Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thoughts for Thanksgiving

A few months ago a family came into our lives, and left. As is the way of these things, the little girl took a piece of our hearts with her.

Epsilon still indicates where she sat next to him in the car as I dropped them off to the shelter and wished them luck.

I had heard from an acquaintance that there was a man with 2 kids who needed a place to stay for Sunday night, shelters weren't open. I started a load of sheets and towels, and invited them in.

Epsilon, who had decided not to nap that day, ran out of his bedroom, looked at the little girl, and christened her Annie. Father and son were both named Robert.

Robert Sr. took a nap, while the three children romped. What followed was an afternoon that both reminded me why having more children would be fun, and a horrible idea.

Annie wanted her own room for the night. I told her we could set up the air mattress in the enclosed porch. The mattress quickly became a trampoline. Robert Jr. saw cinnamon sticks in my pantry. Could he have one?

My partner eventually took them to play outside while I made dinner. When I came out to call them in to wash up, nine year old Robert Jr. had squeezed himself into Epsilon's trike to be pushed around by the other two.

After I'd put Epsilon to bed, Annie wanted me to wash and comb her hair, like her mother used to. She and Robert Jr. and I talked a bit about why their father sometimes says that he wishes he didn't have them around. Its not fair that he yells at them and hits them sometimes, but we all get upset at people we love and don't mean it, don't we?

The next morning, Epsilon woke at his usual before the crack of dawn and found Annie. The bed became a trampoline again, the worries of the previous night and the impending goodbye forgotten for a couple hours.

Robert Sr. and I discussed his situation a bit, and exchanged contact information, in the off chance I know someone who could hire him. Annie sat down next to me and said:

"I like this place. How long are we staying here, a week?"

I drive them to the shelter, and Epsilon to his daycare. The only other thing I can think of to do at this point is to contact some local college students to give the kids after school homework help/watch them while their father seeks work. The school year was about to start, but Robert Sr. doesn't have the time or stability to enroll them, though he would never say that.

Now its Thanksgiving, and cold outside. I'm spending the weekend in the warmth generated by extended family crowding into a kitchen. I wish I knew where those kids were to invite them in.

No comments:

Post a Comment