If you love a body, you know what I’m talking about. Today is Ryan’s 14th birthday. I was just sitting on the arm of the chair where he’s sitting with my nose in his head. It smells so Ryan-like. I love that smell.
Ryan is my baby. So sweet, so loving, a gentle soul. Except when he’s having a teen moment, of course. Those are bad. He ain’t perfect. Just very very very very close to perfect.
We ordered a Wii for his birthday. Believe it or not, we are on a budget so everyone only gets one present. It may sound a little crazy to the ordinary person that we spend more on one gift than 10 normal ones would cost when we are budgeting. But look at it our way: it’s a present whee can all enjoy. I mean, we talked about it for several entire minutes and we are pretty sure we NEED one of these. And we pretty much skipped Christmas. Rationalization is a lovely thing, isn’t it?
Ryan and several of his buddies spent the day at Parque de Diversiones, the local amusement park. Mostly little kid rides, but still pretty fun. Mo, at 15 and 6′ with his adorable mustache, is mistaken for 18. So he gets to take all the younger, shorter kids to the front of the line at the go carts and drive for them.
This makes everyone giddy with delight! Skipping the line AND fooling everyone with the Big Gringo Kid.
Fourteen years. I remember the day I met Ryan. It was sunny… I was one of those women without a biological clock. I never heard a tick tock, no watching my friends with children and
wishing it were me, no yearnings to be pregnant. Au contraire. I assumed I would have kids, of course. Didn’t everyone? Just not today. Maybe because I didn’t have a Person. Maybe I was too busy finding myself, and too busy partying to do that. I don’t know. It just wasn’t a concern.
When Xavier and I fell in love, suddenly kids became important. Critical. Children were the only thing missing from our lives and we wanted them NOW. We couldn’t birth them (fine by me) so we set off on the adoption path.
What an incredible gift, adoption! It’s like this big secret… All the gain, none of the pain. We adopted locally, we asked for healthy infants regardless of race… Let me tell you, "regardless of race" is a magic expression in the U.S. adoption world. During our first phone conversation, I thought my adoption fairy godmother, Sherry, was going to drive right over, back her station wagon up to our door and start unloading babies.
She didn’t, of course. But nine months after applying, we picked up Mo at 8 days old. We liked him so much, a year later, we asked for baby #2. But this time, we’d love a little girl, please, if at all possible. There are no cute baby boy clothes and X got a little crazy when I dressed Mo in those cute baby girl clothes. What a killjoy. Get this: when the boys were four and five, he made me stop painting their nails. I mean, come on. Anyway.
Sherry told me right then to "get my paperwork in, things are happening." Then around January 23 or so, she called to tell me that a perfect baby boy was just born… What do you say, "Gee, I don’t think so. Tell God thanks, but we want a girl"? No, you fall to your knees and weep with joy. It’s the most bizarre thing. Besides, girls are hormonal from Day 1. We said, "Bring him right over." She didn’t, of course, due to some legal mumbo jumbo. But we had Ryan at 6 weeks.
Fifteen years later, somehow, I’ve managed not to ruin them. Or they me. Probably mostly due to X, The Sane One. Having a sense of humor helps tremendously. And music. Parents are ridiculous about their children, no matter where they come from. Like smelling their heads. Do you suppose my 76 year old mother still wells up smelling my 51 year old head? Sure she does. We love the way our babies smell.