Aspen's mother left town. I found this out for certain Tuesday afternoon when I happened to call Aspen's Girl Scout den mother to get some info on a pledge drive now that I have that responsibility. By coincidence, she was the one whom she asked to drive her to the airport. Aspen was a bit upset last night as I told her that I didn't think mom would be at the Girl Scout meeting as she had told her the day before she would be.
It was this afternoon that I sat down with Aspen and told her that her mom has gone away again for awhile. I told her that her mom was going to be working with some others so she could be a better friend and mother to those in her life. I told her that we weren't sure how long she was going to be gone but that it might be 'a while' before she comes back. Aspen took the news very well. I think her recent extended departures helped make this less of a surprise. She expressed her hope that mom would be back before Halloween. I told her that it would probably not be that soon at all.
I didn't press the issue beyond that. She knew an important fact (her mom was away getting help) and she was not outwardly bothered by it. I told her that if she felt sad or like crying at any point that that was okay and she can come to me to do it if she wants.
Throughout the day Wednesday I traveled from place to place getting the proper final papers signed and notarized and turned in to the clerk of court.
Only 2 hours after turning the paperwork in I got a call from the clerk informing me that a date for the hearing was already set. Mid December.
That's it. While things seem to be pretty much over now, like a football game that is 21 - 0 with 3 minutes to go in the 4th quarter, I will refrain from 'celebrating' until the game clock shows 0:00.
But then it's not really celebrating to be had. I thought that when an outcome was as certain as it appears to be now I would be ecstatic, elated, joyous. But I am not. I am relieved and pleased for certain but not 'happy'. A person is suffering. Albeit a person that has put me through years of agony due to her selfish behavior, I take no pleasure in knowing that someone is miserable because of my actions.
I know that's a tricky statement. She is miserable because of her own actions. Mine were simply a measured and responsible response to her erratic behavior. Still, it is because of me that she will soon have limited access to her greatest treasure. And I don't like being in that position.
I think I will not fully breathe free and groove to the tunes of Marley quite as effortlessly again until she has turned her life around and begun being a positive influence in her daughter's life as a result of my putting my foot down and saying "No more. Not with my daughter.".
I want to be overjoyed right now. Yet my heart is heavy for my daughter's mother.
Compassion is a funny thing.