13 May 2008

Mother's Day Musings

Last Saturday, we were at the Madison Farmer's Market, during which we are growing a ritual that Julia gets a BIG cookie to eat and walk around the square. It was a mite warmer this week, the crowds bigger than last week, and the round -the-court-house shuffle has begun. Babies in strollers and carriages were out in force. Must have been a million of them born this past year! And Julia likes to look at each one and usually prounce them "soo cute."

As we were walking, she told me that she liked carriages. I agreed but she insisted that she liked carriages. I asked her what she meant and she told me that she liked carriages in China.

"In China, Mommy." And she puts on this face, like I don't understand anything at all.

"Do you mean that you liked riding in the carriage in China?"

"Yes." And she was very satisfied with herself.

Does she really remember that? The only place that she rode in a stroller was with us in China. For two weeks, 19 months ago. It was the easiest way to get around without carrying Julia, and Julia just about fit in the ones they gave to us or we rented. I was advised not to get one when we got home by my very smart friends and so, it was only in China that she was in a stroller.

I was very glad that she liked the carriage in China. And I was very satisfied with myself.

More on remembering.

Mother's Day is a good reflection day. This is our second Mother's Day with Julia and she is understanding a bit of it. "It is your holiday, Mommy," she told me. She was proud of signing the card and drawing a few dinosaurs on it -- okay, more proud of the dinos than the writing. She is still fully engaged in being my daughter and I would not change that for the world. I expect that someday she will wonder about her other mother. The mother who gave birth to her. I hope that one day she can form the questions about her mother, her family in China, and that she can ask those questions. We will not have answers for her, nothing specific, nothing that thousands of other children from China cannot share. We may release balloons for her birth parents on their days, we may write letters and burn them, we may one day walk the streets of her Chinese home town and look into strangers' faces searching for some feature that is so like Julia. Until that time and until Julia is ready for those questions, I hold in my heart a mother, a father, a family who I will probably never know. I hold them dear and think of them often, sending them thoughts of the dear little girl who is still fully engaged in being my daughter.

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