Girl two often wakes up before I’ve finished the last mechanics of posting in the morning. She wants to eat and she wants to snuggle.
What did you write your blog about? Girl two wanted to know as soon as we’d settled the time for breakfast.
I told people about us getting our hair cut, I said.
She smiled briefly then frowned, serious. Why didn’t you tell them we read, “The Mouse and the Motorcycle?”
She and I have been reading Beverly Cleary together. The story acts like a vacuum, sucking the other children away from what they are doing until we are many, reading about Ralph’s adventures in Mountain View Inn. “The Mouse and the Motorcycle,” arrived for Christmas. We often buy used books, but this one was brand new. Ordered in the mail. A chapter book, wonderfully illustrated, and owned by Girl two.
I got a note from a friend the other day. Not just any friend. A friend I had shared with my mother. At my mother’s request, the friend agreed to be a grandmother in her place, should my mother die. We consider it a kind of arranged adoption. Over the years, she has faithfully loved my children, invited us on vacations, offered free French tutoring and bought shoes. She also got it in her head to look out for me.
Normally, I’m not a fan of cheerleaders (I think it’s the pom, poms), but this isn’t like that. It’s just her. Always there. Always believing in what I can do. Always cheering. Most of the time it goes unsaid. But every once in a while, after a hard day, or a difficult time, I get a note. Hang in there. She knows I’ve got it in me to come out on the other side ok. She’s proud of me.
The Mouse and the Motorcycle reminds me of this. I don’t think Girl Two cares what I write about as much as she wants to know that I’m cheering.
Girl Two isn’t a baby anymore. She is a girl who likes chapter books and reads words to find where we are. She likes, “The Mouse and the Motorcycle,” and she has a lot of opinions about Ralph. “No, don’t do that, Ralph! . . . Good, Ralph . . . ” she cries out as I read. We are engaged readers, if nothing else.
Just like Ralph, Girl two cannot wait to grow up. And just like Ralph, she is doing it even when she can’t see it. A tip of the hat to Beverly Cleary. A hundred cheers for Ralph and Girl two.
I may or may not have to go with a cheering theme for a day or two now. But on my word, though the fig tree blossom not, and the yield of the olive fail, there will be no pom, poms.
I have never been a baby person. My own babies were the only exception. I’m in a strange phase now. I physically ache when I see a baby. I want to run because it hurts. The chances of a baby from me surviving pregnancy are too tiny to risk the battering of my body. It has had enough, and so has the rest of me. I dream about more children anyway.
My brain has informed my heart about reality. I am working to get rid of every single baby thing we own. It is over. Time to move on says my brain.
In May, I called the public adoption agency. I asked if they would even read the paperwork or were we a write off with four kids already in the family. “Definitely not a write off. I like what you bring to the table,” she said. By the time we hung up I was so excited about the possibility of adding a few siblings to our tribe I was dancing.
We filled out forms and more forms. I drove them in so the mail couldn’t slow them down. The next step was an introductory meeting, followed by a course. I waited for a call. I started figuring out our fall schedule so we could attend the course. I called for a date so we could plan our vacation around it. No answer. I drove in to ask. “Don’t worry. We’ll let you know.” I called in again anyway. “Sometime in August. Don’t worry. We’ll let you know.”
We got back from a long weekend and opened an invitation to an introductory meeting that had already happened. I tried not to panic. I called. I left messages with the lady. I drove in to talk to someone. They wrote everything down and said they were sure something would work out. I called again and left a message with the lady’s boss. Then I didn’t call. If God could part the Red Sea, surely He could get a phone call returned.
Every month or so, I want to drive in and make her tell me why. Then I let it go again.
It isn’t meant to be. I try to accept this. Then I hear about a pregnant girl not ready to be a mother and I’m gone. Dreaming. Wondering if maybe this is the child I couldn’t let go of.
I started out to write about forgiving the adoption worker, but I guess this isn’t really about her.
This aching. I hate it. I can’t figure out how to resolve it. I like my life tidy. Dreams exist to be realized, not to gnaw at your insides like a tape worm. Down here, we take medicines to kill tape worms. I want the ache realized or gone. Nothing in between
I am waiting for peace, but it is taking a long time. If you were running a business, you would get hammered on wait times.
I hope the answers and the peace are so good that I forget about everything else once they come. I forgive you for having a different schedule, and not keeping me in the loop on everything. Sometimes it has to be that way with my kids too.