So today is 11/11/11. A sort of magical day if you're into that sort of stuff. Just like some of us always mark 11:11 day and night as a "magic moment". For me, it's not a wish moment, but just a small pause to think of a person I share it with. It's a silly little thing we share, just because.
But today is loaded, hee hee hee, because of it's numbers, and magical.
In a strange and odd way, it actually is.
A year ago yesterday, I wrote this about what we did on 11/9/10. I've been alternately looking back over it and intentionally ignoring it. It was hard then, even though it was the right thing to do, and it's still hard today.
My mail box is a couple of houses away from where I live, don't ask, but the weather was gross yesterday and I never got around to picking up the mail. This morning when I took a letter to the mailbox, I picked up yesterdays mail.
There was a thick envelope. Instantly recognizable to me. Court documents. We are foster parents. It's not an uncommon thing in our mailbox. I began opening the envelope while walking back to my house.
It was not at all what I expected.
It's court documents for the TPR of my soon to be son, Mr. Monkey. He hasn't even moved into our home yet. He's still on the respite rotation and yet in my hands I hold documents making it more forever than the settings already reflect.
The weight of this envelope is much more than the stack of papers folded and stuffed inside. This pile of papers, this mumbo jumbo of legal jargon tells a story. It tells a story I don't know, and it's the story of my son.
Yeah. He's mine. Yes. I agreed sort of sight unseen. Yes. I spent only a short hour or so with him before choosing forever. Yes. I just simply trust that it will be OK in the end.
He's a kid. He needs a family. He needs a chance. He needs love. He needs hope.
Today, I'll sift through this long string of sentences and try to strain out the legal cover your ass stuff to find the story line. Mixed into the party of this and the motion of that are the statements, the facts of my child's past.
He comes to me from a black hole. There are contacts and ties we will be blessed with, but there will be gaps, holes, forever in his beginnings. There will be only the most scant story of his first years.
Those baby years that you have cherished with your kids, taking note of every single first, photographing every little thing, I don't have with this precious child. He has a black hole. When he graduates high school or gets married, there will be no photo story board with baby pictures. I can't tell him the story of his birth or his first steps or his first words. Simply put, they don't exist. There aren't any pictures. There aren't any stories. No one noticed. No one remembered. No one saw.
This life is such a funny and difficult thing. It's hardness comes in the way time is unforgiving. When you lose a moment, when you lose time, there is no second chance. There is no way to just go back and have it again or have more later. It's just simply gone.
We can choose to toss our time away on sleeping in or watching TV or whatever our pleasure is, but when it's at the cost of time spent with people, it can't be gained back, it's just gone. Maybe it's being 40 that makes me see it so plainly these days. Maybe it's the deaths that are touching the fringes of my life. Maybe it's the way some kids get stuck in the system. Who knows what it is.
But a moment lost, is a moment lost forever. Even when we shake it off and say it's OK, another day, or there's always tomorrow, or I'll always be around, time ticks and we don't get it back. Life is short, even when it's lived out for many, many years, it's short and then it's gone.
And so I'm back around to this magical 11/11/11 day. What will happen? Probably nothing out of the ordinary and yet it is the ordinary that will make it extraordinary. I will go later to pick up Mr. Monkey to spend another weekend with us before it becomes forever.
I don't know that I'll be wishing today. I think I'll be wondering instead.
Wondering about this little boy plucked out of black hole and dropped into my heart.