Doors II

It’s strange, finding myself in this arc and not knowing where exactly I fall. At first, I thought that Joey and Cricket couldn’t be more different, couldn’t even see a resemblance between them; anyone who has seen pictures of the boys will know how pathetic this was. Then I realized that they looked and sounded quite a bit alike, but knew that they were otherwise nothing alike—their personalities and their tastes seemed like night and day to me. And now I can see Joey doing Cricket things, and while some of that is probably universal little kid behavior, not all of it is. I don’t think that most of it is. They still look somewhat different (Joey is startlingly pretty in a way that his brothers are not, although I think all three are cute kids, if Kit might need some time to grow into his ears. They’re his granddad’s ears, and his granddad grew into them beautifully), but they look like brothers, and (based on what I’ve seen when I’ve seen Cricket) they have any number of nonphysical things in common. And now we have less access to Cricket than we ever have before.

Ruth has taken Skype off the table; this time last year she was talking about when they would visit this year, and now she isn’t talking about visits at all. The Mister and I aren’t optimistic that a visit will happen. When we write, we don’t hear back. Joey is still a little young, but looking at him, I want to help him build a connection to his older brother now—and at the same time, I don’t, because I don’t want to set him up for hurt and disappointment. If I don’t hear back from the Emerald City, that’s lousy, but Joey isn’t able to understand why someone wouldn’t be totally enchanted by him, and I’m not ready to provide him with that kind of character development. It’s too sad, and he’s just a little dude. I still mention Cricket once in a while, and show Joey pictures less often than that, and Joey mostly ignores me. I am almost relieved.

Joey is changing my feelings for Cricket. I think about that faraway kid with more fondness, seeing him reflected in this littler kid whom I’m so crazy about; I miss him. Doors inside me are opening; doors up north are closing. Watching the relationship evolve is just sad and sad. But we’ll keep pushing letters under the door.

Doors: Part I

I saw Ruth on Facebook chat, I said hi, and she immediately signed off.

Then she came back.

And we talked. She and Nora are going through formal divorce proceedings now, and Ruth and her boyfriend are taking a break. (I’ve finally updated my “about me” page to reflect some of the changes in our relationships.) They are required to make a “parenting plan,” which she described as like the open adoption agreement; somehow, I think that doesn’t mean the same thing to her that it does to me. She told me that “[Cricket]’s doing well,” but otherwise didn’t talk about how things are going for him, and I didn’t push it. She must know that I’m most interested in him, and if she’s not talking about him, she doesn’t want to. I talked about Kit and Joey—she did tell me that Cricket had a dairy sensitivity like Kit’s when he was a baby, and had entirely outgrown it by toddlerhood.

Joey’s starting to do things that I remember Cricket doing—just little kid stuff, ways of speaking or being silly—and I keep being slightly startled by it. His brain is growing. The other day, I said to him “I’m finding this ‘throwing everything’ phase you’re going through very annoying,” and he looked at me seriously and said, “I see.”  When there’s a dvd on, he explains what we’re seeing to me; I’ve been watching season three of The West Wing for the re-election goodness, and when the president announces his intention to run for re-election, Joey was happy to point out the salient facts: “Rain! Rain! Outside! Rain!” That’s right, buddy—in the show, it’s raining outside. He also pointed out windows, doors, and open doors. Kid’s just nuts about doors.