I put a short video of Kit nomming on my arm up on Facebook; Ruth commented, saying that Cricket wanted to know why Kit was chewing on my arm. I answered, he asked another couple of questions, I answered, I sent a text with more information, and Ruth texted me a couple of times about Kit’s resemblance to and differences from Cricket. It’s nice that when Ruth or Cricket feels like reaching out, that’s easy to do, and we’re easy to get ahold of. I am trying not to focus on my resentment of the fact that that accessibility only flows one way.

Today is Joey’s evaluation by a speech therapist; I’m somewhat anxious, but glad that it’s finally happening. The idea that Kit or Joey might be behind Cricket in any way makes me incredibly defensive; that is, of course, unfair to all three kids, and I manage to (I think) to keep it behind my eyes and on the blog. The ugly fact of the matter is that Cricket’s moms have more money than we do, and Cricket has had some experiences as a result (such as a great deal of travel) that Joey and Kit haven’t. Ruth has seemed delighted that Kit and Cricket seem to look more alike and be on more similar developmental paths (when either of them is compared with Joey, I mean)—I have tended to find those similarities stressful. Not Kit himself: the kid is a joy, sweet and brave and capable. But Ruth’s being pleased apparently pinged something inside of me.

Other women have written more and more eloquently about the need for birth/first/natural parents to be out about their status—as the years go by, I am more and more closeted, to the point that none of the people in town who aren’t my immediate family know about Cricket. I’m not ambivalent about that decision, but I keep making it, so clearly I would rather not tell anyone that I placed. But when I think about it, either option is lousy. Either I tell, and it’s an endless series of small injuries—I am volunteering painful information and signing myself up for conversations that I don’t want to have, as well as (I’m certain) alienating a number of people—or I don’t tell, and there’s this possible burst of pain and disclosure like a piñata when Cricket is actively a part of my life and I need to pave the way for his meeting the people I know and going to the places I go. I am certain that the need will not arise in this town; odds are good that it won’t be an issue in the Midwest town we’re traveling to, either. I have no birthparent pride; I have birthparent shame and bitterness and regret. I don’t talk about it in my real life, I don’t want to talk about, and I don’t see a need to talk about it, except in some vague raising awareness kind of way that I am frankly not interested in.

But the door is always open to my being outed—Ruth chatted away on my Facebook page about how much Kit looks like Cricket, and most of my Facebook friends, if they saw that, must have wondered who Cricket is and why he looks like my son. I could ask Ruth not to do that; I am not going to. Did I stare at her first comment and think about the moms I’ve been getting to know in town seeing that? I did. And then I answered her and decided to just let whatever happened happen. No one has yet asked me.