Sunday, September 10, 2006

Visiting "Josie"

Wow. Just wow.

We drove two hours each way to visit "Josie" today. Due to the added kids this weekend, we had pretty much decided to scrap the trip for this weekend and do it next weekend or the one after...until The Wife spoke with her on the phone yesterday. She had a bit of a meltdown, with lots of tears...and for once they seemed to be real.

Well. I spoke with her, and my resolve lasted all of 30 seconds. Did I mention I love this girl? I told her we'd figure something out, and we did. On the road we go. As an added surprise, we brought Willy, who seems to be her favorite dog and who we thought she'd enjoy seeing.

We arrived and got out of the van. The Wife took Willy to do his business before we went to the building. Suddenly screetching broke out from the front door of the building, and the Tazmanian Devil came spinning down the stairs and across the lawn. She dropped to her knees and demanded kisses and hugs from a now-very-nervous Willy, who apparently liked her better when she wasn't hyperventilating and half-crying.

She stood up, turned to me, and grabbed me in a hug I'm not likely to forget for a long time. It went on for a long time, and I think I loved it as much as she did. That one hug made the whole trip well worth it. It's the first time I could recall that I felt like she was actually more attached to me than to The Wife...though I'm pretty sure that's not true in the long run. But it felt very, very good for a few moments.

We went to the mall, as we only had two hours and when you spring a teenage girl from a girls' home for a short visit, you of course must take care of the most important things. I lasted about 15 minutes before begging off and going to sit in the van. Keep in mind that I am male, which disqualifies me from the shopping olympics anyway. Plus I did give up my NFL opening weekend for this, ignoring my fantasy football addiction to attend to this family matter. I felt I deserved to spend a bit at least listening to a game on the radio. Besides, The Wife needs quality time with the little snot, too.

After that, we of course went to Subway and snarfed sandwiches. "Josie" and I were at the table and busily stuffing our faces before The Wife had even finished paying for them. We do have that in common, anyway. Suddenly she let out a remarkable belch, even for her. On the spur of the moment I decided to turn my own excess stomach air into an object lesson for her on who the real belch king was around here.


There were stares from neighboring tables. "Josie's" jaw dropped, her challenge to my gastronomical supremacy forgotten for the moment. The Wife covered her face with her hands, lost in her own private pain. I was proud. I am, as I said, most definitely male.

When we got back to the home, we began the painful process of detaching from each other again. We let her use our phone to call her mom, we talked a bit more, she asked if we could stay there a little and visit some more and we declined on the grounds that her counselor said "no way, your time is up".

And then another one of those delicious hugs. I kissed the tears from her cheeks and promised we'd be back again when we could (I suspect we'll try to go on her birthday, which happens to come next month). I told her I loved her again and she replied in kind. We waved to each other as I walked out, the tears back on her cheeks.

I then turned my thoughts to the coming week and began plotting strategy for the completion of my sooper-seekrit plans. More on those later in the week, I think.

I love my life.


At 2:18 PM , Blogger Julie said...

I am very happy that you had a good visit with Josie- she breaks my heart and I am happy that you and the wife have continued to have such close ties with her. You are definately making a difference in her life. Little by little!!


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