I have a feeling my followers will be divided in two camps:
or this group:
My most recent road trip was a great combination of the two. The Noodle and I had to make a trip down to South Texas for his final visitation with his birth mom. Birth mom relinquished all her rights about a week ago but requested one final visit.
After working a few hours in the morning, I went to pick up the boy at daycare to start our trip. When I walked in to his classroom his teacher mentioned that he always went for one specific baby doll in the class. I was little annoyed but, in today’s social climate, I worked hard to suppress the feelings. She had a point to the story…brace yourself. She picked up a little black baby doll and said that he picks that same doll every morning to carry around a bit. This is significant because the tone of the baby doll is very close to the skin tone of Brisket. AWWW right? He loves Brisket!
We jumped in the car and started south. I quickly realized I was sorely under-prepared for the trip. I went rapid fire through the three toys / things I could find in the car to hand him. After about 45 minutes he was snoring so loudly, I had to turn the radio up. Lucky for me, his usual nap time fell perfectly in line for our trip down there. We stopped and had Five Guys burgers for lunch which was a hit with the little man.
We pulled up to the CPS office and I dropped him off with his CPS worker, who he likes quit a bit. Of course, there is a nervous energy about dropping him off and trying to leave quickly not to be seen by the birth mom. Once he was inside, I drove around the corner to a local restaurant and parked. I tried to work on my IPAD to pass some time but, as you might guess, it was one slow-moving hour. After about 40 minutes, I got a text from the CPS worker that they were done. I let her know I was around the corner and would be there soon.
The parking lot is small with only a few cars parked at the time. It was obvious there was a new car in the lot that wasn’t there when I dropped him off. I sat in the truck waiting for the CPS worker to emerge with Noodle. I bet I waited 5 minutes before the door opened. Out walks a young women crying…I was staring face-to-face with Noodle’s birth mother as she walked away from her final visit with him. She made her way to her car and began to dig around in the passenger seat. At this point I was beginning to pray the CPS worker could see her and would not come out with Noodle until she was gone. After milling around for a few minutes she made her way back towards the building with a plastic bag in her hand. She went back inside and then quickly return to the parking lot without the bag. This has got to be her was my thought. Is she about to make this as painful and uncomfortable as possible? Once she made it back to her car, I could tell the weight of the situation was setting in. She stood in the parking lot staring off. It was extremely hot and humid and she continued to stand there. After she got in the car, I could tell it had started, but again she sat there longer. The CPS worker is now peaking through the blinds watching. Finally the car’s reverse lights came on and the car began to slowly move. I studied the car pretty close out of the fear of being followed. 10 years of watching the ID channel every night will burn in your brain the ugly possibilities of the world. When her car was out of sight, the CPS worker emerged with Noodle. He was absolutely clueless.
He had spent a significant amount of time in a local foster home prior to us and has never really known his birth mom. The visit was obviously for her and not him. After loading him up and saying goodbye to the CPS worker, I began to wonder what the mom was going to do next. What do you do after something like this? Can you ever move on? As we made our way through town, I was obsessively checking my mirrors looking for the car. Maybe she wasn’t following me but, what if I just happened to see her again?
The ride home was very, very, very different than the ride there. The little boy did not sleep at all. I was screwed. I had no toys, IPAD, can of rocks…really, I had nothing. So, after 2 hours of screaming and constant dropping “uh-oh” of the water cup we took a stop. We walked a few laps around a CVS, purchased some kid’s Cheetos and were back on the road. We made it home just before dinner-time. After a bath and a couple of book throwing competitions, the Noodle was in bed and snoring.
Heck of a day for us.