Saturday, March 15, 2008

Little by Little

Jake and I were sitting in the back room together. No TV, no video games, he was stuck talking to me.

So… when did you meet Momma Jeani?

In 1989.

How old were you?

I do the math. I can’t quite believe it.


She was on the volleyball team?

Yes, we were both playing on teams that were going to the Gay Games in Vancouver.

Why weren’t you on the same team?

Because I was better.

No you weren’t! Jake yells.

Yes, I was, actually.

Don’t trash talk my birth mother!

I looked at him. Jake did come out of Jeanine. She is his birth mother and I am a better volleyball player.

Not trash talk. Just reality.

I wonder, though, how he holds that. They love to hear their birth stories, and I tell them over and over again. Ben came out early and no bag was packed. Zachary on time but there was a lot of swearing involved.

And no bag packed either.

Jake bungee jumped with the cord wrapped around him so many times he couldn’t make it out.

I love to tell the stories. Partly because I am adopted and I do not have those stories. My mother told me she picked me out, and I was the chosen one. How she loved me, how wonderful I was. Not too skinny, not too fat, just right.

Yeah, that landed me in a lotta years of therapy.

She was only doing what the social worker recommended. I still have the book she read to us, “The Chosen Baby” by Valentina P. Wasson. Originally published in 1939, it was at the time, “practically a classic in the child adoption field.”

I wonder, as I listen to Jake tell me not to trash talk his birthmother, how this all sits in his mind. How it sits in Ben’s and Zachary’s.

I know I felt special and totally returnable. I mean, if you pick one out, you can pick another. Someone already dropped me off in the reject bin once. Why not again?

I went over and hugged Jake, and playfully started to wrestle with him. Believe me, I said to him, I was there every step of the way.

He giggled, and tried to escape, but not too hard. Even when she was puking? He asked.

Yes, even then.

Did you puke?

Yes, I did. Most pregnant women do.

Can we play the witch game? He asked. Jake and I made up this game, where I pretend to be a mean, old witch sleeping and he sneaks up. I wake up, grab him and tickle him until he “gets away” only to repeat the process over and over.

I wonder if I take the time to talk more about the birth process, do I talk about the donor at this time and how we managed to have three boys because of the generosity of an anonymous man in Berkeley, California?

Does he feel less than? More than? I know he feels different. I know from my own experience the difference is good and bad. I know it must be talked about, to be held openly, never a secret, never taboo.

I know all three of my kids have very different feelings about having two moms, two dads, and an anonymous biological father. Each will need different pieces handed to them at different times. I am constantly mindful of when a moment comes up and it is ripe with possibility.

Today? It was time to play the witch game. Jake wanted to giggle and be tickled and wrestle. He’s still a little boy, grinning with his two front teeth missing. No long discussion.

But when is the right time, the right place, for each of them? I don’t know I’ll ever be sure about that.

I only know, little by little, I have to do it.

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Blogger Seda said...

Beautiful post - sad, joyful, and poignent. I, too, wonder how my boys will perceive my choices as they grow older. How my transition will affect them, so that they age with two moms, their dad gone into nothingness. Will they feel like I've stolen/killed their father? Will they miss that male presence, or take joy in the deeper, more honest relationship we now share? How will they be affected as they hit puberty, and see that their family is so different from those of their friends?

Time will tell. For now, thanks for your thoughts, your viewpoint, and the lovely parenting you do.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Gay Games Blogger said...

Love the blog!

Now get yourselves together for the Gay Games VIII in Cologne, Germany in 2010.

Kelly Stevens
Gay Games blogger

Built upon the principles of Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best™, for more than 25 years the Gay Games have empowered tens of thousands of LGBT artists and athletes through fellowship and friendly competition.

Gay Games VIII, Cologne 2010
Be Part of It!

5:40 PM  
Blogger (no subject) said...

this was very touching. it's something i have thought about before as i want to have kids someday, either by myself or with a partner.

i read your post to my girlfriend and we had a good conversation about parenting. we were wondering, though, how you met the boys' fathers.

ps-are you still better at volleyball than jeanine? =)

6:00 PM  
Blogger (no subject) said...

ps (again)- i hope you don't mind that i linked to this post...lemme know if you do tho and i'll unlink it.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

no subject- that's fine to link- I'm honored.

and yes, I'm still better.

at least in my mind I am... but I bet her sister would agree, as I did go play with her recently on an all men's team.

of course, jeanine's sister is way better than me. but I'm not telling her that.

6:46 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

gay games? oh, but I'm oooooold now. do you still have darts as competition?

I have thought about swimming, and I have seriously thought about 2010. I went in 1990 and ... I still have my medal, my uniform and great memories.

6:47 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

seda, you have not killed their father.

their father is still there. just more honest.

11:19 PM  
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4:57 AM  
Anonymous donald said...

great post sara! i have no doubt that you will continue to tell the boys the stories of their birth and their heritage in a timely manner and with great honesty. you are all doing a wonderful job.

6:41 PM  

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