we are everywhere

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Thoughts After a Break

What a long break in time since I have posted. It is also my spring break from school so this week I got out of here for a very short trip to NYC. I got way from the suburbs and went to Manhattan. I cannot at all picture myself living in my 60's, 70's (and hopefully beyond that!) in the suburbs. When the children I had/have the great privilege of raising were babies, my neighborhood was a morgue and it is still with no humans seen on the street during the daytime. Only at night are humans spotted. So, as soon as my "baby" is out of the nest; I. Am. Outta here.

I feel absolutely trapped in the burbs. I need people around; a coffee shop on the corner, a church a couple of blocks away in which to take a short respite during the day, and lots of children, teenagers and many, many voices and lovely, lively chatter around me as I listen out my window or climb up onto a city bus.

And I have been preparing the husband by my not so subtle hints. He is slow to change and I think that he needs the idea spoon fed to him over the next 7 years or so. That is all assuming that we can afford to live anywhere else with our mortgage nearly paid off!

Yesterday, I focused on getting to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and I spent a few hours there wandering though rooms filled with Roman and Greek statues and medieval art; not particularly inspiring to me; at least not yesterday. However, the display of pieces from New Guinea were amazing. The ancestor totem poles were unlike anything I have ever seen; detailed human forms stacked two high; foot upon shoulders. And I saw musical gongs that were carved from tree trunks which were 12 to 15 feet high! Astounding. I took pictures with my dumb little phone to try to send to my oldest son, a musician. I wonder if he has ever seen anything like these giant percussion instruments with faces carved at the top. They certainly have personality.

And in that particular gallery, a placard described how among one of these peoples, all deaths were believed to be caused by an enemy and were to be avenged. Quite a thought. (However, this does fit in oddly with my own theology in that all death is caused by an enemy. And does fit into Holy Week. I will, however, spare any reader my further thoughts on this and an ensuing pseudo sermon.)

Later on, I had a bowl of golden squash soup dotted with caraway seeds and prosciutto. Certainly, it was the most expensive bowl of soup I have ever had at $10; however the atmosphere was part of the bill. To hear the melodies of many languages all around me and to see a little patch of Central Park just out the glass wall was all worth the price of the soup.

Poor Jose the barristo; he just couldn't keep the cappuccinos flowing quickly enough. The waiters always to the counter, " Josito, Paco; dos cappuccinos y un platito." "Josito, tres cappuccinos." And he was serving all the counter customers, too. Pobrecito Jose. He needed more help at the counter, yesterday.

I think I went to Manhattan, in part, to take a break from the business and distractions I put into my life order to run away on a daily basis from the reality and the consequences of the surrender and the adoption of my son.

My trip worked for a while. Until I sat at the lunch counter and wondered what kind of day, my son, Paco, was having while working at his cafe 3000 miles away. Until, I waited on the street corner for a bus and thought that he grew up seeing NY license plates on the upstate roads and streets he traveled.

Central Park was domed yesterday by slate clouds and dotted by the sweet rows of white daffodils and glowing gold forsythia shrubs all swaying under cold, gray winds. Children played on soccer teams in little ravines and mothers pushed strollers along paths edged by bright spring green grass.

And again, I was stunned by the fact that it was another woman who pushed my son in stroller when he was little. And it was another mother who stopped to give him a snack and wipe his nose on chilly, windy spring days. And that it was another woman who had the enormous privilege of teaching him how to think about life and death and enemies and friends and most importantly about love. And another woman who had the privilege of teaching him how to view the beautiful being that he is and how to view the whole wondrous and stunningly beautiful world around him.

Three decades later and this shocks me. It is absurd that my family and my son's father's family thought it was acceptable that our son be handed over to complete strangers. And that my son's father and I were never to know what had become of him. Never to know if he were dead or alive.

Oh...that is right. I always forget. I never will make it be a rational sequence of events. Silly me.
I think it is human nature to try to make sense of it, though.

And it is human nature to want to run from that which gives us pain. It is sheer survival that a mother goes into denial when her child is gone and she is powerless to know or do anything about it.

I tried to take a break from surrender and adoption, yesterday. Well, sort of a break.

Today it is back to the suburbs for me. Back to the realities of adoption and reunion. Back to trying to love my son as best as I can with the real consequences of surrender and adoption in the mix. Back to living my life with the disabling consequences of surrender and adoption.

I would not wish being a surrendering mother on anyone; not upon even upon an enemy.

Mommas, I hope you do all you can to keep your babies with you. Fight now, while you can.