I’ve brought this on myself, I realize.
And I”m ok with that…
But tonight, I contemplated penciling in time with Elle tomorrow before the checklist of things to accomplish for hosting Jon’s Dad’s side of the family at our house at 2 p.m.
Yes, penciling in time with my daughter.
I felt like that was too Manhattan-ish for me, so I didn’t actually write it “Cuddle Elle” but I thought about it, which made me mad. But then I wondered, am I actually on to something that I’ll have to do in the future??
One of my oldest (longest…she’s not my oldest friend by number of years…) friends, Katie, is back in town from London with her husband Paul and their six-month-old son, Carter. Seeing Carter today at Elle’s second-try with Santa was TOO CUTE (Katie’s parents and my parents are members at the same golf course, and the course hosted a Breakfast with Santa this morning). It’s so awful some times when your best girls live far away, and these HUGE life things happen and you can’t share some of the day-to-day frustrations and triumphs of it all. But, anyway, it was so great to hug my old friend today and to meet her baby. Carter and Elle seemed to enjoy one another, too.
Santa came to the golf course breakfast this morning and Elle was awake (only because we practically pinched her) to meet him. She didn’t feel one way or another about Santa, which I didn’t figure she would. She’s not at a point where strangers freak her out.
However, Santa did come bearing gifts and Elle received a Detroit Red Wings Pavel Datsyuk jersey! Datsyuk scored a few goals for the Wings tonight, so I feel like it’s a good sign.
Weird, she now matches her Grandma and her Grandma’s Datsyuk jersey.
This post is a little random, so bear with me. I’m trying to get out all the things I’ve thought I should get into my diary-as-blog.
My Mom was given up for adoption (as a sidenote, I just struggled to classify adoption as being ‘given up’ as, in some cases, that is not an adequate description). Anyway, my Mom was adopted when she was three months old. Between the time she was born and the time she went to live with her Mother & Dad, there was maybe three months (give or take…I’m not exact on the numbers off the top of my head).
Elle is nine weeks old.
It occurred to me last night, as I was cuddling her and we were laying in bed before she went to sleep, that my Mom was in a foster care home at that point in her life.There was no “mumma” to love on her, no one who had seen her idiosyncracies since day one, no one that necessarily understood what which cry meant, who knew how to soothe her in the ways she liked to be soothed. I have a line that I’ve said to Elle over and over again since she was born; I sing her the same song at night when we’re in the rocking chair (for point of reference, it’s “Corey’s Coming” by Harry Chapin which, I know, is TOTALLY not a lullaby or anything close to it, but I like the story of it and the line that goes, “…that’s when he smiled and said ‘reality is only just a word’. I digress.).
Anyway, my Mom didn’t have that from day one. And not to say that she didn’t get it when she got to my Grandma and Grandpa who adopted her…but those early days, well, were different.
I’ve found myself, a time or two, contemplating what it had to have been like for my Mom’s birthmother (Judy, who my Mom found later in life and got to have a great relationship with) at 17 to have had a baby and then given her up for adoption.
I realized I don’t know the particulars. I don’t know if my Grandma got to hold her at all, for a day, for three days, before she had to go back to her life in an era when it was absolutely NOT ok to have a baby out of wedlock. How hard it must have been, to take that huge chunk of your heart and send it out into the world without your protection. I know that 17 is young, but you have to imagine that it would rip parts of you to shreds regardless of your age.
So, I held my nine week old girl and felt in most ways closer to my Grandma, who died in 2006, than I have before and in some ways I felt more removed. Because I appreciate even more now how hard it would be to have a child and let her go – whatever the circumstances. And because it’s hard, I feel like it would be impossible for me, so I don’t know how she did it. I felt sorry for my Grandma, that the era she was born into didn’t really allow for her to keep her baby – my mother. And yet, if she had, her life – and the lives of countless others – would have been indelibly different.
Actually, you think about all the people whose lives have been positively affected by my Mom being in them…my grandparents who adopted my Mom and all their relatives and family and friends; my Grandma Judy and the family that she built for herself and then welcomed my Mom and our family back into 26 years after giving birth to my Mom; my Dad’s family who know all of the sides of my Mom’s family and story; friends, friends of friends, my friends…I come with a lot of familial baggage to be certain, but I think it’s all positive and most people are better for having come in to contact with me and the craziness that is my family.
And to think, it centers around my Mom because of a decision her mother was forced to make in 1954.
I also found myself wondering if this is something that my Mom’s sisters (Judy’s four daughters with her husband, my Grandpa Jerry) had these feelings after they had their children. And how that felt, when it’s your Mom – not your Grandma – who you’re trying to relate to and understand through this new lens of motherhood.
A decision I can’t fathom being forced to make and that I wish I would’ve had the chance to discuss more with my Grandma, about what it was like, the emotions…because I feel like the empathy I have now for what that must have been like…
Anyway, I’ve just been thinking about this a lot lately…definitely helps to shape my view of how lucky I am to have my girl.
That’s all tonight. More soon.