The kids are sure calm. Ah-ha, treats and a movie. Look at their eyes. Do they know what is happening? Do they know he is going and they are staying? If they know, what is that doing to them. Extra hugs and cuddles.
Muffled French from the dining room. Will they know I care for their son? What will be lost in translation? There is a translator, they tell me. Oh great. A tiny little snooty better than you translator. Don’t judge. But it is true. And this one has to relate to the parents of this boy I love how happy I am going to tell them that I am.
Maybe I should not have come. This is not easy. Does my smile look fake? It feels fake. Force yourself to instill confidence. Tell them what they need to hear. Let the boy hear how wonderful this is.
They really are good people. How long? Did you just say five years? wow. Oh, don’t share that with me. Yes, I get it. You didn’t want to be infertile. This is your alternative. But I didn’t need to hear that. Just tell me you are going to care for him. Just tell me that he means the world to you. Tell me what I need to hear and I will tell you what you need to hear.
Straining to understand foreign syllables here and there spoken with a Bolivian accent. She is doing the best she can. I don’t need the attitude. Why is the attitude forgotten by most translators? If my face is sincere maybe they will catch the sincerity from me rather than the cynicism from her. But where is my sincerity? I left it at the door as I told my legs to carry me in there to meet the ‘rescuers’.
Dang! There are so many things I want to change around here. That. and that. oh that too. dang. that has to go. that can not stay. are you serious? I did not just see that. Lord help us.
Focus. Find a kid. Ah. That is better. Unconditional love from the unloved. I know the cliche of the institutional adversary. I have read the books and I have seen the movies. But don’t look at me like you are are so ready to be done with me. I know the look because it is the one I give. At least this is a step up from the street. At least the kid has food and a bed and genuine care. He might have died without us. I gotta snap out of this. This is all in my head.
You are justifying jealousy with self-righteous defenses that are frivolous arguments that no body wants to hear. Snap your pictures. Show truth. Smile a ton. Focus on the kids.
Well isn’t this a dandy situation. Another parent arrives. Weekly she comes. Weekly she dotes. Weekly she wonders. Has she kicked out the man who damaged her daughter? Will that smile trying to be winning win back her girl? Until then little miss sits and gloats about the mama she has that will one day come and get her.
Six parents. The French ones will whisk their son away to life right out of the pages of all the right magazines. One Bolivian mother cooks to feed the 24 mouths, which will be 23 soon. Another Bolivian mother, also grandmother, gives her time to the little ones. The other Bolivian mother longs to have her child back. The parent who is me longs for too many things.
I have got to make this midway place pleasant. Parents who come need to see a home. So much work.
Thank the volunteers.
One more look at those baby eyes.
Music and rumble of truck. Soothing. Distracting.
*We all do it. We talk to ourselves. The sophisticated pros call it ’self-talk’. In a theatrical production it is like unto a soliloquy. Whatever it is, here’s some from my head.