Fun Fact #4 – WHAT IS LOVE

4. They never teach you what love is


When everything first happened I used to go to this cafe for months on end trying to figure myself out through words and typing. Every other day or so I would find myself there to work out emotions and steal the free wifi. I suppose it was never really considered stealing tho, huh?

That quaint little cafe kept a hold on me for longer than I could remember. I’m not exactly sure why I kept going back day after day, week after week.. Perhaps it was the sugary caffeine.

I used to sit in the same corner and waste away hours reading, writing and listening to the kind of soulful music that heals your heart because for a while there, when my marriage dissolved, I found myself losing my thirst for life and music was a way to melt into another world. When it first began, it was pretty unexpected. It was one of those things that just happens out of the blue.  At first, you have no idea whats going on until it sneaks up on you, then your suddenly in awe because you could have seen that coming from a mile away if you had paid attention. Perhaps I wouldn’t have been so shocked when my life fell to shit If I knew how to love properly and paid attention to the signs of this sinking ship in the first place. I suppose all of those abandonment issues really took a toll our marriage, I suppose I never really knew how to love anyone.

Even though its been over a year now and things in my life have been better than I could have imagined, I still recall those first few months like it were yesterday. Sometimes, I still dream about those lonely days back when I wandered into that cafe sobbing behind thick shaded sunglasses. Behind the tears and beyond the loneliness I found solace in knowing that I was surrounded by a sea full of faces and a continuously revolving door that never ceased to bring in a flood of chatter. I guess you could say it was sort of relaxing bathing in the existence of busy people as they go randomly about their day without noticing me, and hell! it sure beats sitting at home with nothing to do and no family to turn to.

Sometimes, that cafe still haunts me. Sometimes I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and hear lingering chatter from that noisy cafe I used to sit in. I used to find comfort there, Now its just another haunting nightmare I can’t escape.

© 2018 All Rights Reserved America DeFleur

 

Fun Fact #7 – ADULTHOOD

7. They don’t prepare you for adulthood.


With the last of my money, I slid the silver coins across the counter and toward the dark-haired barista. Embarrassed I said, ” Sorry, its all change! I think its $2.55 though”

I was always terrible at counting, I don’t I think ever made it to Algebra. In fact, I was pretty terrible at everything in school, but mostly because I never stayed long enough to retain anything. I guess growing up with shitty parents and bouncing around in foster care will do that to ya! I keep telling myself that even now, 10 years after I emancipated that I’ll be okay. But truthfully, as much as I try. I don’t think I ever will, It’s like this piece of the system is ingrained in my bones. There is still this empty void that lingers behind every smile that seeps from between my lips. It’s almost like a stench really, this foul cloud of emptiness, shame, regret and sorrow that fill the air around me.

“One everything bagel with cream cheese please,” I told her,

I waited for her to finish counting the nickels…

“Eighty-Five, Ninety-Five… Two. Two-Fifty Five, Alright! Thanks”

With a sigh of relief, I made my way back toward the table where I left my daughter on my laptop. She giggled as her tiny fingers pressed the keys rapidly on the keyboard.

“Careful with my laptop kid,” I told her.

Her eyebrows gathered together in the middle of her forehead as she glared at me slightly annoyed, “I know mommy, I’m not a baby. I’m S-I-X” she announced with a fierceness.

“I know, I know” I mumbled as I pulled out my phone and began fumbling through emails and messages from work.

I was tired, overwhelmed and completely unsure of what to do for the next two hours while we waited at the cafe for school to start. A little old woman sat in the corner staring at me with a smile on her face, an adoring smile almost as if she wanted to say: “Aw how cute.  look at that mommy-daughter duo sharing a bagel and cup of Joe at 6′ O clock in the morning”

Like no, Stop Staring. This is not cute. This tiny whining child sitting next to me is not cute right now! and my overly tired morning eyes and scraggly brown hair is nothing to smile at.  Just no.

I wanted to yell it at her, I wanted to tell her to stop staring but instead, I took my half of the bagel and crammed it down my throat begrudgingly, wishing for the day to end even though it just barely began.

