52/52 – Emotive
When the Doodle was born, there was something about her arrival in the world grounded him. It was if they were leading parallel lives. Her infancy was the infancy he should have had, and for those first 12 magical months, he somewhat lived vicariously through her having the babyhood he never had. He experienced unconditional love, budding attachment, fierce protectiveness, attentiveness and tender care. She had so much of which he had been denied.
The birth lottery is quite the gamble. You don’t get to choose your parents, your socioeconomic circumstances, your race or your nationality. The Doodle won all-round. Bubaloo wasn’t quite so lucky.
The day after Christmas my two kids donned their matching batman t-shirts, shirts they purchased with money from their gramma. Every time that they’re together, when they play together like this under our watchful eye, I’m painfully aware that this could be the last time.
It’s been an incredibly challenging year with Bubaloo. We anticipate much of the same, if not greater and more severe challenges, in 2014. We anticipate by the end of the year he’ll choose living on the street as to living at home. Or, we’ll support his choices by asking him not to live here anymore.
He’s only 16 years old. This is not the life we want for him. We’d want anything other than this for him. But he exerts his agency and will, and his broken and damaged thinking leads to a never-ending series of bad choices that are having far-reaching consequences on his life, and the lives of the people around him. He’s toxic. He’s dangerous. Yet he’s my kid.
As we went to bed on Christmas eve, lingered over presents on Christmas morning, and shared a turkey feast at Christmas dinner, I catalogued each moment and savored each one as our possible last as this family of five. When trying to raise a child like this, you live in the present with no hope for the future because there’s only so many times you can have hope beaten out of your cupped hands.