And there…in the school parking lot I broke. The flood gates opened. I sobbed. I was overcome by grief and anger like I hadn’t in a long time. Frustration hit my core and I felt my heart being pulled in every direction. For hours, since early morning, I had been fighting a migraine. I rarely get them. I had taken plenty of Tylenol but it had been nagging and I knew there was an underlined monster coming to visit. There, in an empty church lot, about to drop my kiddo at daycare, I allowed it all to come undone.
Her silence broke eventually. “What’s wrong, Mama?”
“I’m sad and angry!” I said softly in between deep inhales and exhales.
“For my baby brother?”
“Part of it. Other parts too!” I kept seeing flashes of my daughter, Kali’s mother, doing what she’s not suppose to do. The anger kept pushing through and I stopped myself from it all until I could get Kali in school and I could leave.
“I’m sorry, Mama. It’s gonna be okay!” She said from her car seat. I got out, unbuckled her, and she gave me a giant tight hug. I stood there, her legs wrapped around my torso, holding my daughter’s daughter. Holding a precious gift she gave me and another one about to arrive into our arms. There, I stood holding my lifeline and hers while she kissed my cheeks. My heart grew wider. This parenting business is not easy…ever.
“I’m gonna be okay, Kali Bug. I am having a bad morning. That’s all.” I looked at her. Her own eyes filled with tears. She feels hard. She knows beyond her years. But, she doesn’t really know the sorrow of her past, or how her birth mother is mentally ill and has intellectual disabilities; how I adopted her mother from a Romanian orphanage at the age of 9; how her mother won’t rationalize or understand the trail of damage she keeps leaving behind. She gives birth to a third child this week. She turns 28 on Friday. Kali doesn’t know of any other mama. She only sees me. She only understands our love…and that she has a new baby brother arriving soon. She doesn’t ask where he’s from. She doesn’t care.
She only knows love. Her life is fully integrated with it. We make sure of it…every single day.
“I know, Mama. You always okay.” She gave me a thumb’s up. I dropped her and she waited by the glass door until I threw kisses before getting in the car. We do this every single morning. She counts to see how fast I am until I get out to the car and then I throw kisses with my hands and she catches them from inside. Today I threw my heart at her…and she caught in for safe landing. And, that’s all I needed her to do.