And apparently no time to post it. I wrote this on Tank Boy’s birthday, which is not today. I wanted to get a picture of him on the monkey bars to include in the post, but it never happened. He was on the monkey bars most of yesterday, but I was so busy with other things I still don’t have the picture.
With my girls, their birthdays are just their birthdays. With my boys? Birthdays are a time for me to reflect and wonder about women living on the other side of the world.
As the sun was setting on my family last night, it was rising on Tank Boy’s birth mother and the anniversary of his birth. How did her day start? Was she wondering about the son she let go? Was she sad? Does she have pictures of him as a baby that she took out and looked at? Or has she moved on to the point that she gave it all very little thought? I just don’t know.
I do know I wish I could tell her about her little boy, my little boy. I want to tell her not to worry. I want to tell her he is very, very loved. I want to tell her he started reading this summer, and he’s the only one of our five children who can go all the way across the monkey bars on the play set. I want to tell her that though he struggled for the first couple years of his life, struggled with fear and anger, he is now a happy little boy who can express his fears and insecurities articulately and deal with them appropriately.
I want to tell her . . . gosh! I just want to tell her everything. He loves Star Wars and Wolverine and can out-sing children twice his age in primary. He loves to swim in the pond and dig in the dirt, and he is my only child who wants to help me work in the garden. He tries so very, very hard to be good, and tells me frequently that he is, “being obedient!” For his size and his age, his strength is almost superhuman. I am so glad I no longer need to hold him back and wrestle him into my arms and out of the room as I did daily when his rage would get the better of him (and the rest of us), though I do miss the biceps and triceps I developed from doing so. But a happy boy is more important, and more fun, than toned arms.
I want to tell her that he eats well, and he eats everything. He is never picky, but he is endlessly hungry. He sleeps soundly and wakes up happy, as long as we’re not waking him up too early. Physically he is fearless and is consequently perpetually covered in bruises and scratches and scrapes. Emotionally he is sensitive and even fragile at times, but he is getting stronger with time. He wonders about his foster mother and his birth mother, he wonders why they didn’t keep him.
I want to tell her that ours is the privilege of parenting both biological and adopted children, so we know without a doubt that we could not love him any more, any differently, any better had he come from my body rather than hers.
I want to tell her that he learned to ride his bike without training wheels this summer, and he plays Wii bowling until the sweat pours off his forehead (and he always wins). He can cut straighter lines and neater shapes than his almost twelve-year-old sister. He is breezing through kindergarten and always chooses to do his handwriting pages first so that he can get the hard stuff out of the way. He wants to be Spider Man for Halloween this year but still loves Thomas the Tank Engine.
I want to tell her that his life is good; my life is good, in part, because of him. I want to tell her I’m sorry for her loss of this wonderful little person, and I want to tell her thank you for giving him life and allowing him to come to us.
I wonder what she wants when his birthday comes each year? I sincerely wish I knew.