A year ago today I stood in a court room and a judge ruled that our daughters would stay with us. The further away I get from that day the more miraculous I realize it was. There we were, becoming a family in a way that as close to impossible as you can imagine.
And here we are, a year later. Things, today, are good.
Our relationship with the girls' mother is good. Very good in fact. The angst over visits passed and we have reached a comfortable spot where our friendship is beyond just the fact we both love our daughters. Our lives, our worlds, are about as different as can be and yet in some strange way we have managed to forge something that feels strong.
This week she moved into a house a block and a half down the road. We drive by and honk a hello, Taya calls out "That is L mama. I grew in her tummy and we love her." And I say yes, smile and we continue with our day. She will send me a text during a hockey game to comment on a play. She will call in tears if someone has said something to hurt her and she needs assurance of her place in our lives. Visits are short and not close together, at her request, but feel completely natural. Last week we went out to lunch, today we will attend a birthday party together.
We threw a massive bash for the girls' birthdays and for the first time had an event that combined the girls original family and our family and friends. And we mingled and laughed and everyone was able to celebrate the wonder that is our daughters. We realize that we, the two mothers, are leading the way way for those that follow us. Some of her family is not comfortable with the situation, and yet because she is, they follow her lead. And the girls benefit.
The same problems that were there before are still there. This is not an uncomplicated situation or an uncomplicated life, and yet mutual respect has gotten us a very long way. All for the love of two very good girls.
My life continues to be busy and at times insane. I am home schooling one of my teenagers now, adding to the paid home schooling student that arrives every afternoon. We are still facilitating the boys hockey , even though it is MAY and now add things like gymnastics and lacrosse to the mix. My husband turned 40. IEPs, therapist appointments, counselors, doctors and trying to keep sane fill the rest of the days.
A friend asked me what I had been up to one day last week, so I emailed her this:
midnight - go to bed
2:30 am - Jayde comes into our bed.
3:00 am - Jayde is doing cartwheels so I move her into the bed we have set up for her in our room.
3:02 am- realize teen is still up and silently hope he falls asleep soon. listen to him walk to bed
5:30 - as a consequence for yesterday's crazy behavior, another teen woken up to accompany Dad to work today
6:10 am - discuss with Shel that sending teen to work with him this morning won't work because teen has a dentist appointment. Let teen go back to bed.
6:20 am - jump in shower
6:35 am - turn on computer check email. consider making coffee. Decide not to.
6:38 am - Taya up. Watch cartoons.
7:00 am - Jayde up.
7:10 am - Caden up.
7:20 am - Teens up in theory.
7:45 am - Re wake up teens.
General morning stuff - breakfast, getting the boys to MOVE by helping out a bit
8:15 am - phone call from school from principal to do an interview about my home schooling student. This is the normal time we leave but we dont today because the boys have dentist appointments.
8:40 - Realize teen didn't take his meds last night. Ask him to take them. He refuses. Give him an ultimatum. He takes them.
8:45 - put all six kids in the truck, drive to Kids dentist. Leave G, T and J in the truck, bring in T, C and E. Leave them there after checking them in. Promise Dentist I will be returning within half an hour. I lie.
9:00 arrive at motor vehicles branch with G, T and J. Check in and pay ... realize that there is a 45 minute wait AT LEAST before Greg can take his drivers test. Ugh. Girls running all over acting crazy. Leave with them and go to Tim Horton's to buy myself a coffee.
9:45 am - recieve call from Dentist. Some emergency with Eric's tooth. Solve over phone. Feel like very bad mother.
10:00 am - go back into motor vehicle branch. Wait for another 15 minutes for Greg to be done. Pay again since he passed. While paying Jayde runs away and gets on the ELEVATOR by herself. Run screaming from the DMV to grab her. Others laugh at me.
10:15 - go back to Kids Dentist. Boys aren't done yet. Go back to truck and drive Greg home ... going to drop him and Jayde off and to back to Dentist just with Taya. No way. Jayde flips out. So take both girls back to dentist.
