**** TRIGGER WARNING: contains mention of physical and emotional abuse. Although no abuse is written out it is described, at times in detail. ****
Published: Feb 28, 2018
I live in the hospital, working 18 hour days.
My entire life consists of running from patient to patient until I meet her.
The girl that is afraid of her own shadow.
She starts out as a patient, but thoughts of her consume me.
One phone call leads to me meeting her amazing little girl which changes everything.
With the help of my new partner in crime, I set out to try and save her from a life of fear.
Can she learn to trust me with her life and both their hearts?
“Hey, Sophie, Do you like ice cream?” I ask.
I look over at Isabel and give her a wink because I have an idea. I kneel in front of Sophie, so we are eye level.
“I like ice cream, why?” she answers.
I can’t help but chuckle. There is not getting anything past this one, Isabel is in trouble when she gets older.
“Well, I need to go to the store before we head to my house. I was hoping you would help me pick an ice cream flavor?”
“Ice Cream? For after dinner?”
“Yes, but you have to be good and listen to Mommy while we are in the store,” I respond. I feel like I am negotiating with a terrorist at this point, but as long as she feels comfortable, I see it as a win.
I look over at Isabel and see her trying to stifle a laugh. When I turn back to Sophie, she seems deep in thought.
“How about ice cream and a movie?”
“Well, Ms. Sophie you have a deal.” I reach my hand out, and we shake to close the deal.
All three of us are smiles as we load into my truck and head to Target, for some supplies for Isabel and Sophie. Going shopping with a four-year-old is an experience. Everything is interesting, Sophie seems to say whatever pops into her head, it’s both entertaining and exhausting.
“Ooohhhh, Mommy! I wanna feel all the pillows!” Sophie says as we pass the decorative pillows on our way to grab some clothes for her.
“Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Can I see the toys? Please?!?” she says as we pass the toy aisle after grabbing toiletries for both ladies and clothes for Isabel.
Through the entire trip, Isabel keeps her cool and calmly tells Sophie ‘no’ even when she pouts. The pouty lip pulls my heartstrings, so I take pity on her, she’s had a long day.
“Hey, Sophie, why don’t you help me pick an ice cream flavor? What’s your favorite?” I ask her.
Her entire face lights up like it’s Christmas morning. She starts to answer but looks at Isabel first, when she nods that it’s okay, Sophie lets out a little squeal of excitement.
“I can really pick the ice cream?” she looks at me like I’ll take it back, but I would never do that.
“Yup, you get to pick,” I tell her.
“CHOCOLATE!” she shouts.
Her answer makes me laugh, even though Isabel is telling her to calm down and not be so loud in the store.
“Alright, Sophie. Let’s go pick some ice cream.” Turning to Isabel, I ask, “Mind if I push her?”
Surprised at the offer, Isabel says, “Oh…Um…okay.”
Stepping up to the cart, I start to jog then jump onto the bottom bar of the shopping cart. It’s been a long time since I took a joy ride on a cart, but Sophie’s squeal of laughter makes up for the dirty looks. I can’t control my own laughter as I get the cart under control and wait for Isabel to catch up to us.
“That was fun!” Sophie exclaims, “Can we do it again?”
Before I get a chance, Isabel responds for me, “No, Sophie. That’s enough excitement for tonight.”
She tries to look stern, but she’s hiding a smile as well. We make our way to the ice cream cooler, and I tell Sophie to pick whatever one she wants.
“I want the chocolate one,” she tells me.
“Just plain old chocolate? No marshmallows or peanut butter or caramel?” I ask. I can’t believe she just wants plain chocolate.
“Nope. Just chocolate,” she tells me, putting her hands on her hips. “What’s wrong with just chocolate?”
Putting my hands in the air in surrender, I respond by saying,
“Just checking, sweet pea.”
We gather our items we need and head to the registers, Sophie insists on loading the conveyor belt herself. This girl is amazing. She is smart, spunky, and definitely has a mind of her own. I think I’m falling in love with her already.
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