Two nights away from my little guy and two more to go.
I talk to him everyday via FaceTime. He's 2.5 years old so he doesn't get the Internet or Denver, but it's wonderful for me to see him doing well. He looked into my face on the small screen and asked, "Where are your feet?" He must have asked me 30 times in one phone call, "Mommy, are you here?
I don't know how parents who travel do this. I watch my cell phone like hawk when pickup happens. When I wake up, I immediately check to see a photo of him being taken to daycare.
Don't let me lie to you. I am enjoying myself. I sleep in a bed without a baby monitor through the night. I venture down into the gym in the morning without worry about a little one crying out for me while I run. I come back to my room at night and can work non-stop without my toddler trying to type on my computer. My showers are long. I can leisurely lounge in my bed, read and enjoy the Rocky Mountain skyline. Yeah, it's great..
Saturday night, I get to put my arms around him in the airport, cuddle him and smell his hair. He may not even notice me with all of the planes. It doesn't matter. I am ready to see him.
I sometimes think about ending this blog mainly because it forces me to find the time to stop and document what is happening. It's a good practice, but I do it for other single parents out there since its so easy to feel alone at times. So I share, hoping that someone sees themselves in the post and feels less isolated.
One of the most read posts on my blog is the one called, Secret Fears. In this post, I talked about the secret fears of adoptive parents. We fear we will never connect with our child or worse, our child not connect with us. Holding him my arms that first day alleviated my fears, but I wanted to share that the connection gets deeper every single day.
There are times when I look at my son and I ache with intense love for him. I want everything happy, healthy and joyful for him. Like most parents, I put his needs before my own. Sometimes when you see us out and about, my son looks put together and I look completely unaware of how disheveled I appear. And I don't care.
What's so amazing is how in sync we are with each other. My son is only 2 1/2 years old! How can he know me so well already? I was singing to myself and suddenly I hear a little voice singing along in the other room. We both track dirt from our shoes into the house, but he can tell which dirt is mine - "Mommy, clean your shoes before you come in the house!" We eat out of each others' plates. We both love big bear hugs while whispering in each others' ears. I can surpass him in random silliness and he can become suddenly logical and practical.
When your child comes into your path, it's not just another human coming along for the ride. This little being and I have around each other for multiple lifetimes. For someone who has been single so long, it's great having a partner in crime.
My son and I have many sayings between the two of us. One of them is that we make a great team followed by a fist bump or high five. Oh how true! So adoptive parents, I promise, that first moment is magical, but even more magical moments are in store for you!
My son woke up Saturday morning singing "da dada" over and over. I thought it was cute so I sang along. Ten seconds later this conversation happened:
Son: Where's my daddy?
Me: I don't know.
Son: Is BaBa my daddy?
Me: No, he is my daddy and your granddaddy.
Son: Who is my daddy?
Me: You don't have one.
Son: Oh, well we need to get one.
Then it stopped and we started talking about other things.
Today at the Science Center, he asked where's his daddy for most of the animals he saw in cages. Before I could answer he would point to a bigger version of that animal calling him Daddy or say that he was probably in the shade to cool down.
Every Dad playing with his child at the Science Center had my son's complete attention. He would mingle in with the kids and listen to him speak.
I am sharing this not because I feel sad like Jules does not have a daddy. In time, he will closely associate with a strong male in my life and direct those feelings to him. It's just interesting watching him try to make sense of that mommy-daddy paradigm.
On Friday, I told my son playfully that he had a baby butt. He replied saying that I had a daddy butt. I have no idea what that means.
All little kids HATE having their nails clipped by their parents - especially toddlers. My son would cry, wriggle, run, kick, hit, whatever to get out of it. I have tried all of the tricks. He sees right through them.
Last time I cut his nails, I stumbled on something. My son was having a fit, crying and pulling away when I mentioned how I cut the toe nails of his favorite rabbit the night before without issue. He froze and thought. My fear was that he was going to call me on this. His rabbit has a blanket for a body, no toes whatsoever. Instead, he asked questions. "Did he cry?" No, I answered. "Rabbit watched me and asked questions." The rest of the session was calm.
So tonight, I thought, here we go. I have got this. He saw the pouch where I stored the clippers. It was coming! He cried and begged no! Then I told him how his rabbit talked to me today about how his nails were hurting him when he slept. "When you hold your rabbit close in the middle of the night, you are scratching him and it hurts." He thought. I picked up the rabbit so that he could examine his nails.
Then, it happened. My son sat there quietly while I trimmed both this toe and finger nails. As I trimmed, I thanked him for being so calm and how this will keep him from hurting his rabbit as they slept. When it was done (a whole 2 minutes later), my son stood on the ground, turned around and THANKED ME for trimming his nails so that he would not hurt his rabbit.
This made my heart soar! Why? 1) No traumatic reaction to trimming his nails. 2) He demonstrated such care over hurting another thing. It made me so proud.
I don't know who is the biological father of my son. Thanks to the expensive search of my adoption lawyer, he never came forward. The biological mother claims that she does not know who he is and is unreachable. There, that's our back story.
Now, move to the present. My son is 2.5 years old and asks questions ALL OF THE TIME. His questions center around classic 2-year-old things like - what was that sound, what is that person doing and can you fix this. He is not asking where his father is, but he notices fathers pretty quickly.
Today at the Science Center, a young girl cried out and ran into the arms of her father. My son watched that and said, "That's her daddy." On TV, when a father helps one of his children, my son announces this, "That's his daddy."
I teasingly say on Father's Day that I am both the mommy and daddy, but it's not true. I am the mommy to the second power - Mommy2, but I am not the daddy. Yes, I am the primary parent, the main person he runs to when he is scared, but I cannot realistically be a father figure to my son.
What is my plan? At this time, nothing. I hope to answer the questions when he asks him, give him honest answers and help him connect with one or more fantastic men in our life as a great example of what a man can be.
I am not freaking out about this. Many people on this planet grow up to be fantastic people without knowing either parent. Fathers are important - no doubt, but for my son, it was not in the cards for him during this lifetime.
I just hope I can hold it together when the hard questions start coming.
My son's brown skin fascinates me - how it drinks lotion, how beautiful it is wearing certain colors and how he glows from the inside like he swallowed a light bulb behind my back. My son is fascinated by my skin - how it forms white/pink knuckles at the top of my hand, how random freckles appear on my arm and how I hold my face when I am putting on makeup.
My son and I have been inside ALL week spending a lot of time together while being sick at the same time. That's a lot of hours of him sitting on my lap and listening to each other cough a LOT. It seems silly to go on about this, but in light of all the racial tension happening in our country, the difference seems to boil down to someone having skin color than another.
I stare at my son sometimes and wonder how could anyone look down on my sweet boo because of his beautiful skin? We are all the same, made of the exact same stuff. Don't let your heart miss something wonderful over something as simple as skin color.
I am sitting on the couch beside my sleeping son. We have been home for the past three days thanks to his fever and stomach issues. He has moments of hysterics weeping uncontrollably for me to hold him and times where you have no idea that he is sick.
I adore my son. He is my favorite person on the planet but after three days of such intense neediness, I need adults. I need conversation that does not include Mickey Mouse, stuffed rabbits and the word, "Why".
Being surrounded day and night by little boy sickness is exhausting. I spent today begging him to not play and jump since the night before was full of stomach sickness. My smartphone has died several times in the past few days since it's my literal lifeline to others in the land of not sick.
I need wellness. I need to leave the house. I need a night without a little boy crawling into my bed only to wake me up in the morning with a swift kick to the neck. I am done with this.