Little Charlotte lay in bed tonight, spent. The third night in a row of tears and, tonight, tantrums. I tucked her in as I normally do. Again, I wondered why I think of her as “little.” OK, so she’s the youngest of the 3 girls, but she’s grown so much in recent months her feet are at the end of the bed and I think she’s taller than Brigitte now. In my mind’s eye, I still see the little girl who needed only half the bed. The little girl with the smile that lit up rooms and the dancing eyes that showed no fear as she conducted her “scientific” experiments around the house. The eyes aren’t dancing anymore.
We saw the counselor together today. As suggested by others, she got time alone with the counselor who told me afterwards that Charlotte is definitely showing some signs of stress and depression and having been through the wringer. She (the counselor) wanted to see her next week for a follow-up to see if any deeper assistance might be necessary. She was hopeful that will not be the case. My poor Charlotte. So many things have gone wrong for her recently.
When Charlotte was having a melt-down later in the evening, I was thinking to myself that perhaps the first session hadn’t been as successful as I’d hoped. Up to that point, she’d seemed quite happy. My wife came up from the basement to ask what was going on and made some fairly sensible comment to Charlotte that she needed to calm down. Brigitte pulled out a verbal hand grenade and told her mom that if she didn’t like it, she should move out. My wife stalked off downstairs and wasn’t seen again.
So, Brigitte, where the fuck did that come from? I grew up in Australia and could care less about swearing, but generally avoid it at work, in polite company, and so on. Just occasionally, the F-bomb is one clear way of highlighting the seriousness of a situation. This is one of those times. Amélie and Charlotte have always been more Daddy’s girls than Mommy’s (not in a possessive way, just a generalization). Brigitte has always been like her mom in so many ways. But apparently she blew a fuse and decided to let her mom know what she thinks, in no uncertain words. Oh dear; there’s going to be consequences.
Shifting back in time for a moment, I had a Big Talk with my wife before taking Charlotte with me to the counselor. I needed to know what the parameters were for questions I wanted to ask and so on. The discussion drifted around a little, then I suddenly saw why, I saw the pattern in the discussion, the maelstrom we were circling. I’m sure I know where the conversation was going but, as is the way when there are kids and responsibilities and Things To Do, parental conversations don’t always get completed.
So, I think that I had a glimpse of what’s next…but not officially. A snapshot I saw only because I have a strange affinity with pattern-matching and out-of-place things. But maybe I’m wrong. Except for Brigitte’s untimely outburst, if I don’t tell anyone exactly what I thought I saw, then it will all go away and everything will stay the way it is for now, right?