I wish I had my camera at ready this morning. I dropped Vampire off at her school first, like I usually do. DQ's school is on the way to my work, so I find it's easier to drop V off first, then DQ second. There was a little girl at Vampire's school. She was with her mommy, and she was very upset that her mommy was leaving. OK... she was more than very upset - she was hysterical. Both of my girls stared at her. I think they were a little afraid due to the screaming this little girl was doing, and they could just sense something was wrong. I believe this child is autistic, or could have a slight mental retardation, but a child doesn't always understand these things as an adult does, and can't always process the logic of it all. Vampire shook it off pretty quickly and went to be with her teacher. DQ on the other hand was pretty shaken up by it all. She clung to me on the way to the car. I teased her that I was running behind getting to work, and she was just going to have to walk from Vampire's daycare to her own, and that she had better start walking. She knew I was teasing and laughed and said, "no... you walk to work!"
We got in the car and drove the short distance to DQ's daycare. I walked her to the door. Told her to enjoy her field trip today. I kissed her on top of her head and hugged her. She seemed preoccupied. I sensed that she was thinking of the hysterical little girl. I asked her if it scared her a bit. She said it did. I told her that I believe the little girl could have something different going on in her mind, than what DQ and I have, that she thinks differently, and is more distressed that her mom is leaving than what DQ and Vampire are. By this time - we are at the door. She hugs me then walks into the daycare. I call out that I love her - and get no response. She is getting to the age where parental displays of affection are only welcomed when she wants them. I checked her in, then walked back to my car. As I am climbing into my car, I hear the door to the daycare open, and I look back. There stands my sweet little girl. Tan from playing outside during the summer. Missing her top front tooth on the left side, and a bottom tooth just under it. She has a pretty red white and blue shirt on the M's mom bought for her. Her hair is parted down the center and lays in two braids on either side of her shoulders. She smiles that toothless grin I have come to love so well. I smile. I wave. I blow her a kiss. She simply holds her hands up in the sign language gesture of I Love You. I do the same, my heart bursting with a love I never knew I could have. Then she dances off to play with the other kids. I wish I could have photographed that with my camera. But I have put it down in writing, and now I will be able to see the image when I re-read this blog post.
In the last week, Vampire has not bit anyone (cheer). She has however still been aggressive. She hits, pushes, kicks, pinches. The daycare keeps working through it all with her. She has been pushing buttons at home. She picks at DQ. She uses way more toilet paper than she is supposed to and she will stop up the toilet, and when asked why, she will smile that knowing smile and shrug her shoulders. On Sunday - she urinated on my couch. She flat out sat there and peed on my couch. I asked her why she felt that it was OK to pee on my couch instead of getting up and going to the restroom. She said it was because she didn't want to have to miss watching Scooby Doo. It was about 1/2 hour before her bedtime anyway, so I showered her and put her to bed. I told her that if she had not peed on herself, and my couch that she could have finished watching the movie. She cried herself to sleep. It was raining yesterday when we were getting ready to leave for daycare. She insisted that since it was raining she had to wear a jacket - and she pulled the hood up over her head. It was so cute. M began to argue with her that it was too hot for a jacket, but I stopped him and said that if she wanted to wear a jacket in 90 degree weather - we should let her make that decision. It wouldn't be for long. It's not a major battle to fight, like if she wanted to go to school nude! And finally - she would learn before too long just how hot it gets in a jacket in extreme heat like we have been having.
DQ has been telling me she loves me at random intervals at home. She will just say, "mommy?" I say, "yes sweetie?" Then she says, "I love you." And I tell her I love her too. It makes me feel as if I am doing something right that this child wants to tell me she loves me, and that she isn't expecting anything but an 'I love you too' in return. My love for her and her sister is so fierce.... it would crush me if anything ever happened to either of them. DQ is still coming along in her reading. She has been reading one book off and on all summer, and likes to talk to me about it sometimes. I enjoy these times with her. I can't believe school will be starting in a few weeks. Summer seems to have come and gone all ready!
I must bring you up to speed with what has been happening with my sister. She called mom and I last Friday around noon. She wanted to tell us that she is sorry for not having texted in awhile. She didn't have a cell phone any longer and she had "fallen on hard times". She said that the number she called from wasn't a good number to reach her at, so don't call back - but she wanted to tell the kids that she loves and misses them, and that she is sorry for everything. Mom and I corresponded about it all. We have very good, open lines of communication. We did the same thing we usually do... by tucking the knowledge away and moving on with our lives raising these children. Yesterday however, I received a call from a number that merely appeared as the area code. I thought it odd that only three digits showed up on my caller ID and answered the phone. The lady on the other end identified herself as an employee of the child support agency in the state we reside. She was trying to contact my sister. She thought this was a number for her, and I told her it isn't. It is my number (has been since 2003). She asked if the person she was looking for was indeed my sister, and I confirmed it. She wanted to know what she does as a profession... I told her I really couldn't say as the past 8 years she has just done odd jobs, or collected scrap metal as an income. She asked if I knew where she was living... I told her that the last I knew, she was living/working in a local motel. She gave me an address, and asked me if I knew where that was. I did a reverse look up... it's right down the street from where I work. The motel she was living in was that close... The child support employee then asked if I knew where she could be located now. I told her that I'm sorry, I didn't. I told her that she contacted us on Friday from a number but told us how it wasn't a good contact for her. Her response was..."imagine that." She then asked if I get any new contact information, could I please call her and give it to her as they are going to take my sister to court b/c she is so behind in the child support she owes on these three children.
I can tell you honestly that my heart is so torn. So very torn. I love my sister. I wish she could pull herself up out of this lifestyle. I know that she will never get ahead now... owing so much in child support. I also know that it was entirely her choice to leave. It was her choice to walk away from these kids. The only support we get from the state is medical insurance for all three of these kids. We don't get food stamps. We don't get daycare assistance. We get medical insurance... which I can say is priceless, but the state pays for that. The child support that my sister owes then.... is not due to us, it is due to the state. The state isn't independently wealthy. They have to get money to pay for these things from somewhere. Where do you think it comes from when at least 1/2 of these parents don't pay child support regularly? That's right. Taxpayers. John and Jane Q. Public. So should the state have a right to pursue her for support? In the end - I decided yes. I did a reverse look up on the phone number she had called from on Friday. It was another motel. This one is a little further away. So I called the child support worker back. I got her voice mail, and I left her a message with the phone number, the motel she MIGHT be staying at now, and the residue of my guilt on having to do this to my own sister.
So again, I am feeling a little guilty. I am wishing that I could find that magic road to making more money so that I could adopt these girls and negate the need for the state paying for their medical insurance. It just isn't in the cards right now. How could it be with the daycare tuition being as high as it is for both girls? Again the question of having a child of my own floats into my mind, and more and more... I feel that even if I could conceive a child. I couldn't afford to care for it anyway. So thus is my life. I'm hitting another valley on this roller coaster ride... but it won't be too long before I'm flying down the hill again, smiling as the wind caresses my face, and the world flies past me so fast that everything but my joy and happiness is just a blur.