A few nights ago I was getting Owen ready for bed. He was being his silly self and he was saying, "I want to be a girl! Then I would pee on the potty sitting down!" Then he'd giggle and pretend to pee on the potty sitting down, etc. Typical Owen. But then his tone suddenly took a dramatic turn. Sitting face-to-face with me in the bathroom he looked me right in the eyes and said, "When you send me back to Haiti I will tell my birthmother that I want to be borned again but as a girl next time. That's what I'm going to say to my birthmother when you send me back to Haiti." Huge gulp. What? "Send me back to Haiti?" How on earth did he even come up with this phrase, let alone this thought?? It is stunning. And you just can't be prepared for that. No matter how prepared you are, it just hits you like a ton of bricks. A ton of bricks.
A couple of days ago we were outside playing in the backyard on a beautiful sunny day. Out of the blue Kyle says, "When I was borned that was my birthday." I said, "Yes!" Then he said, "When I was borned I was not here. I don't know who caught me. I wanted to be borned from my mommy but I wasn't. It was my birthmother. And it was so, so scary. It was dark and me and Owen were in there. And you didn't come for me mommy. You didn't. You took too long." O.k., Oh. My. God. Again, a ton of bricks. I don't care how much you know about this stuff, when it is your kid, and they're saying it right to you, it is astonishing. Just astonishing. Awhile later, as he was running off to the trampoline, he looked back at me over his shoulder and shouted out: "Am I in this family forever? Or no?" Of course I shouted back, "Yes! Forever! Forever and ever and ever!" He stopped, turned back to face me, looked at me, and said, "So, are you my mommy forever and ever? Or will I have to have another mommy?" It doesn't matter how many millions of times we've assured them of these things. Their questions still remain. Their uncertainty seems to be forever in tact. You try to convince yourself that the good thing is (the proof that you're doing a good job is) that he's verbalizing this stuff to you. You try to tell yourself that its all good because it reveals that he's able to put this stuff out there to you. He trusts you to say it to you. You say this to yourself, but you can't help but feel totally flabbergasted. How could he even question the permanence of my mothering? How?