As I stand on the precipice of yet another Mother’s Day, I struggle with what direction I want to take in writing this post.
Do I write about my mom again and how I feel about Mother’s Day when she’s been gone for 27 years? I fear there’s not much new to say on that topic and I really hate to be redundant (except when discussing those trashy, skanky thong-clad dolls, of course) so maybe I’ll just link to last years Mother’s Day post and leave it up to you as to whether you want to read it.
Or I could skip the Mother’s Day thing altogether and write about how this past week my six year old has started to ask questions about my origins; questions that only have complicated answers that I’m not sure I can simplify for her. The truth is, I’ve grappled with how to discuss my personal and familial history for a long time. I just didn’t think she’d start probing into all of it so soon.
How do you explain to her that you have two sets of parents?
How do you explain that you didn’t even know you were adopted until you found out by accident at age 34 and that even though it turned your world inside out, certain things finally made sense?
How do you explain that during the nap times of her second year of life, you searched for and found the biological mother who gave you up and the biological father who may or may not have known you existed?
How does one explain that the tall man with the beard that she doesn’t quite remember meeting three years ago was her “biological” grandfather? Hell…how do you explain biological?
How do you explain that about 20 other people knew you were adopted and they ALL hid it from you? Like a conspiracy.
How do you explain that while your father had good intentions in not telling you the truth after your mom died, it still had life-altering implications for you?
How do you explain to her that you also forgave your father because given the same circumstances, you might have made the very same mistakes, but that you will always feel betrayed by him. By everyone.
How do you explain to her that you don’t keep any pictures of your mom out anymore and you don’t know why but sometimes you think that it might be because she was Asian and when you were a kid, you always got tired of explaining to tactless, nosy people that YES, she’s your mom but you just don’t look like her.
Will my daughter understand thinking about that reminds me of the lies and makes me feel foolish? Stupid? Embarrassed?
How do I explain to her that our little family is really all there is on my side; that the lady she calls Grandma isn’t even my mother; that she’s my step mother, my father’s widow.
Yes, baby, just like in Cinderella.
Except she isn’t wicked. She’s nice and brings lots of presents. But? Her actions make it fairly clear that while she refers to herself as my mother, those are just words. Lip service. It’s easy to see that she favors her biological children. I suppose I can’t blame her for that.
And thus, aside from my children, I am, for all intents and purposes, alone. Connected to nobody.
I have pleasant relationships with my biological parents. They’re nice people and it’s interesting to finally find my tribe, so to speak; the people who look like me and with whom I share many non-physical similarities, as well.
At the end of the day, though, I don’t refer to them as mom or dad or treat them like parents. I don’t know what you’d call what we have going but the fact is, I still feel orphaned. Rootless.
When other people are talking about the holidays with their extended families, I try to repress my envy. My four half-brothers don’t even know I exist.
When I read blog post after blog post about people’s mothers and their great relationships and how their mothers are their best friends, it’s just an unfortunate reminder of what I wish I had. But never will.
I try not to dwell on these things or give in to bitterness but it’s not always easy, particularly in the days leading up to the second Sunday in May.
Particularly when your daughter wants to know where you come from and you don’t have any simple answers because you don’t really know.
To those who made it this far, thanks for listening but please don’t pity me or tax yourself looking for the right words to comment. Just knowing that someone is listening and maybe understanding is a gift in itself.
On a much happier note, I plan to spend Mother’s Day morning eating breakfast with the people I love most in the world…my kids and huz.
Then, while they go visit my mother-in-law and deliver some gorgeous tulips, yours truly will be out shopping the day away sans kidlets, strollers, sippy cups, whining etc.
I plan to replace all those fug ass clothes that I put aside for the charity truck.
This is the first Mother’s Day that I’ve ever asked for the gift of a little down time but I think it’s going to become a tradition.
Wishing all the moms out there a wonderful Mother’s Day :)