I listened as she explained how even though there are so many kids in one bedroom (and in the living room) and how the noise level can drive you crazy sometimes, she’s used to it, it’s comforting.
Eventually, my kid and psychic kid fell asleep. I lay awake for another hour processing everything I’d just learned about psychic kid’s home life.
Then I said a prayer for her.
The next morning, I woke up to the pounding pain of the newly formed heartbeats on the soles of my feet. We had spent seven hours at an amusement park the previous day for my daughter’s birthday party. I repeat – seven hours. That’s seven hours, eight kids and my ex.
I asked the girls what they wanted for breakfast and prefaced it with, “Keep it simple, ladies.” I’m thinking scrambled eggs, bagels, maybe bacon. Psychic kid had something else in mind.
“I want pancakes.”
Pancakes? I opened the freezer. Just as I thought, we’re out of pancakes. The kind you zap in the microwave.
Psychic kid’s request prompted my daughter to respond with a hearty, “Ha!” and a snort. She continued to crack up in the kitchen… in the dining room… then in the living room. I could hear her laughing upstairs. (Side note: I don’t really like to cook mostly because I’m not very good at it.)
Psychic kid clarified, “No, I’ll make the pancakes. At my house, we have to help cook, especially if we want to eat because there’s so many of us.” She said this jokingly, but I knew there was some truth there.
All I wanted to do now was make this kid some freaking pancakes. But I didn’t have the ingredients. Had I had them I wouldn’t have known what to do with them. Ha!
So I packed the kids in the car and headed to Denny’s. Psychic kid had never been to Denny’s, but she was about to be introduced to the Grand Slam breakfast. With pancakes!
Fast forward to Spring Break and psychic kid is calling every day, several times a day, and texting. Boy, this kid can text. But my kid isn’t home. She’s spending a few days with her dad.
She wants to know if she can spend the night before they go back to school. I can hear a lot of background noise each time she calls.
I can’t make out what the grandmother is saying in the background. She’s upset. No, it’s something else. I can’t put my finger on it just yet. I’ll find out soon enough.
I pick up Psychic Kid on a Thursday. She’d asked to stay two nights and I had no good reason to say no. After all, it was Spring Break and my kid would enjoy the company.
She had barely set foot in my house when her grandmother called with instructions.
If the kid’s mom shows up at your house, don’t let her in.
Call the police then call me.
She’s not allowed to see her right now.
Thanks for letting her stay there.
Grandma spoke quickly and didn’t elaborate. She hung up before I could ask any questions.
Psychic child was suddenly at my side ready to answer my unasked questions. It was as if she was reading my mind…
“That was my grandma wasn’t it.”
I confirmed it was.
“You know what to do, right, if my mom shows up.”
I nodded, still holding my cell phone and still confused. But psychic kid answered my question before I could ask it.
“It’s because my mom’s boyfriend...”
I’m choosing not to finish that sentence. I don’t think I have to. I refuse to type the words. It’s not worthy of the space, even if that space is virtual.
I get it now. This little girl needed a place to hide out for a couple of days. And my place was the safe house.
Then it hit me.
It wasn’t anger I sensed in Grandma’s voice, it was anxiety and fear. But there was also determination. She was determined to get her granddaughter out of the house and out of reach from her mother.
At this point, I’m thinking forget the hug – I want to adopt this kid! I want to furnish and decorate the spare bedroom and make it hers. I want to buy her clothes that fit. I want her to be safe for more than two days. But adopting psychic kid isn’t really an option.
As reality sets in, I want more answers so I start asking questions. Looking back, I almost wish I hadn’t.
Where does your mom live?
She lives with her boyfriend.
Did you tell your mom what happened?
Yes, I told her.
Where is mom living now?
She’s still living with her boyfriend.
That’s right, folks, mom chose the boyfriend. And with that decision, her already limited visitation privileges were revoked.
The pain in my chest was back with a vengeance.
It’s my mommy heart… and it’s breaking.
To be continued...
To be continued...