I’ve been avoiding mentioning on the blog that I’ve taken my step-daughter, Sara back to come and live with me and Carlos. I think that I’ve been avoiding it not because I wanted to keep it a secret (because those closest to me already know) but because I almost didn’t want to have to re-justify why I did it. A very surface level and euphemistic answer would be: because I love her. But like Jules in Pulp Fiction would say, “that shit just ain’t the truth.” I can’t take allow, with clean conscience, a minor to walk the streets homeless. I just couldn’t allow that to happen. To say that she needed a place to stay was an understatement. To say that she’d run out of options is more realistic.
It followed a visit by a godparent (because they really are influential in Puerto Rican life–or at least pretend to be) who has a house full of visitors and could no longer house “just one more”. The decision was made and I debated for a long while before making it. But, there it was. The right thing to do. So it seems fitting that as I write this, I am also introducing another addition to our ever growing family. Relax, it’s not what you think. Nope, this “baby” barks and has paws. (SEE BELOW)
Introducing Heidi…She’s cute. She’s cuddly. She was saved by cruel hands and now she’s part of our family. Believe me, as with Sara, I was ambivalent about adding her onto our team. After all, what the heck do I need with another dog, right? But she nibbled on my finger and it was love at second-sight.
In retrospect, I guess that’s how I see things. I started this post about something totally different. I began initially to write about the correlation of the childhood game, PickUp Sticks and real life. It would’ve been a real good post, but it had nothing to do with my views on family and it would’ve deviated from what I needed to write about a long time ago.
Sara’s been back for almost a month now and it’s not without it’s challenges. I think that she–and I–both learned some things, though, while she was away. Namely:
- Pick Your Battles – Teenagers are not only hormonal, but teen girls are like, TEN TIMES WORSE! Crappy decisions, silly judgements and being all over the place are a teen’s playground. So if I know that already, why bother arguing over replacing the toilet paper roll?
- Help, Don’t Hinder – Nobody’s perfect. Teens are still learning. So it’s unrealistic for me to be pleased with every choice Sara makes. She is her own person and all I can do is guide her and show her a better way. It is up to her to make changes if (and when) the time comes.
- I Was Just Playin’ – Absence does make the heart grow fonder. There is a weird mutual respect that has resulted from our separation. Sara still needs to know how to deal with her Dad, but she’s a lot more willing to work towards her goals. Hopefully.
Well, we both still have a lot to learn but I’m trying to be more openminded. She is seventeen, after all. In a year, the world will consider her a legal adult. So I think it’s too late to make any radical changes. But, the other day I caught her using one of my invented words, “hookie-doo”. And that made me feel real good.