to again prove that I am the best thing for my child.
The child’s advocate office has suspended our weekend visits. They aren’t approved they say. If the goal is reunification, and they say it is, suspending weekend visits is not conducive to that goal. This is the time where he should be spending as MUCH time here as possible to help him transition to being back where he belongs.
Mind you, they don’t have to take him back to the resource home and watch him cry because he wants to be here. No, they make their decisions in a vacuum, as they always do without real understanding of the impact of their arbitrary decisions. We live with those decisions the best way we know how, and try to hang on until the next 90 day update where judgment is passed on people they don’t know.
I have to live with that failure, and I have to find the fortitude to not give up, to not fall back to old habits, to not sabotage “progress”.
I do not get to admit that I am exhausted. I do not get to admit that I wake up crying some mornings. I do not get to do anything that may delay what’s been delayed far too long already.
Yet, all I want to do, is close my eyes and never have to open them again if it means that he is not here when I wake.