Sometimes at bedtime, a foster kid weeps, “I am separated from everyone I love.”
And though we love him more than words, I know he is accurate, too. Because he wants the love he used to know.
“I forget sometimes,” I whisper.
He whispers back, “I never do.”
He slaps himself on the face, creating pain outside that is less than his pain inside. A pain he can manage.
I hold him until he falls asleep.
And then I walk down the hall. Into my room, into my closet, and double over into a ball on the carpet.
Weeping for this little one. For the pain he carries.
And for bravery he teaches me.