It was a pretty normal morning around here. I was feeling rather pleased with myself because I'd crossed a couple of things off my list of 'Things To Do Once the Girls Get Back to School." Namely, I'd finally updated the kids' birthday scrapbooks. I add a page or two each year with pics from their parties, and since their birthday were in April, June, and August, I was quite a bit behind. But, as I said, I'd gotten it done this morning and was feeling pretty good about having that crossed off the list. Also, I was excited to show the girls their new pages once they got off the bus this afternoon. Little Boy, however, didn't have to wait. And, boy, was he excited!
He sat with his book splayed across his lap on the couch and pored over the pages as I went about my work. I kept coming through the living room as I went about washing dishes, switching laundry around, vacuuming. Through all of that, still he sat there. The smile was gone, though, I noticed, as he sat with his eyes locked on the pics of him from the day he was born and his first birthday.
You see, Little Boy was adopted. And since he didn't come home to us until a week before his second birthday, the photos he's staring at are ones from a past that doesn't include us, his family.
Laundry in hand, I stopped in my path. What could he be thinking? What is he feeling? He looked up at me and smiled; I smiled back, then resumed my work,content that he was okay. About 5 minutes later, it started . . .
A low moaning sound that it took me a minute to realize was a cry. It was unlike the cries a mother is used to hearing. It wasn't the way he cried when he fell off the swing or the way he cried when Girl 2 grabbed his monkey away from him or the way he cries when he's not ready for bed. This seemed like it was coming from somewhere very deep within.
I rushed back to the sofa, and he was still sitting there with the book across his lap. He threw his arms out, begging to be held, as the tears streamed down his face. And, I held him. and held him. and held him. His sweaty palms grabbed the back of my neck and held on tight. "Are you sad?" "Umm, hmmm."
This was new for me. But, I knew enough from all my adoption reading to know that I shouldn't be feeding him words right now. I should give him a chance to put into words the way he's feeling, so I shut up then, and just held him. In the year and half that he's been home, though, I'd never dealt with this before. If you know him at all, you know he's no melancholy child. He attacks life, bounding through it with a huge smile plastered across his face. But, now as I sat holding him as he soaked my neck with his tears, I heard him saying something: "I juss wanna be your tid." In case you don't speak Little Boy, that's "I just want to be your kid." Over the next couple of hours, the laundry just sat in the machine as we went about our day hand-in-hand and I used words like "all the time" and "forever" and "always" so many times it was ridiculous.
We don't really talk with others much about his past. He was adopted out of Arkansas Foster Care and was blessed to have amazing foster parents before he made his way to us. But, he has a past -- a past that in some ways we feel we must protect him from (which is why he's never pictured here on this public blog). His past is a story that will be his to tell as he grows older. We will not be the ones to discuss the details with others. But, this moment today reminded me that, though, I look at him and see my son, a person whose life is so intertwined with my own that it's nearly impossible to remember life without him, he did have a different life before he became a part of our family. And, I would do well to remember that our great joy in having him as a son is only possible because first, he suffered a great, elemental loss -- a loss that will perhaps at times throughout his life well up inside him and be expressed in the sound of that deep, horrifying moan. And, as a mom, it's difficult to know that there's no magical band-aid for the wounds of his past. I can love him, hold him, and point him to the great Healer. . . all the time, forever, always.
What has all this to do with homesteading? Not a dad-gum thing that I can really think of, honestly. But, I just can't shake this right now, and, therefore, can't think about recipes or chicken craziness or mozzarella today. Thanks for bearing with me. Tomorrow, business as usual, I promise. ;)