Friday, October 16, 2009

Conversaions with Grasshopper: the Deep Thoughts Series

I had one of the most important conversations of my life yesterday.

On a busy thoroughfare. In the rain. At 5:00 pm.

Because why should anything be unnecessarily easy?

Yesterday Grasshopper and I went over to Good Attorney's house for a play date with her son, Little Z. Good Attorney is 7 months pregnant and looks every minute of it.(I hope she doesn't kill me for saying that. I'm hosting her baby shower in a couple of weeks and that could get awkward.)

On the way home from their house, Grasshopper had some questions about the baby in Good Attorney's tummy.

"Why does her got a baby in her tummy? Did her eat it?"

"No! No, honey. Good Attorney did not eat a baby. Babies grow in their mommy's tummy until they..."

"Come out!"

"That's right, sweetheart, until they are born."

"Like I was in your tummy before I was born."

Oh, God. Oh God, oh God, oh God. I did not expect to be doing this in rush hour traffic, on Ponce de Leon Ave. in the rain!

Please don't let me screw this up. Please.

I'm so not ready for a pop quiz.

I haven't had enough rehearsal time.


"Well. No. You didn't grow in my tummy Grasshopper."

"Yes I did. Before I got born."

"No, honey. You didn't grow in my tummy."

"I grew in your heart!"

Huh? I know that "grew in my heart, not in my tummy" is a cliched adoption saying, but it's not one that I've ever parroted. I appreciate the sentiment behind it, but JR and I always thought that it would be confusing to children, especially young children. So we've never said it.

"Well, I've loved you since even before you were born, so you've been IN my heart for a long time, but you didn't grow there. You grew in another lady's tummy. She is your Birthmother."

"Why her is my Birthmother? Why I not grow in your tummy?"

Because the universe isn't always fair.

Because this is how we were meant to be.

Because I could never have created anyone as perfect as you.

"Because my tummy doesn't work right for growing babies. So your Birthmother grew you for me, and after you were all ready to come out..."

"I got bornded!"

"Yes. You were born and then your daddy and I adopted you and I became your Forever Mommy, and he became your Forever Daddy. We love you so much."

"Little Z has a Birthmother, too?"

Why the extra-credit question son? Did you really have to do this?

My palms are sweating so much I can hardly turn the wheel.

I can't even see your face!

Was this really necessary?

"Yes. Everyone has a Birthmother. For some people, their Birthmother and their Forever Mother are the same person. Like my mother is my Birthmother, because I grew in her tummy, and also she is my Forever Mommy."

"And my Grandmommy!"

"Yes, exactly!"


"Why da winsheild wipers go swish, Mommy?"

I don't know baby. I'm just glad that I can tell you, "I don't know." and let the tears roll right on down my face.

I'm so glad that you're watching the wipers and can't see me.

I've practiced for this day since before I ever laid eyes on you.

Since those first nights after we decided to adopt.

Laying there in the darkness I would imagine this conversation with some faceless child (a girl, by the way) and picture us sitting on the beach, or in her bed at night enjoying snuggles before we tucked her in.

She was always at least 4 and a half.

I never once pictured having this conversation with a 3 year old.

But then, I never pictured you.

You are everything that a Forever Mother (or a Birthmother) could hope for.

I love you, baby boy.

I really hope I didn't screw this up.


Manic Mommy said...

No way did you screw this up! Sounds like you did just fine. Sounds like he knows his proper place as the center of your universe.

I treat all hard topics (how does the baby get in the mommy's belly/how does it get out?) on a need-to-know basis. They ask the questions they're ready for the answers to. What you supplied was more than enough for him to digest happily.

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

Oh, I didn't expect to start my day by crying. This is beautiful all the way around. Maybe I can send Bug your way when he starts asking questions. I have a feeling I won't handle it as eloquently as you did.

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

You did just fine. I haven't had this conversation with Chick (mostly becasue she doesn't talk yet) but I have had it with my son who is biological.

Grasshopper is one lucky little boy and not because you adopted him. Simply because you love him more than anything.

StephLove said...

I think you did wonderfully, but I doubt it will be just one big conversation. You'll probably talk about it over and over again in different ways at different ages. I can't remember exactly when Noah and I first talked about insemination and how he got into my tummy but I think he was probably about Grasshopper's age. Younger is better in my opinion. Then when he's older it will seem like something he always knew, not something you revealed in some dramatic moment. (I know it was dramatic for you, but it sounds like it was low key for him, which is great.)

Karen Chatters said...

You did awesomely well!! Those are tough questions with tough answers but you handled it like a champ and said all the right things. Grasshopper has the best Forever Mommy ever!

natasha the exile on Mom Street said...

Manic Mommy: Thank you. You're right about need-to-know, I tried to be forthright, but also keep it at a 3 year old-appropriate level. Not easy!

Mood Swing: It was not an easy conversation to have simply because it's all so fraught with emotion on our side and it's just NOT for them. You'll do well when Bug starts to ask. I have no doubt.

Andrea: You know all about the all-encompassing love first hand because I see it every time you write about Chick and Thor.

Steph: You are absolutely right. I will be having variations on this conversation with Grasshopper for many years to come. I just hope that I laid a foundation yesterday that will make all of those future conversations a little bit easier. And less palpitation-inducing.

Karen: Thank you! It's not necessarily true, but I'll take the compliment!

Mama Goose said...

Absolutely. Perfect. In. Every. Way.

lonek8 said...

sounds like you handled it beautifully.

Anonymous said...

You did awesome, Forever Mommy!

I love that there wasn't a segue between answering such a big question, and the next question about......windshield wipers. And that's what shows that you answered this just right; all was right in his world, and so he could move right along to the next curiousity!

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

You did incredible and he will never even blink twice about it because you handled it so nonchalantly. Just like my stepson doesn't think it's strange that he has a birth mother and a "mom" that takes care of him. Because we were always honest and acted like it wasn't a big deal.

Well done!

And AWESOME post.

Anonymous said...

Dysdhousewife here Natasha. (too lazy to blog-in.) I lurk evey once in a while at your blog. Honey. You DID FAHHHBULOUS!! You know when they drop it and start talking about something else they are satisfied. :) :::HUG:::

Katherine Malone said...

That was a beautiful post and I am so glad I happened upon it today!!