riley has always been sensitive…as a baby he would cry when I sang certain lullabies and not other’s…it was fascinating to me so much that I often wondered if there was a russian song that was similar to “hush little baby” that brought up bad memories to him.
…it’s no wonder that he struggles the most of my kids with adoption and his “roots”…I try to support him in discussing his worries and have always been very open about what (little) information I know…and it breaks my heart that he struggles with things like being embarrassed that he doesn’t have a “dad” or that he is from another country and so not just like me…for years, he has called my dad – “daddy” instead of “papa”.
a few months ago, he and I had a discussion about the “daddy” issue. He told me he was embarassed to be the only one without a dad – and despite the fact that he has several very good friends who come from single mother families, it is clear that most of his friends do come from 2 parent homes.
I asked him at the time what “he” wanted to say about this? He told me that he told people that me and his faher were divorced and he lived in California and never saw us…while I wasn’t sure that was the best story for him to tell, I supported him in this since I had asked.
well…recently when driving with the car pool to baseball practice, he was asked where his dad was and he told the 2 other boys that his father was assassinated! The mom driving told me she almost drove off the road – for two reasons…the first, he said it so nonchalantly and the second, that he knew the word to begin with! (apparently both of the other boys didn’t know what it meant – and the mom had to explain it). the two boys offered some sympathetic words and riley said…”it was a long time ago and I was a baby and don’t remember it”…and walked away.
…the mom told me at the next game we had about the declaration…she knew that riley was adopted and she just wanted me to know about it… a few days ago I sat down with him at bedtime to ask him about it. He explained that he didn’t like people to ask questions and so he said it…honestly, i hadn’t (and still don’t) gotten a hold of whether I think he should or shouldn’t say something like that. he thought that it probably wasn’t a good idea to say something like that but isn’t comfortable saying that he doesn’t have a dad because he is adopted. I tried to encourage him to say something more neutral like – “it is personal in our family” or to turn it around on people and ask “why do you want to know?”
but…clearly I don’t have all of the answers here and would love some people’s opinion on whether I should be worried about his answer or whether I should let him use some fantasy answers in such instances…
sigh…this parenting is hard…