Excuse me while I grab a tissue. And some cookies. Cookies always make me feel better. So much for the aquarobics. Puffs Ultra are my favorite tissues. I’m not compensated by Puffs, I’m just sayin’ they’re soft is all.
I was running around the house like a mad woman this morning. Simeon had visitation, Zeb had been up from 2 to 4 (that would be in the A freakin’ M) and then Simeon had a rage this morning. Something about his new favorite toy, Handy Manny on a bike, set him off. I’m pretty sure the rage was not about Handy Manny, or the bike. It’s probably because his words are inadequate to express all the feeling inside of him. I get it.
I was supposed to be walking out the door with two toddlers in tow at 9:30. At 9:15 my phone rang.
“Mrs. Monica, this is Zeb’s case worker. He’s going home. Guess that cancels our visit today! Oh, and by the way, can you bring all of his stuff when you bring Simeon for visitation, someone will be there to pick him up.”
I should have said no, but my brain was whirring. I couldn’t think, so I said sure. Then made a mad dash through the house collecting as many of his things and clothes as I could find. I’m sure I missed something. Twelve somethings probably.
I knew there was a slight, I mean very slight chance he could go today, but I really thought he would stay. I was preparing for his sibling. I had plans to go buy a bassinet tonight and everything. I had no time to explain anything to Simeon. I didn’t even get time to say goodbye to Zeb. He wasn’t even awake the last time Leo saw him. Well, technically he was awake, it was just dark (3:30ish, I believe).
I am sad. To those who ask the ridiculous question: is it hard to give them back? I say you have no idea. You cannot imagine packing up every sign of the child you committed to loving deeply and loading it into your car knowing that you may never know him again. You cannot imagine how strange and empty my house feels, like there’s a little vacuum of space where Zeb used to be. It hurts and I’m sad, but I know it’s right, so I do it.
I know it’s right because I was the one to place that boy in his father’s arms. He didn’t laugh, or smile, he just melted into place and buried his face in his daddy’s neck and his body relaxed for the first time in three weeks and I knew he was already home. I know that in a few hours, Simeon will need me to fix him a snack, or wipe his hiney, or play Handy Manny with him and I will be so wrapped up in the love for him, that I will feel not so sad anymore. It doesn’t mean that I won’t miss Zeb. I will miss him as much as I miss Reuben. I am different because those boys were in my life. I am better. I pray that Zeb will have a future full of joy and love and peace.