Last night on the drive home from dinner, the boy told busy daddy and me that when he was little, “maybe one or zero years old,” his mom would let him eat as much candy as he wanted. The boy said his mom would give him candy all of the time, but she got very, very sick and then she died.
The boy doesn’t often bring up his birthmother, but when he does, it’s usually at night, right before he falls asleep, as if her memory pops up in his pre-dream state. I don’t think the boy talks to busy daddy about his birthmother very often, if at all, but in secret he will ask me questions.
It was surprising and somewhat disconcerting that the boy said his mom had died. We asked him a few questions, such as why he thinks his mom died and why he thinks she would give him candy when he was a baby. Busy daddy told the boy that he’s been with us practically from the moment he was born, so it’s not possible that his birthmother had the chance to give him candy. It’s hard to say if that satisfied the boy or silenced him.
This morning the boy was watching an episode of Caillou (which I thought he had outgrown), and from the iPad, I heard the zookeeper say, “…the baby otter’s mommy got very, very sick and then she died.” To which Caillou whined, “She died?”
I imagine that our son will spend his entire life piecing together a narrative of where he came from. It’s bittersweet, though, to hear him talk about his birthmother with such a matter-of-fact attitude and with such finality. It’s easy to tell a kid that adoption is complicated, but it’s hard to tell a kid that despite how complicated adoption is, it doesn’t really matter how we came together in the first place.