Rash

I’ve been fantasizing about closing the adoption. Not planning, you understand, just sort of seeing myself write the email in my mind’s eye—I watch the letters appear one at a time, and then see myself click Send. At the same time, an email from Ruth earlier this year alluded delicately to how awkward I’d been at the January visit; I wrote back and admitted that I felt awkward; she wrote back Tuesday and asked me to talk more about that; I sent her an email yesterday at 1 a.m. talking pretty frankly about some of what I’ve been thinking.

So. I just don’t feel like I have any point at visits—Mr. Book is charming and outgoing with Cricket, and Cricket seems charmed by him, which is great. And while I of course don’t think that a child needs parents of more than one gender, the fact that both his moms are women does make it more obvious to me why Mr. Book and visits with Mr. Book could be a valuable resource; besides which, Mr. Book’s good qualities are very clear to me, and I think he’d be an asset to anyone whose life he’s a part of. Me—well, not only am I naturally kind of spooky, but Cricket’s got loving female people coming out of his ears. And there’s a piece that I’m not sure how to put into words; here’s my best shot. I don’t want to make you uncomfortable, but this doesn’t really make sense without my saying a grim thing: When Cricket was tiny, I loved him as much as any mother, but loving him that much and having him a thousand miles away was unbearable . . . so I had to stop. There were probably more noble solutions to that problem, but I couldn’t think of any, and I was really and truly melting down. So I stopped feeling that way. I care for him, but it a mild thing compared to what it was when he was a newborn. My hope has been that over time he and I would/will be able to develop a relationship and that I’d then grow new feelings for him, based on knowing him—but right now he’s a toddler, and I don’t really know him, and I felt on that January visit entirely unconnected to the boy in our apartment. It was so weird that he looked somewhat like me.

It went on like that; I told her that I don’t really know what to do, that while I feel a sense of duty to Cricket I’ve wondered about whether there’s any reason for me to be at visits, and that “I’m pretty aware that I could end up poisoning the relationship between Joey and Cricket if I don’t get it together, which is part of why it seems worth saying something.” I realized, I think, that the fact that closing the adoption doesn’t sound like the end of the world anymore means that I can be a bit more forthcoming—the worst that they can do is something I can bear.

I half expected to be panicked now—I sent this possibly catastrophic email, I can’t get it back, and now I just wait to hear back (or not)—but instead I feel a calm that I can’t entirely blame on sleep deprivation. (Four-month sleep regression is in full effect at Casa Book, by the by.) Maybe something had to happen.