This is the hard bit.
This is the bit that stops most people from becoming foster carers.
I’ve been parenting this little guy for almost three years. He has taught me a lot. Mostly about tractors, motorbikes and garbage trucks, but also a lot about me.
For the last few weeks he has been transitioning out of my care and into the care of his extended family. Transition is now officially over, but he is still coming over one night a week for the next few weeks.
So many things are the same and so many things are different. The dynamic at home is enormously different. When he is here he needs lots of physical closeness and attention. At any moment, he could veer off into emotional chaos. Angry, upset, sad, confused. It’s tough when you are only three and everything you know is changing.
At the same time we are having very special moments. Moments of love, of sharing, remembering. Sweet and precious exchanges.
He has always called me mum but a couple of weeks ago he called me by my first name – Rose. It was an early morning, still sleepy exchange. I smiled at him and asked him if that’s what he’d like to call me now. Not yet, he said.