Do you think you’ll be honest with adult Cricket about how much you regret placing, and your thoughts on Ruth/Nora’s parenting choices?
About placing: if he asks, for sure. I don’t see myself volunteering that, since I think it would feel a lot like I was dumping on him. However, I wonder whether this will come up sooner—as soon as Joey is old enough to ask, I’ll tell him that I regret the adoption. If he brings that up with Cricket? Well, as much as I dread that possibility, I won’t lie about it.
I hadn’t considered ever talking to him about his moms’ parenting; it’s hard for me to imagine a situation in which it would seem good or productive to criticize them to their kid. And I don’t think any of their choices are going to ruin his life—we make different decisions, and while of course I prefer mine, they haven’t made any choices for Cricket that seem dangerous or abusive to me. If he one day complains about their parenting, I imagine the conversation will feel like a minefield to me, and I will have to be very careful.
And also, you said Ruth responded positively to an email you sent about feeling distant from Cricket and so on, but it sounds like maybe this didn’t last long (mentioning reducing visits etc)…just wondering if anything really ever did change for the better after the email.
Yes and no. Nothing that I can see has changed on their end; we had one visit because we were moving a thousand miles away, and since then the only real contact came a few nights ago, when Ruth asked whether we wanted to Skype the next day (Friday). I suspect that she sometimes makes offers that are last-minute or wildly inconvenient in hopes that we won’t be able to take her up on them, but no such luck this time. All three of us Books teleconferenced with Ruth and Cricket—Cricket is growing increasingly chatty and hilarious, which I think is connected to his feeling more interested in us. He asked about California, and I offered to send him (via Ruth) pictures of our house; I emailed her a exhaustingly thorough photo tour late in the afternoon. He read to us (by which I mean “read”; the Lorax was scared of something, and also seemed fascinated by cars). When he signed off, he blew us kisses. Amazing.
I’ve changed for the better; maybe it helped just to say it, or maybe Cricket is entirely responsible, but I’m more open and engaged with the tyke now than I have been in the past. After we visited them but before we left Stumptown, I wrote him a card thanking him for his hospitality. He had asked about our cat several times during the visit (disappointed that we had left him behind), and I told him that Aztec was flattered by the attention and included a signed headshot from the cat. This is exactly the sort of silly thing I am likely to do with my people, but unlikely to show outsiders; even with his moms watching, it’s time to reach out to Cricket as myself.