Thursday, November 06, 2008
Can She Take Me Away?
I swear, I know why I love being alone with my kids. It is because above almost anyone else I know they are great conversationalists with interesting perspectives to share. Kenny and I had our long Dental Drive today, and so many topics came up. In no particular order we discussed:
Face transplants (he was grossed out and fascinated at the same time), who pays to build roads which led to another explanation of taxes, how does a credit card work and where does our money go when we take it to the bank, why do we always feel sleepy when riding in the sun in the car, and so many more I can't recall them all.
One thing we discussed at length was what makes a "cool kid" at school, and with what I thought was great insight Kenny offered up that there are "Bad cool kids" and "Good cool kids". I asked him what he thought made them different and he said "The bad cool kids are mean, they make fun of other kids and kick them and scare them, and people are afraid they make fun of them too so they act like they are cool.". Hmmm....excellent assessment and quite accurate as well. He then said "The good cool kids are nice, they are nice to everyone, they get good grades and are good in sports.". I said "So who that you know is a Bad Cool Kid?" and he quickly named a couple that I had to agree with. I then asked "What about the Good Cool Kids? Who in your class or that you know is a Good Cool Kid?". I had a couple of kids in mind that I know would fall in that category and are in his class, but he responded with no hesitation "Matthew, he is the nicest to everyone even all the girls.". I said I was glad he thought so then turned it around on him and said "Do you think you are one of the Good Cool Kids too?" and he thought, furrowed that brow up and then replied "I think so, maybe, sometimes.". I told him I thought so all the time.
Then the conversation took a more serious turn, and at first I wasn't quite following what he was saying as it was indirect, but as I pinpointed what he was talking about it suddenly clicked and I asked him outright, and he turned to me and grinned and asked "Mom, how you do that? You always know what I thinking even if I can't explain it!". He started asking about passports, papers, court stuff, and asking about if "real" moms could take kids back. After going all around John Henry's barn I asked him "Are you wondering if your birth mom can come back and get you?" and the relief on his face was so obvious, it was almost heartbreaking.
He went on to delve into the legalities of adoption, both domestic and international, and if "real" moms were ever allowed to take their kids back, if they could steal them away, and then asked me at length what Dominick and I would do if his birth mom ever found him. It seemed so important to him to know we would go after him, even though I explained this would never happen, that his birth mom has no idea where he is, probably has no money for airfare, that it is legally all done, etc. This was not something that had ever come up before and I wonder how long this has been rattling around in his head.
He then started talking and didn't stop. He said that although he would like to see his real mom someday, to see what she looked like, he didn't ever want to live with her or leave us. He said "She maked me, but you're my mom...my real REAL mom! I never want to leave you, I never want her to come steal me.". I tried to reassure him that he would never leave our family, that the judge said it was forever and no one could change that. He even went so far as to ask if she found him and stole him away, would the security at the airport catch her if he didn't have his papers!!! This is obviously weighing heavily on him, which came as a real surprise and was not something I ever anticipated.
I then had an idea and much like the game of "I love you all the way to the moon and back" I then proceeded to tell him just how vigorously Dominick and I would look for him if anyone ever stole him, that we would look forever for him, that we would spend all of our money and sell our house, that we would never sleep, that we would fly all the way to Kyrgyzstan and live there to try and find him, that we would flu every airplane in the world to find him, that we would never stop until we died because that is what a good mom and dad would do. With every increasingly outlandish thing I added, such as "I would ask every person who works in every McDonald's in every city if they had seen you", his grin grew broader and then he started playing along. As we wound down in laughter and grins he looked at me and said "See Mom, you ARE my real REAL mom!", to which I answered "Did you ever think I wasn't???? I mean, we look so much alike!!!!" and he dissolved in giggles.
And I was left wondering just what all is going on inside that head on a daily basis, what unfounded fears he is wrestling with, what worries he has buried, what curiosity he has yet to address. I have a feeling that our adoption trip will bring up a lot more to process for him.
So while we deal with academics, I am once again reminded of what the most important thing is to work with...his heart.
During these waning days of summer, new adults are slowly blossoming and, for one, childhood is very gradually beginning its tentative wave...