Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day . . .

As anyone who reads this blog, has ever asked me about her or just knows my general adoration for her by urban legend and my picture next to "whipped" in the dictionary - I love my wife. ADORE my wife. Think the world of my wife. Live in awe of my wife. Think women everywhere should try to be my wife (okay - that one might be a stretch). The gist of it is true though . . . Joy is an amazing woman.

Today, Sunday may 11th, is the one time a year that I am not alone in going on and on and on about what a wonderful woman, mother, wife, friend, partner and kisser (snicker, snicker) she is. Nope. On this ONE day a year - men the nation-over will be fretting and fussing over their baby-mamas and - if the crowd at Dillon's this morning in the floral and card section is any indication . . . it should be a nice day for the women of Wichita.

This year's Mother's Day was especially sweet for me. I fed breakfast (thanks Panera, Krispy Kreme, Starbucks and Dillon's) to my daughter, my wife, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, my niece and my grandmother-in-law and then I got to cook them all dinner after a trip to the zoo. As I stirred the pasta, burnt the garlic bread, George Foremaned the chicken and woked the vegetables for my pasta primavera a la cluck-cluck it hit me . . . how did I get here?!

I mean, I know we drove to my in-laws but how in the world did I find myself in this life? I am married. I have a child. My wife is a mother. I am a father. I have a mother-in-law that loves me and protects me (more about that later). I go to soccer games to root for my niece. I go to sporting events. I have a sister-in-law that fawns over Ava and a brother-in-law and father-in-law that I adore too (more about them at Father's Day). I have a grandmother again. I have TWO of them again. That's just NUTS. All of it. I cried a little thinking about how far my life has come versus the path it was once on and the short end I saw for it.

The reason that I got so emotional was not just because I burnt the garlic bread but, more likely, because we bumped in to Ava's birth-family at the zoo on Sunday. All three of them. Mother, father and daughter. Just like Joy, Ava and I - enjoying a Mother's Day of their own. They made us a family - and for that we owe them everything but, without getting in to the details here, Ava's birth mother carrying her and her birth father spawning her were in no way acts of parenting, at the end of the day. They were simply biological functions. One "job" performed nine months prior to Ava's birth and the other a longer, more complicated ordeal that was met with her pushing and us laboring to become parents.

I felt really bad for Joy that we bumped in to Ava's birth mother on Mother's Day. Joy and I both struggle, as adoptive parents, with who we are as parents v. those of you that can just stop what you are doign during a commercial break and reproduce (in the minds/eyes of the sterile that is how easy it is for those of you with the right tubes, eggs, swimmers and uteral conditions - don't bother to correct me (smile)).

Anywho, Joy was a wonderful "sport" about it and Ava held tightly to Joy so this stranger and the man and little girl she was with would not come too close in to her space or get between her and her Mommy.

We were polite. We exchanged compliments about how the girls looked and how big they've gotten and we made chit chat. And then we ran like hell to get away from 'em. We sat on a bench. Joy talked with her grandmother and I spoke with Ken and Anita, trying not to cry about how the odds of us bumping in to them - especially on Mother's Day - could not be any better than me winning the lottery later this week. My other-mother rubbed my back, said nothing, and looked at me with as much reassurance as I seemed to need (she's a wonderful mother too - and she protects me when I need her to) and my father-in-law smiled and told me that Joy and I were great parents. And I agreed.

What is the point to all of this? I don't really know. I don't. I guess it just reminded me how much I love and miss my mother. She and I talked about the interaction later this evening and she said she cries for my brother Patrick's birth mother every Mother's Day and every year on his birthday because she is so greatful of the role of mother that woman gave her and because she assumes that woman misses and wonders about Patrick on those days - and every day.

To my other-mother. To Stephanie. To Grandma Timmermeyer. To Grandma Terry. To ALL the mothers who read my stupid ramblings. To Ava's birth mother - for having the presence of mind to know that you could not offer Ava what she needs and for loving her enough to act on that. Most of all, to my beautiful, gifted and wonderful Joy. HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

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