Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mother's Day, Take Five

This month I celebrated my fifth Mother's Day and my fourth Birth Mother's Day. I’ve written before about Mother’s Day. Every year. I did it in 2010, and in 2011, and again in 2012. (click for link)

I was going to repeat myself, because I do that a lot. I'm not one to stop talking just because I've run out of things to say. I had a Mother's Day post planned. But more than a week and seven drafts later, I've given up. I don't have anything else to say about Mother's Day.

I'm sure it won't always be that way. It is entirely possible that next year will warrant multiple blog posts about this particular greeting-card holiday. But this year, I think I'm good.

I got a video of Roo wishing me a happy Mother's Day, and it's pretty much the only thing I needed, even though I didn't know I needed it until I got it. Can you believe Roo will be four years old this summer? I swear she just barely learned to walk. Anyway, this video is the best Mother's Day gift I could have gotten, and I kind of didn't care about anything else that happened that weekend. My sister sent me a card, which was unexpected and thoughtful and lovely. And, to cap off my weekend, when I was on the way to Casa Grande with my mother, I saw the Wienermobile headed south on the 10.

The only thing that bothered me all weekend was a few hours after the Wienermobile (there aren't too many occasions to use that phrase, let me tell you). My mom and I had gone to Casa Grande to take my grandmother to lunch for Mother's Day. After we ate we talked for a while. When we said goodbye, my grandma wished my mom a happy Mother's Day but she didn't say anything to me. I was surprised at how much that bothered me.

My mom reckons my grandma didn't want to bring up what she might consider to be a painful subject. That makes sense, I guess. My grandma isn't the sort of person to talk about painful things. When my dad called to let her know his cancer was back and he was going to die soon, she said, "Well, these things happen," and then told him about a problem she was having with her satellite dish. My grandma will be 87 next month, and she's outlived her husband and 4 of her 6 children. She knows what it is to hurt. She just doesn't talk about it.

I don't know how to not talk about it. Maybe it's a generational thing, maybe it's seven years of therapy taking root in my brain. I just don't know how to not express a feeling, even if I'm only talking to myself.

But then, Roo's not a sad feeling or a hurt. Roo is my happy place. I'm sure she has moments with her parents where she is absolutely rotten but the advantage of being her birth mom is that I don't have to see any of that. She always behaves herself around me (because kids save their worst behavior for their parents) so I can pretend she's a little angel all the time and refuse to believe otherwise.

Anyway. Where was I?

Mother's Day. Not a big deal this year. I have had too many other things on my mind. It's not that I love Roo any less, or that I feel less like a mother or birth mother than I did in years past. The fact remains that I spent 41 weeks growing a small human from scratch (just two ingredients!) and 36 hours of labor attempting to evict said small human, who then had to be surgically extracted (yes, there's a scar; no, you can't see it). That will always be part of me; having Roo helped make me the person I am today.

But I'm much more well-rounded than I was in years past. There are more things competing for attention in my brain. My feet still itch (not literally; see my previous post for clarification), and I'm trying to plan three different trips before my birthday, and I'm turning 30 this fall and not taking it particularly well, and the Summer reading program is about to start at work, and this stray cat in my neighborhood has decided it belongs to me, and I frequently have to open the patio door and yell, "Stop meowing! I'm not letting you in! You are not my cat!" and the last time this happened two police officers heard me and I was too far away to offer a proper explanation.

("You don't have normal problems, do you?" my mother often asks.)

It's nice to have reached a point in my life where being a birth mother doesn't define me. It used to define me; the first year after placement it was pretty much my whole self, and it took another year before I didn't feel disloyal for not wanting it to.

I'm proud of myself for taking a whole week to write about Mother's Day. I'm proud of myself that Mother's Day is such a non-issue for me, that it was a blip and not a breakdown. I've come a long way.

I've been blogging much less frequently than I used to, and last night when I was waiting to fall asleep I figured out why.

I started this blog for Roo - to tell her story, so she'd never have to wonder why she's where she is and so she'll never doubt my love for her. Over time it's become less about Roo and more about me, which parallels my life pretty neatly. I have different things to say now. But because so much of my readership found me because of adoption, I feel like there are things I should be saying and writing about.

The problem is that I want to write about those things less and less. I feel like I've said it all before. I'm not done blogging, not by a long shot, but I think that much less of what I write is going to be so narrowly focused on adoption. This is my blog. I ought to be able to write about whatever I want, and tie it to adoption as loosely as feels appropriate, if it feels appropriate at all.

If you're okay with that, stick with me. I've got a lot more to say.


birthmothertalks said...

Nice that you had a nice video from Roo!! Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

You're awesome, Jill. I love reading what you have to say. I'm glad to know you're healing.

Alysa . . . . and Reed said...

Jill, may I call you that? :) I love your blog. I love what you write and have written. As a birthmother, your writing echoes the same feelings I feel and have felt. And honestly, it's nice to come to a place where adoption and those feelings are so freely and openly written about. I think you're awesome and just want you to know that. Thanks for putting into words things I need and want to express myself. It's great therapy for me to read!

Lempskies said...

My mom sounds like your g'ma. I used to think she wasn't listening or didn't care when I would share something difficult and she would change the subject as quickly as possible to something like the weather.
Now I understand that she just doesn't like to dwell on things she knows hurt her kids. She's gotten better and it also helps that I understand that her aversion to hard things comes from love not a lack of it.
I'll wish you a belated Happy Mother's Day on her behalf.