"What children take from us, they give…We become people who feel more deeply, question more deeply, hurt more deeply, and love more deeply. " Sonia Taitz, O Magazine, May 2003
Curriculum night. Magnet school. Mom and Dad on scene. Kids in the school provided childcare for the evening.
Mom visits the Essentialists while Dad visits the kindergarten. Swap time. Mom visits grade 4 while Dad visits Essentialists.
Mom walks to class room. She is early. She admires the kid’s artwork on the walls of the hallway.
Silhouette cutouts and stories line the wall approaching the fourth grade. Instructions are posted directing parents to find their child based on the silhouette and the anonymous story.
I am Mom. I find my son. I smile. I recognize his hair, the little scoop of his cupids bow upper lip. I smile and for a moment the beautiful face of my son flashes across my mind.
I begin to read his “anonymous” description of himself.
“I have caramel colored eyes…” (He does).
“I love hockey, football and watching Dale Earnheardt..”
“I love my cousins, my parents, my brother and my sister” (I gasp. He always, always remembers her in all his school projects. How can he love a sister he has never met? ).
“I am the middle child”. (I start to cry. Technically, yes. He is the first child for his father and I but he is my second. He is very aware of this).
How much time does he spend thinking about his absent sister? How is he affected by her lack of presence? What does he feel that he does not share with me? How it is that validation comes from the most unexpected places?
On the way home, I compliment him on his silhouette and his description of himself. He is in the backseat. It is dark. He is prone to talking a bit more when it is dark and I am not looking right at him.
“I love how you mentioned your sister” I say.
“Of, course I wrote about her. I always do. She is part of the family. I always include her”, he says.
(I start to cry).
“That’s sweet. I am sure if she knew she would appreciate that” I say. I don’t really know this but I am secretly hoping it would be true.
“It means a lot to me that you think about her, write about her and talk about her. Thank you for that.” I continue.
“MA! She is MY SISTER! Its no big deal”, he counters.
Maybe not to you sweetie. Maybe not to you. But to me, the mom, the mom without her child, the mom who had her motherhood taken from her, its huge. Thank you for giving it back to me.
I love my son.