It's staying pleasant when one child snarls at you, even if what you want to say is 'get over yourself, you aren't the only one hurting.' Instead, you stay calm and upbeat when you tell the snarler that sure he can have food....once you get home again.
It's staying calm but firm when a second child wails at you for daring to tell said wailer that they must find your address book when they get home. What you want to say is, "stop lying through your teeth, I saw it in your room last week and half the people here this weekend complained about your lying all weekend so just knock the crap off and find the stuff you stole from me." Instead, you simply firmly state that you are not going to engage said child in an argument but you insist that you have your address book back today. Okay, you do make wailer return and try again when they slam the car door with so much anger and venom that it jars your teeth but even then you don't let yourself snap.
It's letting your heart break when the third child sits hidden in a shell and will not crawl out and engage you. This one of your most devoted and attached children, who fought through so much to attach. What you want to say is, "Please, please, please find your strength, baby. I cannot face losing your heart in this grief if you cannot, and I fear you will not find yourself again if you let yourself get lost." Instead, you touch this child. You talk as if this child is responding. You show love and remind this child that family and attachments are still intact, even when hearts are breaking.
After an exhausting day of shuttling children (the children who had individual therapy yesterday blessedly see their therapists at the house), all you really want to do is hide and cry. Instead, you sit on the couch and engage these children as they periodically walk through the living room to touch base with you. You force yourself to eat something, anything, because you remember that you have absolutely no patience for their fighting if you don't. You drink, not because you remember you are actually thirsty but because you've realized you will be suddenly thirsty an hour before bed and then you will be up peeing all night and lose what little hope you have of sleeping for yet another night.
You engage these children. You mother the living. You remind yourself that you don't have time or space to shut down, their needs are far too great for that. You comfort yourself with the knowledge that after dinner, you will grant them permission to play the Wii which they will do the entire time you escape to punish your body in ways you cannot punish your heart and soul.
There is no time to get depressed. There is simply too much which must be done every day and every hour. Today is three weeks. It already feels like a lifetime.
We found Mario, the missing piece to the Mario Brothers chess set. We knew all along that Micah HAD to have hidden Mario. He was obssessed with Mickey Mouse and Mario. I used to have to stop him from carrying Mario around like his own personal collectible. We found him hidden under the diapers for the nanny's toddler. It was a very Micah style hiding place. I'm not sure if I'm happy to have found him or sad that I completed Micah's last game of hide and seak.