You overhear whispered conversation, our eyebrows pushed down over diverted eyes, lips stretched tight, holding back harsh words. Stacks of important papers instead of art paper, crayons stack elsewhere, then more serious talk, an eruption of angry words. What is going on here? you ask. Too much overheard. “I really love my mommy”, you tell me. Too much responsibility for you, little guy. Although very sweet to protect your mommy. You’ve got good instincts, but this is too much responsibility for a little guy. Not your job to take care of mommy. A mommy who is frightened, alone and striking out.
On January 9, we have a Probate Court status review of the guardianship. So your life with us can stay the same until mommy or daddy are more ready to share their time with you and sissy and be parents. But mommy, claws out, spinning stories of woe and mistreatment in official declarations to the court, may have gotten that court date delayed.
In the car on the way to the party you finally cry. It’s not about the blanket you couldn’t find for the ride. It’s this darn life you have going on, the confusions and the uncertainty. It is unsettling, very scary and at times like this, terrifies you. And other than keeping our conversations more secretive, which of course we need to do, it’s just a damn lousy situation. Is there anything I can say to you to make it better?
Did you hear daddy and me talking about the papers your mommy wrote? I think so, you sob.
Your mommy loves you so much that she wants to see you more and more. And sometimes she talks about you and Liza living with her again. Daddy and I want you to live here. He loves you, too.
But Grandma, I want to stay with you.
I am your grandma, I will always be your grandma and help care for you, and love you. So many people love you and sissy. And all want to help take care of you, play with you and enjoy you. You bring happiness to daddy, mommy and me and grandpa, too. You live with grandpa and me now, but even if you move someday, the love for you will always be here. You can count on it.
I don’t want love. I want you. You throw a hard toy against the glass. Maybe I will die, you add abruptly. (Whoa) Actually, my cherished Aunt died yesterday along with the papers filed arriving, her passing slipped by. Mildred may have been 95 or so, died in her sleep. She raised me until I was 4 years old. Any resonance?
Die? I ask
I feel like my organs are stopping. Right in here. I feel them stopping. He reports like the evening news. Detached. (He heard me tell my sister about Auntie M on the phone)
I pull over. Liza is asleep. I get out and I lay my head on your chest. Bump, Barump, Bump…I hear one very important organ, I tell you, working hard to keep all the rest of them warmed vibrant and doing their jobs.
Is it my heart? you ask
Yes. I repeat, Bump, Barump..you join me and place your hand on your chest. I just thought it was dead in there, but its not. Is your aunt still dead right now?
Yes. She had a good long life of over 90 years and finally her heart tired out. Her heart beat for her all those years. Isn’t it an amazing organ?
Yes. You pause as I get back in the car. Does my heart love?
Hmmm. I am not sure of that, but it beats, sends blood all over your body and makes your entire set of organs function, including your brain. And I think love may really be in your brain. But we feel it in our bodies, too, right?
I feel it in my heart and in my skin and even in my tummy.
You are so full of love, buddy. I appreciate that about you.
My sadness is still in me, Grandma.
I know sweetheart. Let’s always talk together when it gets hard to manage. That sadness is complicated. And its mixed with love, isn’t it?
It is, Grandma.
This little reindeer looks like you. The day you drew these, you were Jan Brett, you tell me. “He’s lonely because his friends are all at the North pole and he forgot the way. But then his friends came to show him the way.” I am so glad you have friends. We had a relaxing and very sweet Christmas with family here at the house. I got sick for a few days. You rode your skates all over the deck and played in the winter sun with Liza. We even had a play date with Logan and sisters Serena and Maya, from school.
You and Lizapretend to be doctors, vets, archaeologists looking for fossils and treasures in the backyard and try your hand at paleantology digging up T-rex bones. Back to school tomorrow. You’ll be glad to see your friends. I’ll be happy for time. I just started back to work part time on a contracted project I can work on from home with once a month face-to-face. We’ll see how that goes.
Gpa and Me see how the hearing goes tomorrow (if its still on), ugh. gma