I lay there with my arm across his back. Cuddled up next to my dear foster daughter as she tries to hide her body in the wall.
Every night we snuggle here, reminiscing about today and dreaming about tomorrow. Thumb wars and tickles ensue. Belly laughs and big smiles.
But this night is different. Anger, fear and sadness overwhelm her five foot frame. She squirms in pain. Trying to physically express the angst inside.
She cries out that she misses her mom. But she can’t stay there. It’s too uncomfortable.
There are no answers there. No solutions.
We don’t know if or when she might go home. We don’t even know when we might find out.
And so she searches for new problems to fix. Lashing out with her words. Naming all the ways I’ve wronged her.
Claiming nobody talks to her or cares for her.
Describing how my husband Jonathan loves her better than I do. Because he’s funner. Funnier.
I listen. Empathize. Jonathan really is funnier than most anyone so that at least is easy to concede.
Yet her accusations still sting.
Because I’m not enough.
None of my bandaids or kisses can heal this hurt.
Side by side, we lay a little while longer. Both aching. Knowing I’m the closest thing to what she’s after.
And both yearning for the woman beside her to be someone I’m not.