10:30 - get girls out of truck and go into dentist office. E and C are done and want to go to school. Drag a screaming Taya out of dentist office (its a fun place) and drive E and C to school. Tell Tanner I will NOT be going back into dentist to get him so he can come out.
10:45 - drop boys off at school, return to Kids Dentist
11:00 - Tanner done. Drive him to school.
11:10 - arrive at the Bible study I was supposed to be co-hosting at 10. Apologize for being late. Visit. Field a phone call from Shel who is trying to decide if we are taking Greg driving yet.
12:02 - pack up girls and go home. Put them immediately to bed after going pee.
12:15 - check email, make sure Greg has his science work done for his tutoring later
12:28 = B (the student I home school every day) arrives. Taya gets out of bed.
12:30 - begin work with B. He is in an awful HORRIBLE mood. He is an ODD kid at the best of times and today is not a good day. Taya gets out of bed 16 more times.
1:25 - B has completed exactly ZERO work. I call his parent and ask him to come get him. Put together the days' assignment.
1:29 - Jayde wakes up from nap. Has peed the bed and herself. Is miserable and whiney.
1:46 - Parent arrives and takes B off my hands. Taya is asleep. F I N A L L Y
1:47 - G asks for my help with a project he is working on.
1:48 - Realize I am doing Greg's project for him. Kick his ass into gear.
2:30 - Finish G's project while he has a snack = realize I am very late and still doing his project.
2:33 - Wake up Taya, find panties and pants for Jayde, put shoes on girls, quite possible scream HURRY UP we have to go.
2:47 - Pick up D at her Day Care
2:53 - Drop Greg off at his Science Tutoring
2:55 - Pull Eric and Caden off their school bus JUST as it is going to pull away. I need them to watch the girls.
3:00 - Drop D off at her parental visit. Chat for a bit so D will be comfortable. Leave E, C, J and T in the truck.
3:15 - drive to Greg's school office where I have to drop of "HIS" work with his teachers. Pick up his report card and meet with principal, science teacher and socials teacher.
3:27 - leave Greg's school office and drive to the high school trying to find Tanner ot pick him up
3:33 - got home as Tanner walks in the door.
3:35 - Jayde pees her pants again. Dogs have destroyed a box of kleenix and ripped a curtain down while I was gone. SERIOUSLY going to kill the dogs.
3:46 - realize that Jayde is outside on the trampoline naked. The boys that were supposed to be watching her got distracted with the TREEHOUSE ??? cartoons I had put on to keep the girls busy.
3:47 - turn off TV. Send one son to get baby, send another to to clean kitchen, another to shuck corn on the cob for dinner.
4:00 - put on chicken nuggets and water to boil
4:12 - Shel home. He picked up Greg from tutoring for me.
4:30 - Realize Caden is late for gymnastics class. RACE him there.
4:45 - Put together a plate of chicken nuggets, corn on the cob for girls, Shel and I and Tanner
5:00 - leave girls and G and E at home to eat. Take Tanner to his parent teacher interviews at his high school. Make sure he has thrown his Lacrosse Gear into the truck. Meet with 3 teachers. REalize our son has not been turning in any homework. Restrain from kicking his butt.
5:45 - drive him to Lacross practice. Realize I am out of gas - go get gas.
6:15 - return home. house a DISASTER. Girls are running across the front lawn, G and E playing basketball. Apparently they forgot they were supposed to do the dishes.
6:30 - Shel leaves with G, E and their friend to drive them to hockey training. Almost forgets to pick up Caden who calls crying because they are late.
6:40 - Put girls in tub.
6:50 - Shel home with Caden. Cuddle Caden whose jaw is hurting from his filling this morning.
7:05 - Girls decide a hot tub party would be fun. Put on swim suit, Caden does too, Grab girls from the tub and put them in the hot tub with us.
7:25 - took out the girls, put on PJs Shel leaves to go to business meeting. Turn on cartoons
8:05 = begin bedtime routine.
8:30 - finish bedtime routine
8:32 - help Tanner organize his binders, go over missing French home work, check score of Canucks game and email.
9:23 - Shel comes home with G and E.
I collapse on the couch. And that is why I have a hard time blogging these days.