Dinner Conversation

So we are at my mom’s house last night having dinner and somehow the conversation got onto moms. Not sure how or why the conversation came up but it went something like this-

“Grandmom I have such a good mom.” and “You were a good mom too”

“Yes, honey you do have a good mommy”

“We have lots of moms in our family”

“We have two don’t we?” “I am mommy’s mom and she is your mommy”

“Yes, well no……….mommy has her other mom who came first, then you so she has two.”

EEEEEKKKKKK! My mom looked like she had been hit with a ton of bricks. She muttered something like “no…yes, uh huh”

I stood there and felt like somebody had split me right in two. Part of me wanted to come to her rescue in some way, say something to make her feel better. Then there was this other part of me who thought my daughter is simply speaking the truth, no explination necessary. Crap.

It made me think of the whole Santa thing-truth vs lies, literal vs conceptual. What do I mean by that? Well my first mother is literal (real) yet what I seem to seek is the concept (an idea, thought or abstract notion) of a mother in her. It’s like having an idea not fully formulated that bugs you and leaves you feeling like you are being pecked to death by a duck. I know she is literally my mother (the origin or source of something-in this case ME) but that is really as far as it goes. It’s probably the source of much of my pain because I still seek the notion of a mother in E and she’s not a willing participant. What is it that makes me need this? I think it has to do with feeling worthy. It is instinctual to want your mother to love you isn’t it? How devastating to walk around feeling like your own mother doesn’t find you worthy.

Then there is my mom who as much as she tries will always remain conceptual. It’s a shame really because in many ways she deserves the literal FAR more than E but that can never be. The title of my literal mother will remain with someone far less deserving. Nothing I can do about that. Nothing my mom can do about that. So why bother pretending?

When you learn that Santa doesn’t exist it is heartbreaking. Unless of course you have the idea of Santa to rely on. The concept of Santa is a constant in a world filled with doubt. He may not be literal today (as in living, breathing) but what does that really mean anyway? Not much. When it comes to defining “MOTHER” my mom is a constant ideology in my inner world filled with doubt. As crazy as she is she keeps me sane.

Last night my daughter spoke the literal truth but for my mom and I it was loaded with far more meaning and we have nothing to rely on BUT our concepts to help us on our journey.

So what did I say? I ended up not saying anything, just stuffed a fork full of rice in my mouth and smiled this unsure, uneasy, unnatural smile we adotees become so adept at.



Filed under Adoptee Family

9 responses to “Dinner Conversation

  1. Suz

    sometimes the best thing one can do is say nothing at all.

    its terrible this is even an issue. closed adoption makes these situations.

    i actually am pleased when one of my sons belts out info about his sister. i am happy they are comfortable to do so and yeah, part of me enjoys watching the recipients squirm in their biased seats.

    great analogy btw.

  2. MaeDay

    This is a good analogy!

    Adoption is at times such a pain in the arse to deal with. Nothing in it/of it/about it, is simple.

    There have been and still are days when I’d just as soon smile and say nothing, then to have a whole lot of explaining to do. ‘ Splainin’ gets wearisome.


  3. I agree great analogy.

    For me, I always make a distinction between Mom and Mother. For lucky people, Mom and Mother are the same person. For those less fortunate, Mom and Mother are two different women. For people who really got crapped on, Mom never existed, but Mother does (or did).

    Clear as mud? lol

  4. Hi, Mia, thanks for sharing this.

    It’s strange and sad how the simple truth can become so complex in adoptive relationships. But it’s also really refreshing to see how easily your daughter spoke that truth. Another example of how paradoxical adoption is.

  5. Kids have no screens like adults do….so you get the raw, unadulterated truth and I find that refreshing. Perhaps we should be more like children when it comes to the truth and maybe a whole lot more…..I believe Someone once said that unless we become like little children, we shall not inherit the Kingdom… 🙂

  6. I know this is horrible. Can I say Mom for my mother? Mommie Dearest for the other one. Again this is no disrespect to other first moms. God knows how much I love them and respect them but mine is a Mommie Dearest.

  7. Amy maybe you should offer a wire hanger as a peace offering, sort of like an olive branch…only different. lol

    Kids are honest and I really respect that. One of the hardest lessons though is teaching them tact to accompany that honesty. ;o)

    I speak freely about my adoption situation so I suppose my kids just pick up on the idea that the subject is no big deal to discuss. All of this really is a pain in the arse. I agree MaeDay.

  8. I talk very openly about adoption with my boys. I am just waiting for the day that they make an adoption comment to my mom just like what your daughter did. My boys have no problem with understanding that I had two moms but my mom has a BIG problem with understanding that.

  9. I just came across this particular post right now, thank you for writing it. I can identify with so much of what you said. Real, honest and eloquent.

    Our daughter is 4 1/2 and asks about her brother’s first and second mothers and fathers quite a bit. She wants to know why we have pictures of D’s second mommy, but none of his first. I told her that hopefully one day we will.

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