Sunday, March 23, 2014

reasons to live

i know there are two

but sometimes i make the mistake of thinking

and i can't help crying. jeff thinks

i have time and the determination to get custody

but i worry it will be too late or that the agency doesn't see deaf people as viable adoptive parents

much less foster parents

and sometimes i think it hurts too much to keep trying...

that living just exhausts me because so many people want me to forget them

and i know i don't miss joe, i wish he were someone else

someone safe to be a parent with

i miss them and the way they talked to me

i was struck by how grown-up n was with me and no one else

trying to tell me with his imperfect vocal cords

pointing at the white medical tape squeezing his legs too tight in two places

complaining, oh, either that they were too tight and painful

or just that he didn't like them and wanted them gone, off--

he just wasn't like that with joe or nancy

he knew i knew there was more going on in that head--they just screamed at each other and treated n&e like young, young babies. not being able to talk yet doesn't mean not being able to process information


have coherent thoughts

i was signing by 9 months so

i always talked to them in real sentences, real ideas, real questions, admissions that i didn't understand what they wanted, stuff

like that

so n was babbling very seriously about the bandages and i explained

(they understood my deaf voice very well, as evidenced by n's first real word, daredevil)

that i knew he didn't like it, that i was sorry if they hurt, that he'd been picking at mosquito bites and causing bigger and bigger scabs, so we'd had to find a way to heal them instead, and that they'd come off within a few weeks, maybe two weeks. i said to just hang in there.

and i knew he really understood some of that, and loved being respected enough to be talked to and have things explained


every time i came over after that before it ended

he crawled/toddled over as soon as i walked in

pointed at his bandages with me sitting there

and went into long, serious diatribes--monologues--about how unhappy he was with them

and not one word made sense or was a word


he appreciated my honesty and explanation and treatment of him as someone

who could listen and make sense of what i was saying...

no one else ever talked to them in a normal way

and of course i engaged in baby talk and silliness

but sometimes you have to explain things to babies

why they have to eat this and not that

why the train isn't at the crossing yet

that daddy's mad at me and not playing fair as a result.

they don't remember me. they won't. they may be in danger

sexual abuse or beatings may be their reality now or in the future

and i am just

helpless right now

and this is why i wonder--because i have been fine all these years, since dad died

if it is worth


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