I’ve been in my cocoon for quite some time.  It was warm and cozy.  Sometimes I’d turn on the television and there would be some bad thing on there and I would turn it off – out bad world, out!  My kids only needed Barney and Elmo, fuzzy blankets and the smell of lavendar.  No mean and nasty stuff for them.  Only goodness and light, gentleness and harmony.

Today, I drove to Baltimore to meet a client’s family.  As I drove up, I saw the kids on the front porch and I remembered why this shit nearly killed me last time around.  It’s the kids.  It’s always the kids.  They love their daddy.  They ask how long before he’s home:  “can you make sure he doesn’t get more than five years, maybe less?” asks the 9 year old.  The two year old toddles along, falls, and then gets back up again.  My heart feels like its going to tear open, its heartache, so deep and so real you think its your daddy inside, the man you love looking at 15 years.  If only there was more distance between me and them, maybe it would be easier.  Maybe I could learn not to care so much?

But how can you not care when she says “he’s a good daddy, he just needs to stay out of the hood.”  “When he gets out, I’m gonna make sure he gets a job.”  The little babes need Barney and Elmo, fuzzy blankets and the smell of lavendar.  Instead they get to write letters to their daddy in jail, mom gets to write an affidavit to the judge saying that he’s a good man who’s made bad choices, and brother and sister say he always made sure they stayed out of trouble while he was getting himself into it.

But the kids.  They get you every time.