Saturday, September 19, 2009

Donuts for Dinner, or You're not My Real Mom.

He has been gone on an impromptu-post soccer game-
play date for several hours.
This in itself is new, and I am eager to hear how it went.
He is striking out in the world on his own,
dribbling down one field after another.

The doorbell rings, he bursts in, and before I can say hello-

You are not my
real mom.

This he announces as he sits on the big blue chair,
the overstuffed cuddle chair,
the Marcel nursey-nigh-nigh chair,
the bedtime story chair.
the one we call safe when we are playing in the house.

Kneeling as I help him untie his show, and take a second to gather
my thoughts, and to hush my oh-no-he-didn't-just-say-that-feelings.

I am prepared to answer this, this time.
I have practiced this one.

Does it feel like that sometimes? I begin.
Does it sometimes feel like you have two real moms?
Me, your real everyday mom, who loves you
every moment of every day-

and your real birth mother who carried you in her tummy and
brought you into the world?

He sticks his fingers in his ears, and in a sing song-y voice;
I can't hear you. I can't hear you.

This was not in the version I practiced.
Which part is too much to hear?

I can wait, I say. I rub his knee, I grab his foot.
I can wait to tell you how much I love you, until you are ready.

He jerks away for a second to deliver; You're not my real mom.
When you die you are not going to be my mom any more.

Death, abandonment, and adoption related identity integration
and individualization on a Saturday afternoon.
Who isn't prepared for that?

I breathe. I picture myself back in the family therapist's office,
I give myself a moment.
I get up, and sit with him now.

He is waiting.

I am your real mom. I love you the way only a real mom does.
I will always be your real mom.
[Birth mother's name here] will always love you
and be your real birth mother.

Death will not change that.

He shifts away, and then looks right in my eyes-
which I realize is so rare-to tell me-ask me all at once;
But you can't talk to me when you die.

I take his hands, and gently squeeze, Not like we are taking now.
But, I will always be in your heart.
And when you need to talk to me, I believe that I will still hear you in a way.
I talk to my Godfather all the time ( Uncle Dick's picture hangs on the wall near us)
And although he can't talk back, I always feel better after I have said what I needed to.

How come I can't have a donut for dinner? Don't we have any left?

It is now safe to jump off the blue chair.


Kathleen said...

Catherine: I'm so glad you commented on my blog. I was honored to hear from you! I read your article from beginning to end, barely pausing for even a breath. You are an amazing wonderfully expressive of your feelings and willing to let others, even strangers, into the experience of your heart. I love reading your blog. It's like poetry and it makes me believe in magic and it makes me jump for joy at the prospect of motherhood. I just know it's going to be so good! So much of what I'm getting from people, as I prepare to become a mom, is negative stuff. I love reading about the positive stuff, from a woman who truly knows how to write and does so in such a beautiful way. Your kids are gorgeous, and keep the blogging coming. I will be following you!

Anonymous said...

hey you..
deb and i just read yer new pieces, we're totally enjoying and in tears. thanks for being you. xo

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