Thursday, August 22, 2013

Anniversary

I'm usually pretty good at remembering important dates. I'm pretty good at remembering unimportant dates as well. For instance, I remember that my high school graduation was on May 24th, 2001 (it was Bob Dylan's birthday). I remember that my mom's due date for me was October 6th (sorry, Mom). I finished beauty school on October 17th. I know my therapist's birthday.

I certainly prided myself on remembering every Roo-related date. I think I've blogged about most of them, likely extensively because after four years of blogging, I think I've covered almost everything extensively.

But when I woke up this morning I noticed the date on my phone and I thought, today was important once. The letters and numbers glowing on the screen didn't tell me why I ought to remember August 22nd. I stared at them for a minute and then the screen dimmed and just as they disappeared, I remembered that in 2009, August 22nd was a Saturday. It was the day I decided I needed to place Roo for adoption.

Despite my unnecessary thoroughness on many other Roo- and adoption-related topics, I don't think I've said much about the circumstances that led me to decide once and for all that adoption was right for Roo. And I'm still not going to. I'll probably get there eventually, but today is not the day.

Today I'm just going to remember. I went to bed on August 21st, 2009, as someone's mother and I had no reason to believe I wouldn't always be her mother. When I went to bed on August 22nd, I knew my time as Roo's mother had an expiration date. It was devastating and terrifying for me, and absolutely the right choice for Roo.

But I don't want to dwell on the sad. That's not what I want to remember today. What I want to remember is how I changed as a mother that day, once the decision had been made. I can't say with any objectivity whether I was a good mother to Roo. I know I certainly loved her more than I had ever loved another human being before. I know that I would have done anything in the world for her. I still would.

But I had never taken care of a baby before. I'm the baby of my family so I didn't have any younger siblings to practice on. And I was raising Roo alone. It was stressful and lonely and I worried constantly. It seemed like there were a million things to do, and no time to do any of them. I did what I could while Roo napped, but I was so tired, and so lonely.

Then came the 22nd. I had not yet found P and M. I didn't know how much longer I'd be Roo's mother. I just knew it wasn't going to be long. I knew I had to maximize my time with this tiny person I loved so much. So I stopped trying to get things done. I stopped getting anything done at all, and I started holding Roo while she napped. I spent dozens of hours sitting on the couch with a sleeping baby in my arms. I hardly ever put her down. I thought of Albus Dumbledore telling Harry Potter that Harry's mother's love for him was in his very skin. I hoped that Roo would somehow absorb my love by osmosis.

I stopped stressing out about the future - mine and Roo's - and started enjoying the moment. Every second I had with Roo became precious. She would be tiny for only so long, and she would be my daughter for an even shorter time. Deciding to place Roo for adoption made me a better mother to her. The last two weeks I had her were the happiest sad weeks of my life, and I miss them terribly.

Today, on this almost-forgotten anniversary, I'm going to take a lesson from the Jill of 2009 and slow down. I have become so impatient lately, and I feel like I am always in a rush, always stressed, always worried. It is too easy to forget that my life isn't always going to be like this. I'm not always going to have this job, this apartment, this social circle. Things will change. Things are changing already. I'm going to be 30 soon. I need to stop rushing to the next thing and enjoy the moment. It will be gone before I know it.

I'm going to start by enjoying some ice cream.


***

Oh, and speaking of anniversaries, this blog is almost four years old. There are a handful of you readers who have been around pretty much from the beginning, and I thank you for it. It hasn't always been pretty - my blog or my life - but it's been one heck of a ride, and I am so blessed that I haven't had to go it alone. All of y'all, seriously - thanks for reading.

2 comments:

ourangelsstory said...

You are amazing... Such a selfless person xxx

jgirl said...

You've come so far Jill. Thank you for sharing it all with us <3