At the end of the month Maxine Jane turns 10. 10 years with her has been the greatest gift and challenge of my lifetime. I could link you to the many posts on this blog that illustrate the struggles she and I have battled through together but instead I choose to move forward with hope rather than muddle through the mire of our past.
It's been hard, it's been amazing, it's been surprising and fruitful. I am also certain that I have varying levels of PTSD from all of the challenges she's presented to me. And at the same time I'm fully aware that it could have been much, much worse.
A pediatrician told us she was autistic, a therapist told us that she had ODD and other burgeoning personality disorder traits, yet another pediatrician told us she was malnourished. But she's none of those things. She's just Maxine Jane, Max, Trouble, the light of my life, the bane of my existence and the human being that is most like the person I wish I could be. Strong and impossible to bully, to intimidate, brave and always true to herself. And loyal, oh so very loyal! The kind of little scrapper that defends her older sister at the bus stop, who doesn't back down, who works to right wrongs, who tries and tries again till she succeeds.
But inside down deep she's sad sometimes and is missing something, something that I've never been able to fill, to help her deal with. Despite hours of talking and cuddling and giving love, as much love as I've ever given anybody ever, I've never been able to get down to the core of why she acts out, why the fits come and the anger manifests and the controlling nature just won't back down.
All of my other children say she's my favorite child and that's not true.
She's just my soulmate.