Friday, April 23, 2010

Little Girl in an Adult World

Now that my oldest is in first grade, we have to get up early and get to the bus stop at an insanely early time. That's the negative. The positive is now meeting neighbors I've never met before. Well, that used to be a positive.

Last year, we stood at the bus stop with two women and their children. One of the moms had lost her job, so she was able to take her daughter to the bus stop. She was happy to do it, and she seemed quite nice. We ended up talking a lot. That was last year.

This year the woman, I'll call her Roxi, has not been at the bus stop much. Her little girl is in the same grade as my son. Anyway, when I walked the little girl, Jessie, home Roxi was outside. Well, Roxi smelled like alcohol. When I asked what she had to drink to replied lemonade, as if I didn't know the difference between alcohol and lemonade! I made a comment to lighten the mood. I figured maybe she just had a glass of wine or something. I know it was early, but I could not come up with a reason for a grown woman to be drinking at 2:30PM. I know her lying about drinking was a bad thing, but I wanted to believe it was a one time deal.

Unfortunately, it was not. Now every time I have seen her after school I smell alcohol on her breath. Other than that, she acts completely normal, and is even fun to be with. I can't reconcile both sides.

Well, about a month ago our weather started turning nice. I let my boys invite their friends over to play outside. I am happy to say that our house has become the house for which I am extremely grateful. Anyway, I asked if Jessie would like to come and she said yes and brought her bike over. While the boys were playing, Jessie and I were talking while we were using colored chalk on our driveway. I could tell she was sad, and very happy to be here. She seems lonely since she is 11 years younger that her sister, and they both have different fathers. Hers fled to another country, so she has never met him. While her sister goes to her father's house on the weekends, Jessie stays home with her mom.

One day the boys and I were talking about the family dinners we have. She said to me, "We never eat together" The other day she told me her mom doesn't make dinner. I didn't press it. I figure she'd let me know if she wanted to talk about it.

The other day I made spaghetti and asked if she'd like to stay for dinner. She said,"My mom says it's always okay for me to be here, but I'll go ask." And back she came.
While I was cooking my two boys and her were playing. My boys and Jessie get along very well. I called dinner was ready and hands were washed.
Jessie thought we would just start to eat, but instead we prayed. We added a thank you for Jessie being able to eat with us which, I think, surprised her.
I don't know what to do about the situation, but I do know she is always welcome at our house. The poor thing is only a kid and already she is facing such an adult world. I wish I could do more. I only wish I could do more...