Last night, our 9-year-old foster son Watchful wouldn’t let go of my hand when I was tucking him into bed. He didn’t say “stay,” he just simply continued to hold tight until he fell asleep. This is the boy who last year was too afraid of women to have me do anything more than stand outside his door and say good night.
Last night, our 11-year-old foster daughter Joyful shared one of her fears with me. This is the same girl who says she is never afraid, never needs adults, and can fix any problem herself.
Last night, we had family therapy. Watchful said the therapist was bad for making me cry the previous week. I said the therapist didn’t make me cry. Rather, I had been sad. The therapist prompted Watchful to ask me why I had been sad.
“Because I don’t want you to leave,” I said, looking right into his big, brown eyes.
“I’ll be sad if you run away.” (The kids had been talking about doing this when they were angry the previous week.)
“I’ll be sad and miss you if you go back to live with your dad. Though, I will be happy that you are living with your dad, too.”
Last night, Joyful finally let down her shield, let me in, and shared her secret fear after more than a year of being the tough girl.
Last night, Watchful didn’t ask me to stay, but he kept holding tight to my hand.
I didn’t ask him to stay, either. But I kept on holding his hand. I don’t ever want to let go.