I let her play on the computer until about 8 am when it was time to leave for school, and oh goodness did the time go by ever so slowly as she complained every 10.5 seconds. I was cranky, Tired and didn’t get the chance to let my patience meter build up just yet.

“Mommy I’m hungry” she would announce as loudly as possible. I wanted to be sweet and tell her softly, I know baby, but we don’t have money for more food right now, you have to wait until we get to school for breakfast.

I wanted to tell her, but she just kept whining and complaining. She started getting fussy and smacking the keys on my computer, talking loud enough for the whole cafe to hear and each time I would tell her, “Shh let’s use our inside voice” she just kept getting louder and louder…

“BUT WHY MOMMY, I’M just H-U-N-G-R-Y”

“YEA! Me too!”

Guess I’m not a morning person. Fudge sickle.

© 2018 All Rights Reserved America DeFleur

Fun Fact #3 – NOT GOOD ENOUGH

3. Foster kids will always wonder “Why wasn’t I good enough?”


I’m smart. I’m funny and I’m a little shy, but once you get to know me and we get past the awkward stages I’m pretty much one of the best people you’ll ever know. And I don’t say that with a cockiness. I say that with a wholehearted honesty. I’m not judgmental at all, I’ve seen too much and have experienced so much more than you can imagine that it taught me to be appreciative

But I’m also naive and at one point I was young and stupid.

At one point, I was so afraid of being alone that I held onto to the first boy who gave me his hand. I had no one when I turned 18, No parents to teach me basic life skills, no friends to guide me. I was so terrified of everything ahead of me and not sure how to cope with being alone in this big world. I was 18 and no longer a ward of the court, I had nowhere to go.

Unexpectedly, this beautiful boy took me in and kissed me sweetly so I loved him and stayed, never looking back.

I told myself marrying him was a good idea because Well! I was pregnant and it sure beat sleeping in trees at the park. We had a lot of good times back then.

  • Back when life was simple and we didn’t have to be productive adults.
  • Back when all we worried about was ourselves
  • Back when we didn’t pay rent
  • Back when jobs were just for fun
  • Back when we could ride bikes all day and have picnics in the park
  • Back when we weren’t sick of each other
  • Back when love was simple
  • Back when love was restless

Not the restless-I’m-bored-shatter-your-soul kinda LOVE.
But the innocent and sweet want-to-love-you-all-the-time-i-need-and-miss-you kinda LOVE.

I miss that feeling.

My daughter is the closest thing to real love that I’ve ever known. “I suppose that’s why all us foster kids get knocked up so young huh? I know that’s what your thinking – because its true. Most kids HAVE kids because they are

1. uneducated
2. lonely
3. want someone to love them

how terribly sad is that? Young women running around creating babies to fill that emotional void. I guess if we are all being honest here, I was one of them.

“Did you know that Young women in foster care and those who have “aged out” are more likely to experience teenage pregnancy than their peers in the general population; repeat pregnancies by age 19 are also common.” (I was also 19)

Even still, I would never trade her for the world. If there was a god, and he came down here ready to strike our souls! I would make sure to sacrifice myself so that my baby could live. I couldn’t bear the thought of anything bad happening to her. In fact, I’m stressed out and worried to bits EVERYTIME she is away from me. I don’t even like taking her school some days.

what if something happens and I’m not there to protect her? She’s too precious, she’s perfect.

She’s not judgmental, in her eyes I have no flaws. She’s young and her beautiful innocence inspires me, she’s the reason for everything I do and will continue to do until the end of life as we know it. I wish there were more people like her in this world. Sweet, Caring, Generous loving and just kind people.

Sometimes I feel this overwhelming sadness wash over me when I’m holding her hand though. If I could love her this much, IF PEOPLE! HUMAN PEOPLE are capable of loving their little creations THIS MUCH…

Then why wasn’t I good enough? Why didn’t my parents love me enough to stay? and How the fuck did I end up in the system alone.

Most foster kids will always wonder “Why wasn’t I good enough?”

© 2018 All Rights Reserved America DeFleur