Updated: Apr 10, 2020
"Tag. You're it." My tired husband told me, handing me a slip of paper as I walked in the door. I put down my purse, sent our eldest off to get ready for bed, and took off my boots.
I took a deep breath to prepare myself... and unfolded the paper.
Other people read the newspaper every day.
I don't get the newspaper.
I get the nightpaper.
Its delivered nightly by a pyjama clad teary-eyed paper girl about half an hour after being tucked in. The delivery system is a bit unconventional. She shoves the paper in the hand of the nearest parent and runs back to her room immediately without saying anything.
The headlines of past weeks have included "I miss my birth mom.", "I'm afraid you will change your mind and won't adopt me.", "Thanks for being my family" and of course, the reoccurring mystery piece of "I'm sorry."
After reading the nightpaper I walk down the hall, tap on the messengers door, and go inside.
What happens in the next moments are some of the purest, truest, fiercest of my life.
I gather the papergirl into my arms, and she cries into my chest as I repeat over and over again, "You're safe. You're loved. You belong. We love you. We aren't going anywhere. I'm sorry this is so hard."
We pray that the voice of love would be louder then the voices of hurt. Then she falls asleep.
My kids are brave and fiercely whole-hearted. Brene Brown should be proud. Each moment of vulnerability, each outstretched hand for help, is a leap of trust. Will we catch them if they fall? Will we care if they are brave enough to show us their wounds? Will we show up and keep showing up for them when they are struggling?
Damn right we will.
But they don't know that yet.
So I'll receive the nightly paper, and hold the papergirl tightly...until she starts writing a new headline.