I am feeling a little low at the moment (no biggie--more later), but I will try to give it my best shot, lest I lose any and all peeps still reading my blog: The long overdue Thanksgiving update.
I think some of the things that kept me from updating after the Big Thanksgiving were just that 1. I was still sorting through my own feelings/impressions from the visit with Eryn and Mark and Patty, et al. 2. Some of the things I feel/want to say may not come off as the nicest or most P/C of things to say, at least with the extremely P/C adoption crowd (though I don't know if any of those folks read my blog anyway). 3. Nothing that extreme happened...no great anecdotes to share. 4. I've been feeling lazy. Especially when it comes to blogging. Almost avoiding, well yes definitely avoiding it and I'm not sure why.
I'll try to give a synopsis of Thanksgiving.
We headed out to the in-law's house in the country (which, as you may remember was empty and open for us to use as my MIL and FIL were traveling in Morrocco) a few days ahead of Thanksgiving just to have some time to ourselves as a family. Mister was able to work remotely-from there-so he was still busy during the day, but it was nice to be all together, and he didin't have to commute. Also just nice having a great big house to spread out in.
HM and I finished our shopping and busily started preparing for our guests. I made cookies. It was lovely. I felt so domestic and happy. Seriously.
On Thanksgiving morning, I had my arm shoved deep inside the turkey carcass when Eryn, Mark and Patty arrived. (Eryn's brother Ethan chose to stay home and have Thanksgiving with friends--can't say I blame him!). It was so great to see them. Seeing Mark and Patty again, was just like, ahhhh....yay! Family. (The kind of family you're always happy to see). Eryn smiled and looked happy to see HM, but she stayed pretty reserved. She didn't rush up to grab him and give him a squeeze or anything. I tried to "read" her facial expressions and body language, but honestly couldn't tell how she was feeling. Of course Mark and Patty were holding him and loving him right away, and HM acted as if he remembered them. It was just like being with family for him, it seemed.
They only stayed Thursday and Friday night, and were off early Saturday morning. Basically the entire time they were there, Eryn spent to herself, on the couch or up in her room, texting or talking on the phone. I don't know if it was with Matt or friends, or both. Not really my business, but she definitely kept to herself. Both Nick and I tried to make it clear that we were totally ok with her spending as much time with HM as she wanted, etc., but she seemed more interested in texting. We tried to involve her in conversation but she kept pretty quiet. Unless I asked her a direct question, she didn't talk much. I did try to engage her, but only to a point. When I had moments alone with Mark or Patty I asked how she was doing and they both seemed frustrated by her behavior. I was like, well maybe it's hard for her, but Mark seemed to think she just "wasn't interested." As it turned out Mark had to practically force her in the car--she balked at the last minute and said she didn't want to come. I thought it was because she was worried/unsure about seeing HM and being with us, but Mark seemed to think it was because of her on-again/off-again relationship with Matt, which was currently "off". Eryn wanted to be around to make sure he wasn't hooking up with anyone else, etc., etc..
She did spend some time with HM, don't get me wrong. On Thanksgiving evening., she and Patty gave him his bath and put him to bed. I was really happy about that. I was glad Eryn got to spend some quality time with HM without me hovering. And I was happy to have the break after all the cooking, etc.. There was a teeny tiny part of me that was shocked (and slightly hurt) that he went down without a fuss even though it wasn't ME who was tucking him in. Even at home he usually won't go to sleep without crying buckets of tears if I don't do the tucking in honors. Daddy isn't even good enough, if you know what I mean. So, the next evening when they put him down again, and he started bawling his eyes out and screaming like a banshee after they left his room, I felt a little vindicated (is that terrible?). I let an acceptable amount of time go by, so as not to seem like I was swooping, then went in and spent some time with him and tucked him in. Off to sleep he went without another peep. (Visualize me grinning widely).
All that being said, there was definitely not a feeling (at least on my part) of any kind of rivalry or struggle for his affection with Eryn. I felt very much at ease, much more than I had even thought I would. It was just so clear who Mom was. And, I love, love, love seeing him interact with Mark and Patty. It just makes me feel good, it feels right, that they should be a part of his life. And they love him very very much. But at the same time, they are very respectful of not wanting to be labled "grandparents". As I've said before they are just happy to be "Uncle Mark and Aunt Patty."
Eryn couldn't get out of there soon enough it seemed. And I talked to Mark after they got home and he said she was silent (texting away) both on the drive out (10 hours!) and the drive home, with not so much as a "thank you for making this happen" or anything. Mark told me this was the first, and last trip with Eryn that he would facilitate. From now on, it's up to her. And, he believes, she probably won't be itching to come out any time soon. He seems to think she's just not that interested.
So, how do I feel about my son's birth-mother being "not interested" in being a part of his life?
Ok, this is the part that is going to make all the P/C adoption bloggers send me mean comments. Please don't send me mean comments.
There. I said it.
Not that I don't want Eryn in his life. I went out of my way (along with Mark and Patty) to make this all happen. I wanted this. I needed this visit. I want HM to be able to know Eryn and have a relationship with her as he chooses. But for me, personally, this is so much easier than having to emotionally manage a relationship with a birth-parent who is dying to see him, missing him, calling all the time, etc.. I'm sorry if that sounds selfish or whatever. It's just the truth. Seriously, if she calls up one day and says, "I want to come out" my door is open. But I don't have to think about it and try to make things happen at this point. The ball is in her court.
And if she decides to totally drop out of HM's life, that is her choice. For HM's sake, honestly, I hope she doesn't. But my heart is at peace knowing no matter what he will have a bond with Mark and Patty.
My mom didn't say anything too weird. Thank goodness. The meal was lovely--though my turkey (fancy schmancy Who.le Foo.ds organic hippy turkey) was a tad dry. I will blame my MIL's oven which I am not used to and seemed to run way hotter than what it was set for. Kay? My stuffing, however, ROCKED! Awww Yeahhh.
And, as we all sat down to the Thanksgiving table, I felt extremely happy and fortunate. I raised my glass and thanked everyone, near and far, for coming to share this time together. Now on occassions like this, my Brother in Law is usually the one who says the prayer, because my sister and he are sort of the most religious folk in our family, but I asked Mark to say the blessing.
It was brief, and I don't remember all of it, except for this part:
Thank you God, for friends, and family, and for lines in between that blur.