Thursday, September 13, 2007
THIS IS MY STORY AND I AM STICKING TO IT: TELLING MY KIDS ABOUT MY UPCOMING 30 DAY ABSENCE
We have decided not to tell our 4 kids the whole truth about where I will be for the month of October. After long conversations with their pediatrician, mental health professionals and family members, we have decided to tell them that I will be away working on a project for my job. Now I am sure many will say why wouldn't I just them them the truth--that I am going to prison. Well, since my children were adopted from the foster care system, they all have issues of abandonment and for three of them their biological parent went to jail and never saw them again. So they will associate jail with being abandoned. Each one of them has a story of abuse and abandonment and I did not want to undo all the progress we made with each one of them. Margeaux is a little different, she arrived as a newborn so I am the only mother she has ever known, and she is aware that she is adopted and that does cause her a bit of anxiety that we are working on. When I was an elected politician, I went to week-long conferences all over the country several times a year, so they have experienced me not being home. This was not a decision we made lightly; we weighed all the pros and cons. We purposely waited until I received my official letter directing my self-surrender. Last Sunday I sat them down and told them I was going away for about 30 days. I sort of down played it so they wouldn't get anxious or freaked out and I reminded them of all the times I went away before. I reassured them that their Dad and Uncle Robert would be home to take care of them. They seemed OK. I have about 2 weeks before October 1 so this will give me time to continue to reassure them. This is not easy no matter how you slice this. My first priority is the protection, care and concern of my children. Now there are pitfalls, people can be mean and self-righteous, someone could easily confront them or whisper to them or whisper to their kids and their kids confront my kids. I am aware of this. As a matter of fact I have friends who's kids are friends with my kids. They have felt it necessary for whatever reasons to share with their kids some of this drama--I don't know why. I can only concern myself with my kids and what I choose to tell them. Someday they will get the whole story from me...I look forward to telling them. But now is not that time.