Wednesday, November 22, 2017

In my Imagination

In my imagination, I remember holding her as an infant and can see her as a tiny baby in my arms. I recall, rocking her to sleep when she was helpless and dependent. My imagination is flawed because even though I can imagine a memory that doesn't exist she can remember the day she met me.

The truth is, there are actually parts of her body I have never really seen. I never change a single diaper. It would have been inappropriate to examine every little inch of her the day I became her mother. She was five-years-old. It probably would have been considered abusive.

And, I remember meeting her too. As I waited at the table in the restaurant I remember the anxiety and wondering, how would I feel? How would she feel? I had been a mother twice before but, they were my biological children. How would it be to meet my child at the age of five?

When I saw her walking toward the table I was overcome with emotions, very much the same emotions I felt when I gave birth. The only real difference was that she was walking and talking... and when she reached the table the first words she spoke to me were: "Are you my new mommy?"

Words, I don't think most people have ever spoken in their lives. But, words that were true in every way. I was NEVER her choice and she never had control. She entered involuntarily.

--But, then I think about it very hard and have to wonder which child on this earth was born voluntarily? Did any of us have the opportunity to choose the parents we grew up with? Is it really all that different? The only child I know that had any control was Jesus.

Doesn't every child enter life involuntarily?

When I think of her years before she called me mommy, there was a lot that happened to her involuntarily. I am sure she had no control over any of the things that led to her becoming a part of the foster care system or the termination of her birth mother's parental rights. I am sure she did not go to sleep hungry because she wanted to be hungry. I am sure none of those things were things she wanted.

Last night, she called me from her job. It was very late and a good chance I would be asleep. I answered the phone because I knew she should have been on the clock already. Her voice was a bit meek and she asked, "Are you still awake mommy?"  Of course, I was awake for her... She needed my help she had a wardrobe malfunction and needed an emergency trip home to change into pants that did not have a blown seem... It was my pleasure to jump in the car and help with that issue--who hasn't had a wardrobe malfunction while at work or school?

It has been a few weeks since she rearranged her work schedule and let me off the hook for the midnight drive for the graveyard shift. I continue to be amazed by her. I continue to be astounded by the abilities of survival she learned in her confusing childhood she had no control over. I continue to have these untrue memories of rocking her to sleep when she would have fit into my arms.

What she has taught me is that it doesn't really matter if my memories are not real. That being a mommy has a lot of emotions. That children grow up and there is a new relationship. I am enjoying the new memories sharing life with my adult children and loving them all the same.

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