Older Girl: Yeah.
Jill: What did you have for lunch today?
Older Girl: Tuna, a Hot Pocket, a bottle of water and a banana.
Jill: Plus your smoothie for breakfast.
Older Girl: Yeah.
Jill: Because it's 3:00pm and you're eating a full meal. Dinner is in a couple of hours. Will you be able to eat then?
Older Girl: Definitely.
Jill: Did you used to eat like this at home?
Older Girl: When we had food.
Jill: What do you mean, "When we had food?"
Older Girl: We never had food like this. No cereal, no lunch meat, no fruit. Every three months mom would go to the store and we'd have food for like, 2 weeks. And then nothing.
Jill: How did she cook dinner?
Older Girl: She didn't. We had pizza. Like, 5 times a week.
Jill: C'mon now.
Older Girl: I'm telling you the truth.
Older Girl has been eating almost as much as Husband. She goes through a half gallon of milk and a quart of orange juice a day. I stand back and watch her consume 2 cups of mashed potatoes along with 4 slices of ham, 1 cup of creamed peas, 1 dinner roll and 2 cups of sweet potato souffle. She then tops that off with 4 chocolate covered Oreos, an apple and some tortilla chips.
It's as though she's making up for some lost years of eating.
Older Girl is going back to live with her parents at the end of May. There is nothing that I can do from a legal standpoint unless she is willing to testify - which she isn't ready to do. All that I can do is hope that these few months will make an imprint in her expectations for what she wants out of life - that she will understand that her choices will dictate where she goes and what she's able to accomplish.
The other messages that I am drumming into her brain:
- She will fall in love more than once.
- Being in love is only one aspect of marriage.
- Poverty statistics show that single mothers make-up the majority of the welfare system. Meaning girls who have babies at a young age and are never married or divorced. Meaning she had better think twice about marrying a guy who has already cheated on her 8 times.
- History is a great predictor of the future.
- It's possible to have a Hottie boyfriend who's a Nice Guy (like her uncle).
- Yada, yada, yada.
Isn't that nice?