The Spirit of My Mother is in This Place

First things first: I made gelée candies yesterday, and they are delicious: beautiful, bright squares of mango and raspberry. Some of them will be casually out at The Visit on Saturday. I have emailed Ruth asking casually when they think they’ll get here, and really hope to hear back by Wednesday. Everything has to be perfect. Me still being asleep when they get here=far short of perfect.

As I’ve been feeling extra depressed, I was toying with the idea of skipping post-adoption group therapy on Thursday, but then I got an email from the therapist: “Who’s coming? I know Susie and Lucinda are…” Bleh. I know that I need to have to go, but bleeech. On the other hand, while I was quietly being terrified about money, a whole bunch came in the mail and I got a new job that won’t start this week, so that is all excellent news. My big, exciting event today was running to the bank for quarters and getting more cat food for Aztec. I know, crazy times! I will also clean the kitchen thoroughly.

I secretly want Ruth to cancel the visit on Saturday—they’ve been really busy recently, and maybe they just won’t be able to make the time. I know that it’s good for them to come here and for us to see them, but whenever I think about it I get really nervous and upset. Can I tell you one visit-related stealth reason that I’m really glad I got paid? When we visit the Emerald City, Ruth and Nora take us out to lunch: “You had to drive, and buy gas!” This is true—we end up needing to fill up twice, and the cost is a burden at our income level. But I told Mr. Book quite some time ago that when they come here, I want us to treat them to lunch; as much as possible, I want us to build a relationship of equals. On some level, I know this sounds silly—we had to hope that I’d get some freelance income in a timely manner, whereas they have I’m sure extra entertainment money in the bank all the time. But I’m looking ahead to a few years from now when we’re all just friends and parents, and the adoption isn’t invisible—but it isn’t the only thing tying us together.

Obviously we’re deep cleaning the apartment, but we’re also getting ready in invisible ways. They like to have background music; we are not background music people. So I’ve made a playlist of background music for them, but not the kind of music that they listen to on their own. They tend to listen to oldies or funk, both of which categories I tend to hate—this list is popular music from the ’20s–’40s. I think that’s the stuff I listen to that they’ll like the most; I just really can’t imagine them enjoying Hole or Bikini Kill or the Decemberists. If anyone out there in Radioland has ideas about things I could do to make them feel welcome—what happens when your kid’s adoptive parents visit, or when you visit your kid’s birthparents? I want to get flowers, but I worry that that would be too much—or worse, that they wouldn’t notice them until Cricket knocked over the vase.