On April 1st, I crossed a line that I’ve never made before: I have now been in a relationship for 2 whole years.
With the same person.
Who has the same feelings for me.
It’s kind of exhilarating.
More than anything, I want to create a family with him. And now that we know that we are capable of keeping an animal alive (plants are a whole different ballgame and should NOT count), I find myself thinking about babies more and more.
I mean, who am I kidding — I’ve been thinking about babies ever since I discovered that math had been invented purely to make my life miserable.
But now, it’s becoming so real.
A good 50% of me wants the typical things: the cute maternity clothes, the baby bump, feeling those little butterfly kicks for the first time, preparing a room full of clothes and toys and Pinterest-inspired decor that I’m most definitely going to rely on.
Arguing Deciding on a name or four. Watching his eyes fill with tears as he holds his child for the first time.
I want it bad.
But the other 50% of is just plain curious. I’ve never been able to look at someone related to me, and realize, “Ah yes, those are my eyes,” or “Oh dear, THAT’S where that trait comes from.”
Will I experience that?
What if the Baby Buttons aren’t like us at all, but rather, a rogue leaf that falls from the high-high-high-up side of the family tree and lands on my kick-ass uterus?
It’s just so weird to me.
Maybe kids that are adopted feel the exact same way, especially after they’ve grown up and are ready to start families of their own. If their biological parents are completely closed to them, they might not have a single frame of reference other than themselves.
The thing is, I’m not adopted. I have a mom and a dad and siblings, and nieces that look like miniature versions of me.
Yet my mom is the only one I have seen face to face.
And this…is why.
I was about 6 when I realized that my family unit was a little different. My friends at school and church had moms AND dads, grandmas, grandpas, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters and cousins. Even second cousins.
But for me, there was just Mom.
She never shared many details with me, but here is what I do know.
Her parents were Floridian Baptist Missionaries who served in Cuba and the Dominican Republic during the 1940’s. Their first child, my uncle Chuck, was born in Cuba in 1942, just before all missionaries were kicked out of the country. They fled to the Dominican Republic, which was only slightly less hostile. My mom claims that when she was born in 1948, the doctor almost “accidentally” let her roll off of the operating table.
Less than two years later, my grandpa Frank came down with a mysterious illness and died a few days after. I don’t suspect any foul play; I do have the feeling that this illness would not be so mysterious today, probably even preventable.
Mom doesn’t remember her dad at all, or the mission field. Grandma Dorothy-Elizabeth didn’t want to raise her 8 year old son and a toddler in a foreign country on her own, so she went back home to her sisters in Florida. Great-Aunt Lois and Great-Aunt Marj became the glue that held the family together…for awhile.
My uncle Chuck grew up angry and rebellious. He was old enough to remember his dad and the fact that he left far too early without an explanation. He would take my mom to school in a brand-new Corvette in the mornings, while resisting all laws of authority in the same vehicle late in the night.
Grandma’s quiet strength, the iron rod of Aunt Lois and the cheeky quirks of Aunt Marj were no match for Chuck’s thunderous ways; it wasn’t long before he set out on his own, determined to become a pilot.
This determination was cut tragically short by a drunken B & E at the hangar, followed by an illegal and fatal joy ride.
My mom was 18 when she donned a mourning shroud once again, this time fully aware of the loss she faced.
It would be nearly another 20 years before Dorothy-Jean would open her heart again.
In an attempt to close the holes, she traveled. Studied. Wrote music. Offered professional therapy to those in need. Made vinyl records. Failed in finding The Perfect Man. Lost her mom and her aunts to various forms of cancer.
Loneliness overtook her. As she approached 40 years of life, she realized that something was missing. Me.
And so she began a journey of lying, stealing and cheating to achieve me. A cycle that couldn’t be stopped even after she got me.
I would not know the truth until 2008.
The Truth will set you free.
And, quite possibly, destroy everything you’ve known.
To be continued…