When I was on the phone the other day the court visitor, she seemed so surprised that we were anxious over the impending guardianship. We explained to her the exact reason for our anxiety when she was here yesterday.
Most of our lives as parents have been fraught with a certain amount of anxiety above what the typical parents experience. If it wasn't one thing, it was another. Part of it was just normal childhood stuff that made us catch our collective breath. Other times, it was typical childhood booboos that happened often enough that it wasn't really typical. Other times, it was thing way beyond the norm - like the roughly 5 dozen hospitalizations our two youngest experienced amongst other things.
We moved cross country so often in Hopper's first 2.5 years that the doctors never seemed to think she was having a problem with ear infections. We'd have to start the count all over from the beginning in order for the doctors to feel she qualified for ear tubes, and by the time she did qualify, it was time for us to move once again. By the time she was 2.5 and had her first set of ear tubes, she'd had right at 3 dozen ear infections.
The constant ear infections caused Hopper to walk like a drunken sailor when she started her upright journey. Walking down a hallway meant she would wobble from one wall to the other in an attempt to keep on her feet. Even after the surgery to insert the first set of tubes in her ears, she ran into everything. Every. Thing.
She started attending preschool shortly after her 3rd birthday. Early intervention and all. And she ran into everything. Most of the time, she ran into things at home. For a few years, one eye or the other was blackened every couple months or si during the school year, and we knew that each and every one of her black eyes was recorded in her permanent file. We lived in fear of the school officials calling child protective services on us with every bump and bruise that showed up on her pale little skin.
One day Hopper's teacher called in a panic. She was on the verge of tears. She was talking so quickly it was hard to understand what she was saying.
OhmygoodnessJudy! I'msosorry! Iwasholdingherhand! Idon'tknowwhathappened. Youknowthosemetalpillarsthatseparatethedoubledoorsattheschool? Wewerecominginfromrecess,andIwasholdingHopper'shand,andIdon'tknowhowithappened,butsheranrightintoit,andshehasahugeblackeye!
I am SO sorry!!
I started laughing.
I couldn't help it.
I was so incredibly relieved, and I know it sounds horrible to be relieved that your child had yet another black eye, but it was so much more than that. I knew that Hopper was fine, and it felt like I could breathe for the first time since she'd started school 4.5 years earlier. She had finally gotten a black eye with someone else watching her. This would be recorded in her permanent file. We knew then and there that we would not be accused of causing her frequent black eyes. She was a very active kid with poor balance that just happened to run into things a lot. And if it happened when she was with professionals, and they wouldn't be found liable, then we knew that we wouldn't either.
We knew that CPS wouldn't be knocking on our door to take our children away from us, because Hopper had an inordinate number of black eyes. But we still didn't know, if they'd come after us because of Scooter.
But that's a story for another day...
Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.
You can read the start of my journey here.