I know you meant well. I know you were, in your feeble way, trying to make my child feel comfortable.
But you didn’t. You made him feel singled out and confused.
When assigning a Family Tree project and addressing your group of children, just talk to the whole group. Use words like “family” and “parent” and “grandparents” as if everyone in the group has a family and a parent and a grandparent.
Because we do!
We all do. Families form in different ways, to be sure. But you don’t need to single anyone out. Each child will find a way to complete the assignment that fits for him.
And if my son had brown hair and blue eyes like his father you wouldn’t have even considered saying…
Item #174 – “That’s ok, #1son. Just use the information from the parents you live with now.” And when you saw the confused look on his face (because he understood the assignment until you tried to “clarify”) you go on to say, “Not your real parents but the parents you live with NOW.”
Real parents? Are you kidding me?
We are his real parents. We may not have physically given him his 46 chromosomes but we have given him food, shelter and love from the moment we first held him in our arms.
We were there for his first tooth. We rushed him to the hospital when his fever spiked to 106. We laughed with his infectious laugh. He held our fingers, one in each hand, before falling asleep those precious first few nights. We held him when he cried, when he was sick, when he wanted simple cuddle time.
We took him to pre-school and proudly watched him at his kindergarten graduation with adorable cap and gown. We jumped up and down when he rounded third base to score the winning run. We read with him every night. We worry about every sniffle. We stand on the porch watching him walk two houses down to a friend’s house, hiding behind the pillar, hoping he doesn’t see.
We know to give him his medicine during pollen season. We anticipate his frequent bloody noses when the weather is dry or the pollen is high. We know that he is allergic to certain antibiotics. We have his pediatrician on speed-dial.
We are his real parents. We are as real as it gets. His biological parents made a heartfelt, incredibly difficult decision to allow us to be his real parents. And we will be forever grateful.
Our son has a family. A real family. To call his own. He knows who his parents are. Who his siblings are. Who his grandparents are. Even his great-grandparents. So, no need to explain things to him.
He knows who his real family is.
No need to clarify.
Just wanted to let you know.