"God gives us dreams a size too big so that we can grow into them."

Monday, March 22, 2010

Strawberries & Cigarettes

Thus far I have been ignoring this whole "going to mom's house on the weekends" thing the court ordered for S. The best way I can describe it is that God has given me a blessed numbness that I can't thank Him enough for. I drop her off, I don't cry about it. I don't worry much. I just feel like she is being baby sat. And then she comes home.

It has been shocking how hard that has been on her, and I don't think we are even seeing close to what some families go through. Every Sunday evening I pick her up. She is used to it now. Last night she jumped out of her Grandma's old van and climbed right into my car smiling and asking about "Daddy". No big deal right? All is well with the world. Not really, but it looks that way.

Once she gets home she won't let me leave her sight. She wants me to hold her ALL THE TIME, which of course I do. It's not like I don't want to, it is just the reason behind her wanting me to that gets my mind going.

When it is time for bed everything usually hits the fan. I have begun to dread it. In the past we have taken it as her just being straight out defiant and have held strong to the way we have always done bedtime with the kids.

Last night something was different. Now, this is only on Sunday nights after she has been at her mom's. The rest of the week she is fine. Last night she knew it was time for bed so she started the "cry face" and refused to go to the bathroom because she knew after that she would have to go to bed. I pulled her pants down and sat her on the toilet. It was obvious she did need to go. I noticed a little scrape on her knee (that was no big deal) but pulled out the special band-aids to distract her from her crying and it worked. I asked her if she wanted PJs or just wanted to wear her clothes to bed. She was in the outfit she came home from her mom's house in that was saturated by the smell of cigarettes. When she comes home she reeks of smoke. Her hair, her shoes, her coat, her clothes, her toys. Everything that comes out of the car reeks.
She wanted to wear her clothes to bed. I didn't want to poke the monster so I agreed. She also had her hands full of toys, a baby that she brought home from mom's house and 2 other toys she had picked up as we got ready for bed. Still, not wanting to poke the monster, I said she could take all the toys to bed with her too.

I took her in to bed.

Sat her in her bed.

As she is whimpering she is also arranging her pillow, just so, as she does every night.

I give her a hug and a kiss.

She is calming down.

I leave the room and she starts crying.

It doesn't have that sound of defiance.

It just sounds sad.

So, I walk away and come back and sit outside her door.

She isn't screaming, she isn't getting louder, she's just crying.

I sit.

I wait for her to drift off.

She still cries the sad cry.

I can't take it.

I go in.

I never go in.

I walk over to her bed and kneel down.

She wraps her arms around my neck and smashes her face to mine.

The crying stops.


She grips the collar of my shirt and my hair.

She breathes.

I sit.

I move a little.

She pulls me back and smashes her face against mine.

She breathes.

I breath her in.

Strawberries and Cigarette.

My first daughter smells like Strawberries and Cigarettes.

I try moving away a little.

She wraps her arm around my neck tighter.

Her breathing slows.

It gets deeper.

Her face is still smashed to mine.

She starts to breathe the way sleeping people breathe.

I get sad.

"She thinks I leave her."

As she falls deeper into sleep it finally gets to me.

I start to cry.

I move my face so the wetness from the tears doesn't wake her up.

I move my face away from hers so I don't wake her up.

She is asleep and her arms are still around my neck.

I move one arm.

She's still asleep.

I move the other one.

She's still asleep.

I sit.

I cry.

In the dark.

In her room.

Next to the little girl that thinks I leave her.

I hate this.

I hadn't let it get to me. I was fine as long as it didn't bother her. It is amazing how much comfort I found in thinking she loved going there and didn't miss us that much. I was thankful for the numbness. Obviously it wouldn't last forever but it was nice while it did.


StarfishMom said...

No words...just tears... :(

gram said...

How sad!!!

the johnson crew said...

i'm so sorry, i am so sad for her and you too.

praying for you guys.

Shelly Marie said...

Praying for that sweet sweet little girl....Love you
So SAD!!!

spng7 said...

I have tears, too, for you both.

Rebekah said...

Tears are streaming down my face. I really don't know what else to say other than I'm sorry. I'm sorry for you, but mostly for S.

We just need Jesus to return.

cindy said...

My heart breaks for you and savanaha, I just want to cry for you both. I agree with Rebekah we need Jesus to return and stop the hurting. I love you Leah so much and really do feel some of your pain. Remember we are here for you.
Love Mom and Dad