|Illustrations from the beloved, Tikki Tikki Tembo.|
We have a family rule that all questions are okay. It doesn't matter if the topic is "inappropriate" as my kids would say. At this stage, it's usually in reference to bad words or potty talk, though there was also a question that the kids worried was inappropriate when they asked if married people kiss more often than non-married people ("yes and no" was my answer). What's interesting is that they haven't yet asked why I was relinquished for adoption, why didn't my mom keep me? And, what will that mean for them - will there be fear that I could give them away? It nags at me, lurking. Why haven't they asked?
I don't know exactly what I will say. I will tell them that Kate was very young, too young to be a parent - and give the examples of teenage girls they know to give them perspective.
I will skip the things I've always been told, the things that now get under my skin, "it was for the best, and, she wanted a better life for me." I will try to stay closer to the harder truth, "It was just too hard for a single young woman in that time to raise a baby."
Something about saying that truth, even to myself, is reassuring to me. It was just too hard. She didn't have the resources, she didn't have help or support.
But there's the darker truth too, that she didn't want the baby. Even though there is regret now, the truth at the time was that she didn't want me. That part, I think, is just too sad to share.
Thoughts? Reflections? Opinions?