When Erin first came to live with us we began a tradition of cutting out paper snowflakes and hanging them in the living room. Today I hung snowflakes without her. It wasn't nearly as much fun.
Our visits with her are good. We talk and play. They have a recreation room with a pool table, air hockey, and board games. She is now allowed to go on off-ground visits. We usually get something to eat because she says the food at MHY sucks. I've taken her shopping at Plato's Closet for some clothes. She's found some really nice things for great prices. This time away makes it easier for us to enjoy her. Our time together isn't fraught with the frustrations that had plagued us. In a way it feels like cheating, but her therapist assures us this is therapeutic.
It's difficult to put into words what I think and feel about all of this. I know it's just as difficult for those on the outside looking in to understand. People ask me why we still try or why we don't just let her go. I try not to take those type of questions personally. It would be easier to let her go, but it wouldn't be the right thing. We didn't sign on just to jump ship when it go tough. That isn't what parents do. Of course this doesn't mean there won't be tough love involved. Erin will be 17 in a few short months. One year away from being legally considered an adult but light years away from being capable of running her life. I'm hopeful that these months in treatment will help her obtain the life skills and emotional control she needs to move forward in a positive way. The odds are stacked against her, but I have to believe that this can work.
Today as I was cleaning out drawers I found this poem she wrote. It follows the format of the "I am" poem I wrote ages ago.
I am from chocolate ice cream, Baskin Robbins, and Reeses Cups
I am from the brick house overflowing with leaves, full of love, and home grown tomatoes
I am from the green leaves, the wild flower, the ever flowing river that is free to go it's own way
I am from home made cinnamon rolls
I am from Friday night camp fires and sleeping under the stars
I am from "you are grounded" and "I love you monkey face"
I am from reading my Bible and spending my nights talking to God.
I am from dry ground, biscuits and chocolate gravy, and mac and cheese
I didn't notice it as much the first time I read this, but I notice it now. She is in these lines. I'm going to take this to her on our next visit to see if she recognizes herself.