|Janey and the chickens|
What gets edited out? Screaming, mostly. Janey had many, many screaming spells. They came on suddenly and often without any reason we could figure. They were intense and overwhelming. My parents live on a back dirt road, but they do have neighbors, and luckily, they had talked to the neighbors about Janey, or it well could have been thought something awful was happening to her. The most severe editing dealt with a drive we took up Mt. Battie. Mt. Battie is really a hill, but it has a view worthy of any mountain on earth, of Camden Harbor and all kinds of islands. I wish I could have enjoyed it for more than a few moments, but something there triggered Janey and she flipped out and was hysterical, and bit me pretty hard. We left fast. Later on that drive, she did all she could to bite and hit Freddy, next to her in the back seat. It took both our strengths to keep her from hurting him.
|The briefly seen view from Mt. Battie|
|Janey, Nana and Grandpa|
So---is editing a good idea? Should we do it? The question is more if we could stop doing it if we wanted to. If I thought all the time about the awful moments....well, at the very least, I wouldn't enjoy the good moments. I have to edit in my mind. I have to think about Janey's delight running after the chickens, the fun of hearing her surprise my parents with yet another song she knows, the wonderful moment when she saw Daddy again and said, confused about the exact terms, "It's your brother Daddy!" Reversed pronouns and muddled relationship names aside, her voice showed how she felt.
We can edit, and can be left with memories of a good trip. But the larger world can't be asked to do the same. And more importantly, I don't know if Janey can do that editing. How does she remember things? Does she remember the good times, or remember the scary, out of control times? How would she tell me she felt about our time in Maine, if she could? I don't know. I really don't know. I hope she would understand that we are trying hard to give her a good childhood, and that we are doing our best, and that we would do anything within our power to ease the tough times for her, if we knew how.