Dinner Conversations

"Motherhood has a very humanizing effect.  Everything gets reduced to essentials.’" ~Meryl Streep

The Setting: Harry’s Pizza Place, Northern Hills of CT, Friday night, the place is packed. I am seated at a booth with my eldest son. My youngest son and my ex-husband have left the table to visit the mens room. Son is eating Italian ice after having filled his stomach with at least three slices of pizza. I am playing with my iPhone.

Son to me:
"How come Gramma Cathy doesn’t like you?"

(Gramma Cathy is my ex mother in law.)

Me to Son: (laughing and a bit startled) "Oh, I don’t know. Maybe you should ask her…or ask Daddy".

Son to me: "Is it because you got rid of Sister?"

I gasp a bit at his choice of words and begin to respond.  He senses my discomfort and restates himself.

Son to me :
"No, I mean, is it because you to had to give Sister away? That someone else had to take care of her? Is that why Gramma doesn’t like you?"

Me: "First, thank you for correcting your words. The first way you said it was a little harsh and hurt my feelings. And second. I really don’t know, darling, you really need to ask Daddy or Gramma."

Son: "Oh, okay. I will"

Nice, huh? Even my ten year old son, the sibling of my child lost to adoption, to an alleged "better life" thinks (if even as a Freudian slip) that I "got rid of" his sister.


Not the gift that keeps on giving but the wound that keeps on bleeding.

For generations.

3 Thoughts.

  1. Yikes! Your son certainly keeps you on your toes. His intelligence and insight must be wonderful and a bit scary. It’s to your credit that he understands the importance of the words we choose.

  2. It’s almost impossible not to take comments like those to heart – especially from the mouths of our children.
    i was forced to give up my younger daughter and was allowed to keep my oldest.she was 4 years old at the time and had a very tough time processing this.
    one day on the bus she piped up(loud enough for all to hear) “Are you going to give me away like you gave my sister away?”
    youre right.it stings and wounds for life.

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