I know we shouldn't have, but we did. We kept them. We fed and cared for them. We bought them plastic toddler toys and shiny new bikes. We kissed their boo boos and made them hot chocolate on cold mornings. We helped them with homework and drove them to gymnastics. We volunteered for field trips and hosted their birthday parties. We fed their bodies and their self-esteem. We encouraged them.
We watched them grow.
I won't pretend there weren't warning signs. For one thing, their fingernails grew extraordinarily fast. But hindsight, as they say, is 20-20.
Maybe we just saw what we wanted to see. The Sears baby portraits. The tiny handprints preserved in plaster. The crayoned hearts and construction paper tributes. Sticky kisses and warm sleepy hugs. Such things were our undoing.
Their demands grew unrelenting and we rushed to meet them, even at the expense of our most basic needs. We were summoned to their service at all hours and we complied, chiding ourselves for our lack of patience and spoiling them in our remorse.
Their needs piled up as fast as the toppling piles of fetid laundry and nothing in the house was safe from their destructive grasp. We mopped the spills and swept the glass. And failed to see what we had become until it was too late.
Shall I outline more fully for you, dear reader, the unholy havoc? The terrifying expense? The blood-curdling volume of what we have wrought? What purpose could it serve?
We are beyond rescue. As, I fear, are you....