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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Gathering My Thoughts

I get to be home today. Yeah!!! Although I am on jury duty this week, I have been instructed by a judge not to report to the courthouse today.

I got called to be on a jury panel yesterday and some of the potential jurors are being interviewed today. I am to phone in later today to see when and where I report next. I am speculating that I either will be instructed to go back to the courtroom to interview as a juror for this particular case; or that if enough jurors are chosen from today's interviews, I will then be thrown back into the jury pool for a different case.

So, I get to be home and am trying to gather my thoughts, blog for the discipline of writing, do some laundry, and spend some time outside on this absolutely perfect summer day. Summer's end is just in sight and I will miss it's last days if I stay in my current summer hibernation mode. I have been inside most of this past month because of the extreme heat that has lambasted most of the country. Summer's fever has broken here, and the day is glorious!

I started a new job a few months ago. It is part time and the pay is really ...ummm....poor! However, there are travel benefits. Hubby, sons and I are able to go places that we could never afford on his public servant salary. My monetary contributions to this little domestic unit have been minimal at best over the past decades, but the good news is that I think I have finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. This is so exciting for me, particularly as my 50th birthday is crouched outside summer of '06's exit door. My best laid current plan is to have two part time jobs; one for benefits and the other for better pay. So, I am working really hard at the airlines job and trying to succeed in that position. And I am volunteering and putting in some classroom time to renew my old, dusty state teaching license. I am pursuing relicensure but hoping to work in a related but entirely different area of education than I did before. I am very excited about it!

Reunion with my son has caused me to see how all of my life since his birth has been affected by his surrender. Reunion is helping me to decide what is really important in my life right now and helping me to make conscious decisions about how I want to spend my time and energy now and in the future. I believe that reunion has not only helped my first born son find out to a greater degree who he really is; but that it has helped me find out better who I really am. Not only through reunion does he have the opportunity to see himself reflected in me and his father; I have the chance to see reflections of myself in him.

In a way, I see the reflections of myself more clearly in him that I do in my other children. I think maybe that the interactions that I have with my first born do not have the same kind energies and "baggage" so to speak, that my interactions do with my other boys. Granted, all the years of separation create unique excruciating struggles and chaos, but I think that what I am trying to say is that my interactions with my first born contain certain qualities of a mother/infant bond. Reunion has allowed our first interactions since my son was three weeks old. Reunion has allowed us to communicate and interact. All is fresh and new; first smiles, first words...But here my son is a mature adult and I am not a new mother who gets to sees her infants smile, eyes or face mature and morph back and forth over the years from looking like hers or the father's or grandpa's and back again to her own...My son is a grown man and all the genetic coding has had decades come to fruition. I have missed it all. Decades after his birth, my first glimpses of my "baby's" smiles, facial expressions, thought processes are really mirror images of my own.

Today my thoughts are pretty much all over the place, but I will try to gather them together a little bit. One of the things I like about my job at the airline is that I work at a large international airport. I love to people watch. Sometimes, I wonder if any of the women I pass or even board on one of my flights is going to see her grown child, "again, for the first time." Is her heart exploding like mine did the first times I flew to see my son. Can she breathe? I couldn't.

Over the past few months at my new job, I have run into people I haven't seen in years. Two weeks ago, a woman came to my gate and asked me arrival information about a flight. I knew that I knew her. I was certain. I told her the gate for the flight she was meeting. Then I asked her if she had attended a particular high school. No, she hadn't. A certain grade school? No, she hadn't. I was still absolutely positive that I knew her. I'm one of those people who have trouble remembering names, but never forget a face. I was quite bold and asked her name. When she said her name, I remembered from where I knew her.

Less than two months after my oldest son was born I went to work in a department store for the summer. I worked in hosiery and this woman, A, floated between departments. She and I were about the same age and we sometimes took our breaks together. She was an outgoing, energetic, open and loving woman then and it was clear that time had not changed her. She said she remembered me, too.

I decided to ask her if she had any memories of me during those few summer months we knew each other through work. I explained that I had only surrendered my son a month before taking that job and I wondered if she had any memories of my affect at that time. Her response was that she remembers me as "sad."

A and I talked at the airport gate for a short while about adoption. She shared some of her life with me. She has been married for 28 years and she and her husband have been unable to have children. She asked me what I have learned from my experience.

You know....I was dumbfounded; absolutely speechless. I have learned so much, yet couldn't form a single thought in response to her. Granted, it was the end of my work day and there had been some pretty crazy flights to get out and I was tired. Still... I couldn't believe that I was speechless on I topic about which I have so many impassioned thoughts and convictions.

So, on another day, I will take on as a personal challenge, A's question to me. Another day, I will gather together my present thoughts about what I have learned from the birth, surrender, adoption of my son. I need to do this for myself. Thought gathering summer days are good.


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