Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Okay, I'll bite

We were at an amusement park tonight.

Miss I. gets "nippy" when she gets tired. She looks up into my eyes with the dearest of smiles and what dh calls "glimmering," right before she sinks those big beautiful teeth into some part of my chest. Tonight she LATCHED ON. Sure we could analyze this, but I thought I was going to die.

Later in the evening, Miss I. flashed a smile at a stranger, and those gorgeous dimples appeared. The stranger asked not-innocently (because a.I was smiling and I have no dimples and b.I'm pasty and dh is pastier):
"Did she get those dimples from her mother?"
"Yes," I said. "But not from this one. From her other."
Then I wondered if I shouldn't have taken the bait or given so much up -- if Miss I., when she is older, would rather that I answered differently (a simple "Nope, not me" would have sufficed, I'm sure), in a way that somehow better protects her privacy. And on another night I probably will.
Someday she can answer however she wants. For now I am entrusted with her and with her mothers' claim to her, both valid, both forever.


Gawdessness said...

I think your answer was spot on!
Letting the stranger know that you are her mother as much as another woman is!

Overwhelmed! said...

This is a question I ponder often. Snuggle Bug is blond with blue/green eyes. We are dark haired with brown eyes. We get the questions frequently.

Sometimes I explain that he was adopted. Sometimes when people say, "Where'd he get his beautiful curly blond hair" I simply tell them, "It's in the family genes" and that is readily accepted.

As you say, someday Snuggle Bug will answer however he wants. For now, I try to do my best to protect his privacy without going so far as to denying his history. It's a fine line to walk.

Michelle said...

I agree - I think you did great with the answer!

and ouch on the teeth in the chest!

breadwords said...

I thought your answer both protected her privacy and honored both her mothers. But you could also answer more obliquely and still be affirming...
"I think some angel got her wings giving her those dimples." (Okay, maybe this is too hokey)
"They were a special gift."
"Pretty powerful, eh?"
"Nature AND nurture!"
"Maybe from a distant cousin?"

I think when people make those comments, they are curious, but they are also just trying to compliment.

BTW, my bioson adopted by my first husband has dimples, and people always said he looks just like his dad because of those dimples. I just said an ambiguous, "Yep, he does." Truth is, he looks so much like his biodad I'm not convinced I'm his mother.... but he has mannerisms that make him look like his adoptive dad, too.

I'm not at all sure that we need to be SO carefully protective of the whole "how she joined the family" story. Biomoms share birth stories (and even conception stories!) all the time. I think the feelings that come across when the stories are being told count more than the content. I wouldn't tell the whole story, but letting people know my kid is adopted is not going to harm my kid if I say it with kindness and celebration the way I would tell about my births. The way my kids come to me is not just their story, it is mine, too.