A year or so ago, as Oscar was becoming increasingly cognizant of familial relationships, he asked me why he had never met my mother. His question, from my perspective, seemed not to have been inspired by anything particular; but it was clear to me, based on the earnestness with which he asked it, that it had probably been on his mind for a bit. I wasn’t prepared for it, but mercifully the most diplomatic of responses came to me: “You haven’t met her because she is not kind to other people, so I can’t take a chance that she would be unkind to you.” He then asked if she had been unkind to me. I responded with a simple yes, which was met with one of the most profound utterances I have ever heard: “Mom, do you ever wish your mother had made an adoption plan for you?”
He understood that my mother, similar to his own birthmother, was not able to be a mother. But unlike his birthmother, who had the foresight, selflessness, and courage to create his adoption plan, my mother did not. And I sensed at that moment that he might have pitied me.
When I learned last night that my mother had died, Oscar asked me if I was going to cry. I told him that I wasn’t really sure what I would do. And then he looked at me with soulful eyes and said, “You know, if you need a hug this week, I’m your guy.”
I might not have had the mother that every child deserves, but you can bet that I am going to continue to endeavor to be that mother. My children–all children–deserve nothing less.