Unlove and Real Moms
It's been a long time. And it felt just as good as I remember.
This baby...God she is sweet.
She has wispy blonde hair and enormous brown eyes and a smile that could light up the heavens.
She played pat-a-cake, she pointed to her eyes and nose, she clapped and she went HOO-HOO-HOO (We are the Muckdogs) when we scored a run. Sometimes, confusing baseball with football, she would lift both of her slender/chubby arms straight up in the air.
When she spied the choker I was wearing, she puckered up her little lips and said, "OOOOOOOH". I took it off and put it around her almost neck, which caused her to squeal with delight. She patted it reverently as it nestled against her round little belly. And then she took it off and watched as it reflected beams of sunlight into her own eyes, giggling and blinking as it dazzled her.
Beauty and innocence and goodness personified, sitting in my lap, playing with sunbeams. Jesus. Is there anything more perfect in this world than that?
But the sweetness of her was and is marred by a horrible knowledge.
Before she came to be with the two wonderful women who are now her parents....somebody didn't love her.
Somebody didn't read her stories or tuck her in. Somebody didn't hug her and didn't play this little piggie and didn't push her in the swing until she was dizzy with delight. Somebody didn't blow raspberries on her belly, or get her nose.
Somebody didn't feed her. Somebody didn't take her to the doctor when she was sick. Somebody didn't kiss her boo-boos. Somebody didn't chase the monsters away.
I don't understand it.
I don't understand being given such a gift, and then neglecting to nurture and love it.
I've tried. I really have.
Maybe her mother was a single parent who was overwhelmed by trying to care for three children. Maybe she was afraid and worried and depressed. Maybe she didn't know how to take care of them. Maybe she had nobody to show her what it is to love. Maybe she was never loved herself.
But that just doesn't work, and I find myself consumed with anger at a nameless faceless devil woman.
As I looked at the baby in my lap, and her brother in the field swallowed up by his uniform; belt cinched tight, hat pulled down at just the right angle, and her sister twirling around in a pink ballerina skirt and mickey mouse sun glasses....
All I can think is...HOW DARE SHE. Mother of God, how dare she.
It's impotent, this rage bubbling up inside me. I can do nothing. I can't punish her and I can't make sure she has no more babies to unlove.
All I can do is be thankful that someone figured out these children needed help, and then got it for them. All I can do is be thankful that they are being loved now. In spades.
I know I've written about them before, but the more I get to know them, the more I realize what truly amazing people they are.
Thank you D and B.
Thank you for for all the peanut butter sandwiches you will cut the crusts off of. Thank you for all the stories you will read. The tickling and the worrying you will do. The pictures you will take and the happy tears you will shed. Thank you for the laughing and the loving.
Thank you for being, in every way possible, their Moms.
Addendum: In response to a couple of comments I received: Yes, there is more to the situation than I have shared here, or am at liberty to share here. Let's suffice it to say that a competent judge will not terminate parental rights for no reason. But the judge overseeing this case saw fit to remove three children, of varying ages, from their living situation and make sure they could never go back.
Am I judging their mother? Yes, I am. And I don't feel proud of that. But it's beyond me right now. And that's why I write about these things; to work through them, to make sense of things that make no sense. And maybe, now that I've gotten it out there, I can let it go. Thanks for the comments. They are insightful and sensitive and kind, as always. And they do help.