Sunday, October 30, 2011

my mother, myself, my daughter

I am reading "Found: A Memoir" by Jennifer Lauck, and I am finding the book very emotionally charged. I am loving the way she writes, very deep and heartfelt, and the story makes me see Emma in a whole new light.  Babies seem to come equipped with a lot of pre-determined similarities with the biological family, and a very strong need for their biological mother, not just any caregiver, although the book does make me wonder whether a different adoptive mother would not have made a bit of a difference in Jennifer's life.  I have not finished the book yet, although I will finish it in the next hour or so, and so far I can warmly recommend it.  It will strike a cord with any new mother, and it will definitely strike a cord with any adoptive parent or adopted child.

Emma is a very happy baby.  She smiles almost all the time (except for when I do something she does not want at that moment, like putting clothes on her after a bath, or strapping her into the car seat, when she screams bloody murder and makes me into a nervous wreck).  Her smiles make me forget for the moment about any problems that I might be having and absorb me completely back into the mother role.  She has a way of drawing me into her world, into the bond that we share (which is my world in any case 99.9% of the time) just with her bright eyes and her wide, toothless smile.  She melts into my neck when I walk around with her.  She puts her hand on my boob when breastfeeding, or purposefully grabs my finger, as if she is so intensely wanting to have me all to herself for that moment.  Not just the boob, but my whole being.  She even looks into my eyes and has the same intense look that I have.  I see so much of myself in her nowadays, while as when she was born she was mostly MrH.  (Not to worry, she still has his hair...which means she is still somewhat bald :).

In all honesty, she is much more than I thought she would be.  She is more of a person than I imagined she would be.  She has likes and dislikes, and a voice to show them.  She makes me even more happy than I thought possible.  I knew that being her mother would be a full time responsibility that I would have to assume, as everyone EVERYONE constantly reminded me.  In particular my own mother, as if I was a burden at this age and she had to look after me.  So I was prepared for the burden, the inconvenient awakenings, the constant responsibility that would stun my own life into narrow boundaries.  What I did not expect was that I would WANT that responsibility, that I would love being constrained, that I would love waking up at night to see her face and live another peaceful moment with her on my boob, that I would gladly renounce all of my other worldly pursuits to dedicate myself to her WILLINGLY.  This burden of mine, she is all light and sunshine.

I might be the same as my mother, but life has taught me differently, and hence my perception of the world is different.  Yes, our voice on the phone is identical, and we wear the same size clothes, and do the same athletic activities, and have the same hair colouring and both like makeup and skincare and cooking, but my daughter is a privilege to me, and I was a responsibility to her.  Not that I was not desired, quite the opposite.  But I came quickly, within the first two months of trying, and there was never in her mind the possibility that I might never be.  From that point of view we are worlds apart.

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