Since Jennifer’s brother cleaned up his lifestyle, he has become far more social. He and Fiance and Baby Girl have come and spent time with us quite often lately. What I’ve seen in him that was missing before is a fierce will to live – not to simply exist until the next experience but to really live. Fiance is well matched to him, as she also exhibits a seemingly fresh desire to live life. It’s pretty clear that Baby Girl has never before had much of a support network.
She’s had Mom and to a smaller degree, Grandma. The poor girl was full of distrust for everyone else on the planet. I was filled with sorrow and compassion for her. I was compelled to action. So, I did the only thing that I could think to. I scooped her into my lap, kissed her on the cheek and told her that I was going to love on her and that I would never do anything to hurt her. She didn’t know how to respond to that. So she replied with blushes and giggles.
As I got to know my brother-in-law for the first time in thirteen years and his new family, we learned of his fiance’s prior situation. I will sanitize my descriptions here for the sake of privacy and sensitivity to both family and my readers alike. Her ex is quite abusive. There were times that she came to in rooms that were locked from the outside. He was cruel to her and their children. He still has their son. There is reason to suspect that her boy is in an unhealthy situation, but there is nothing evidential enough for Jennifer or I to do anything about it – including calling the state. BIL and Fiance left one afternoon to see if they could extract the boy from his father’s home. Fearing that Baby Girl didn’t need to be exposed to the environment, we offered to keep her while they were out of town.
Wii kept her busy. I mean we kept her busy. She’s grown a lot more comfortable with us as we’ve spent more time with her. She’s slept on our couch quite a few times now. Now, she’ll plop down in my lap or lean up against me when she’s hanging around. Jennifer did confess at one point in time that she felt a little jealous – that she didn’t get the same level of affection from Baby Girl that I do. But, since then she’s warmed up to Jennifer as well.
She’s incredibly sweet and loving, but she has her definite mean streak. She’s sassy and sarcastic and funny. I originally reached out to her because I believed that she needed me to. Now I’m starting to realize how much I needed her. She’s been so good for all three of us. Wee Bot needed a sibling type figure in his life to have the friendly competition with that all kids need. She’s got a lot tougher spirit than he does though. She may be a girl a couple years younger than him, but I’ve got to play referee when they rough house to make sure nobody gets hurt – if you know what I mean.
And yes, in the preceding composite, Wee Bot is wearing my combat boots and Baby Girl is wearing a pair of Jennifer’s heels. That evening is when she told me that she could hurt me if she wanted to. I told her that I didn’t doubt it but I appreciated her holding back. That was around the time that we started seriously talking about teaching Baby Girl to shoot. An added benefit that we foresaw was the quasi-pseudo-sibling-rivalry spurring Wee Bot to get a little more serious in his firearms education and experience. Without giving too much away too soon, that seems to be working out quite well.