I think it's a pretty natural thing to play what-if games in your mind. What if I had taken that job? What if we had bought that house? What if I had decided to leave that frat party on my own instead of with the tall, red-headed captain of the men's soccer team? (it's okay, I ended up marrying him). In order to embrace my new life, though, I try really hard not to go down this road too much...what if we didn't take the girls? What if we had taken all four of the girls? What if the accident never happened at all?
Sometimes I can't help myself.
Last week from 10am on Friday and 4pm on Saturday MG and KT stayed with us. I'm worried more and more that the four sisters aren't together enough and are starting to be more like cousins. The Christmas break was a perfect time to get them together without the distractions of school and other activities.
It was great. I loved being with them and everyone had fun. I tried to make it fairly normal with nothing too special so it would be more about them being together a give them some normalcy. Yes, 7 kids was hard. Yes, K was on a business trip which added to part of the difficult, but overall we did fine. There were times of weirdness for all of them (M in particular). The little girls also just really wanted to play with L most of the time, which is only natural given their ages. I tried to find times, though, where the boys and I did things together and just let the girls be.
It was almost too easy. If only for a short time, it gave me a snapshot of what our life might have been like.
My mind started down the path of what-ifs. Spurring this were also the glaring parental issues CA is having with taking care of the girls. Seeing them wearing clothes too small for them. Seeing KT wearing boy pajamas. Seeing KT's awful rash in her privates and terrible eczema. What if we had taken them? Could we have done it? Would them have been better off? What about the boys? I try hard to not be judgmental about CA's decisions with the little girls. I know only too well how bad that can feel. But she consistently is making decisions that baffle the mind. I tried to be honest and direct with her about them and I got lies, excuses, and weird accusations. Disturbing and upsetting to say the least.
I took some action this morning and called Dr. L (awesome therapist who helped us decide what to do with the girls) about setting up some sort of meeting between the sisters to work things out. He was wonderful as usual. He really thinks that CA is a very guarded and defensive person and that she can't come to us honestly because she feels so judged. His suggestion, actually, is for CA and I to meet with himself and Julia, who has been working with CA with MG. He felt my relationship with CA was most important out of the sisters and that I could hopefully work with CA to come to all of us with a more honest place. I'm hoping this helps. I'm hoping I can improve things with her, so this in turn lets me help her with some basic care issues with the little girls.
Maybe this will quiet the what-ifs that bounce around my head late at night.