The cottage is humming; grandpa’s restful rhythmic exhale, your mumbled vocalizations as you dream and Metro the beagle ragged snores. In the livingroom, Liza’s talking to the little animals she taps around on the coffee table, Georgia our loyal standard poodle, perches nearby in case the baby might need something. The coffee warms the hands, lighten the darkness and helps shake off a dream. I was driving up mountains, but couldn’t find the road, my sister was with me, scared and crying, then we plunged, but I must have landed okay because then I was home where a rabbit had made a nest in a pile of insulation, dragging the dog’s food bowl in for her young ones. I could see two of them munching kibble, and run in circles when they saw me. The rabbit mother was on her back, four legs spread and her mouth slack, nearly lifeless. Hmmm.
We are guardians, have custody of you and your sister. The hearing was a simple process, judge read declaration, reviewed paperwork, signed the order and just when the trial was to be scheduled, Ann signed consent. She seemed resigned, sad, lost. My son, your daddy was relieved, high, chatty. On January 14 we return for the hearing on permanent guardianship which suspends parental rights until a court is requested to change it and has reason to do so. On and on….
This morning I wondered where I should hang your jackets, put your little shoes and rainboots, store your lunchbox to be ready for school days. All of these things have been underfoot, kicking around for months, moved from the floor near the door to the porch and back again, hanging on chair backs, clumped in heaps of colorful small items with the thought that they were visiting, just temporary. Today I will find places for them. They live here now, along with grandpa’s boots, down vest, drippy rain jacket and grandma’s fleece. The little room addition is nearly done and some things can go there. Including your beds!
Is there time, I wonder to change the new house design? Add a place for you? We had a playroom, but is it a bedroom? Is the guest room a Nanny quarters? Is our reading loft your play area? Too much to think about. And a little resentment hides scratching just under my skin.
We got to make it through this day, mom’s sadness and anger. This day when mommy goes to her class. This rainy day when we make gingerbread cookies. Plan your 4th birthday party. I don’t think I can bear a crowded little cottage full of chatting adults. We’ll go to Upper Crust Pizza. We’ll invite grandmas, aunties, a few friends from school and you kids can run around a little and if its not raining, go to a park or the beach, ride your new scooter along West Cliff Drive. Planning your party- my first official act as your legal guardian. I put you to bed, that was a first after being fully responsible. Maybe it was Grandpa reading you a story or 3:30 am when I combed my hands through your hair to settle you back to sleep? I’ll ask Mommy if she wants to make the cake? Or is Grammie making you a chocolate one? I can’t recall. You could help. You’ll have to get used to that. Sometimes I forget things. gma