Cricket's birthday is coming up. Thanks to my loyal readers that responded in the comments! I'll just assume everyone else that reads is not licensed yet and is just soaking up my vast wisdom, and not internet robots. ;)
I learned at the last sibling visit that Cricket's sister's birthday is also this month. Gina planned to invite us to a birthday party, but as we were also going to do something for Cricket, we decided to combine. We're going to a place they can swim then have cake in a rented room afterward. Because it's a public place, I was thinking a little bit about inviting Cricket's mom and having a caseworker or case aide attend, as her visits need to be supervised. Cricket's mom has been appropriate with us and with Cricket, and I don't worry about safety issues. But unfortunately she hasn't acted appropriately with employees of our agency in front of the kids, and since an employee of the agency would have to be there... it seemed a bit too volatile for a birthday party.
Her mom asked again for our Google Voice number and called this weekend, talked with me a little before she talked to Cricket. She wanted to know what we were doing for Cricket's birthday. I was worried she would ask if she could be there or hint toward that, but she didn't. And tearfully, she asked if we would give her pictures. Of course. I asked if there was anything I could do for the visit closest to Cricket's birthday, like bring cookies for them to decorate together. She said she'd like that.
At times, I become frustrated and outraged at Cricket's mom's choices. But when her voice breaks asking about birthday details, asking for pictures, thanking us so much for pictures... my heart breaks for her. This month will be hard for her, two of her babies having birthdays. I can't imagine.
So, we will have a blast swimming and eating Hello Kitty cake, announcing new ages loudly and proudly. But it will be bittersweet printing the pictures for the woman who wasn't there.