Thursday, March 15, 2007

an unexpected gift ...

The one person who's been overlooked in this whole mess is my poor eight year old daughter. Within the space of two weeks, she lost Steve, the weekend trips to his house, his kids, the life we were building together -- and gained a mother who is shaky and crying and completely shattered. She's started asking to contact her father again -- which she never did as long as Steve was in her life. She even wanted to contact his former girlfriend, with whom she had been very close before that relationship ended last summer. One of her daycare "grandparents" went into the hospital which necessitated a shift in that part of her routine ... and then we went home to help out the folks after Mom had her hip replaced.

Ailing grandparents ... absentee parents and parental surrogates ... basket case mother ... house chaos ... the poor kid.

She went through a bad patch right around the time the thing with Steve collapsed, and at out parent-teacher conference yesterday, both her teacher and I remarked at how out-of-character it was for her. I had an "aha" moment -- duh, but I am REALLY slow on the uptake these days -- and wondered aloud if the incidents had any relation to all the upheaval in her life at that time.

Luckily, her teacher is an absolute gem, and has offered to give Nora the chance to talk through and process her feelings about all these changes, if she wants to. I don't want to create a problem where none exists, but Nora really should have a grownup that she can talk to about how all this feels, and she's so protective of me, I'm not the one to do it. Not to mention that I would fall apart and cry and make a hash of the whole thing.

Then as we wrapped it up, her teacher told me she was praying for us in this time, and I burst into tears again, but of gratitude.

I'm still not willing to concede this life is worth living, but I can recognize an unexpected gift when it's offered me ...

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