This is it. This is my last day here in California before I have to go home and leave her in her father’s care for twenty-eight days.
So much can happen in twenty-eight days. For a six-year-old kid, that can seem like a lifetime. Who am I kidding? For me, a twenty-nine-year old adult, it already feels like I’m going to miss out on years of her life.
Eva and I cried together last night. She wanted me to find and drive by an apartment like ours at home because she was missing home. I asked her if she still wanted to try to stay for the full twenty-eight days. She said yes she did.
The thing that always surprises me about her is her wisdom. She is so smart in so many ways, but I’m still so impressed every time she has a wise statement pertaining to a difficult situation. She said to me that the next month is going to be hard on both of us, but it’s like practice for when she is a grown up. She also told me that she figured out how to get her new two-year-old little sister to listen to her. She said that if she speaks really quietly to her then she pays attention.
In her mind, this is about her taking care of herself. This trip is about her trying to strengthen her relationship with her father and his new family. None of it is about whether her father will be a good dad to her or not.
I guess in a way this is practice. We will know in a couple weeks whether or not this is a situation that can or should be repeated. It is good for her to see her father, but if he can’t ensure she is safely, and at least cordially taken care of, then this won’t be something we do again.
I still have every hope that everything will go beautifully. I think things might even go more smoothly for her once I leave. The step-mom has thus far been keeping her distance. Lord only knows what Eva’s father has said to step-mom about me, though.
As I sit here playing in the sand intermittently with Eva, and watch the waves get bigger, I know that no matter how her time in California goes, I am doing my best for her. Her, my husband, and I are a family, and we will continue to do our best for each other every day.