It was another blink-and-it’s-over weekend. All four of the kids seemed extra affectionate this past weekend, not that I’m complaining. I will take extra hugs, lap-sitting, jokes, and “I love you”s any time.
The better the weekend goes, though, the harder the fall on Sunday for the kids as it gets closer to time to leave to drop them off at the police station in Hickville. (We have to pick up and drop off the kids at police stations thanks to Crow and her equally bats-in-the-belfry father, who are not daunted by hysterically crying children when they toss histrionic tantrums).
When I mentioned to Sunflower, who had asked me to paint her nails, that we needed to hurry up so her nails would be dry before she got into the car, her face instantly fell, like a deflated and sad balloon. As the hands on the clock crept even closer to the time to leave, she dissolved into heartbroken tears, but Gary was able to hold her and joke around and get her smiling again.
Later, I was in another room playing with Bear when I heard what I thought at first was Sunflower laughing. As I listened closer, I realized it was not laughter at all, but Sunflower breaking down and crying again, harder this time, and so loudly I didn’t recognize the sound as crying at first.
I felt helpless and useless, stroking her hair, rubbing her back, trying in some small way to help her feel even a little bit better. I reminded her we would be in Hickville the very next day for a meeting with Wolverine’s teachers and for Bear’s football game, but that didn’t help. She said she wouldn’t be allowed to come just to see her father. I had no words for that, or for the fact that a 9-year-old sees the ugly truth that plainly.
She cried most of the way back to Hickville, which is over an hour away. Every time that happens, I want ferociously and fiercely to shove her tears into the face of everyone who has created this situation, from Crow to her enabling parents to the judges and lawyers who refuse to stop this abuse, and I want to demand that they explain to her why this is being done to her and to her brothers and sister. For once, let the responsible parties face the destruction and ravaging they have inflicted on the children and tell them, to their faces, why they are not important enough for them to stop it.
For once, don’t leave Gary and me to explain why we are the only ones who truly care.