Reviewing my youngest sons school work over the weekend brought to light something I was not prepared for. I should have been. Really. It is no surprise. I should have been uber prepared.
But I wasnt.
He, like his brother before him, has started writing about his sister in his school work.
Reading stories, daily writings about things he did with his sister, literally set me off kilter to the point I had to rest on the couch. Is this an imaginary friend? Something he read? I furiously flipped pages looking for a reference to a book or story they read in school. I found none.
My youngest son was so very young when I shared the knowledge of his sister. (Refer to “Telling Children“). While I knew someday he would ask questions, I assumed they would be different questions, or less challenging questions than the ones his older brother asked. I assumed my youngest would grow up in a house where talk of his sister is free and regular and that secrets will not be allowed. I assumed (erroneously) that my sons confusion, pain, uncertainty, angst over the sister they have but are not permitted to know would be openly discussed. I assumed they would verbalize it. To me, directly.
Silly silly me.
What was I thinking?
I havent discussed with my youngest the fact that I read these home work stories. I havent challenged their accuracy. (“Today I played with my sister…”). I have kept it to myself.
It is a fine line for me. Trying to balance their needs and realities with mine. I try not to over identify with adoption with them. I try not to make it a mongo ginormous big deal. It is bad enough I personally need to spew this emotional vomit regularly. I want to shield them. Protect them. And I shield and protect others. When my oldest asked “Why didnt gramma let you live with her? Why didnt gramma help you? Why didn’t sisters daddy marry you?” I deflected indicating I could not answer for Gramma or Sisters Daddy. Was that right? Wrong? Somewhere in between or is there no correct answer?
I try to answer only what is asked and answer it at an age appropriate level.
But what if they are not asking?
What if they are keeping it to themselves because talking about it makes mommy cry?
What if they want to say something bad, out of anger, about sister but mommy is defensive and protective of sister (and thereby invalidates sons feelings?)
If I can be so blunt and a bit crass, this shit seriously sucks.
I am undecided how to proceed at this point. I may watch for more signs expressed in homework or elsewhere. (As in this weekend, my youngest son was asking if he had step brothers. My fiance has two sons. I responded that when Mommy and Rich get married, he will have step brothers. He seemed to accept that answer and went about his morning tasks. Inside me, something cringed, waiting, anxiously for the next question to be about his absent sister).