We are in the midst of an incredibly busy week or so on the home front.
Aside from the usual stressors of our daily lives, plus a little extra as we try to determine if and where we’re going to move and when — another story for another time — we’ve had a lot of visits brewing this month.
Today was the second of four visits from Baby J’s birth family within a week or two. (You should know that I’m thinking about what to call Baby J these days, since she’s more toddler than baby, even though she’s still our baby, and just “J” doesn’t quite do her justice. Maybe Jaye? Not sure yet.)
Last Sunday, fresh from the time change on a cold damp morning, we enjoyed a warm cozy brunch with Baby J’s birth mom Kaye (formerly K), her mother (Baby J’s Grandma Bea), and little brother (teen uncle). While we had seen Grandma Bea and Uncle Cee in September, Kaye hadn’t seen Baby J since early August. There have been so many changes in just three months, especially with comprehension and language. Each visit Baby J is even more interactive, which is awesome to see.
We ate a veggie frittata with crispy potatoes, spinach, mushrooms and cheddar, and roasted butternut squash soup. Since it was Grandma Bea’s birthday, I made an unbelievably delicious carrot cake and thank goodness I gave them half or I would’ve eaten the whole damn thing. We heard about what’s going on in Kaye’s life and her latest plans. We’re hoping to see her again soon, because it sounds like she may be doing some traveling in the near future.
In fact Kaye had planned to come for lunch today, as we scheduled a visit with Kaye’s dad (Baby J’s Grandpa Tee) and his wife, and Kaye was going to join them. Grandpa Tee last saw Baby J at her birthday party, nearly six months ago, and before that not since she was just five months old or so. That first real visit with Grandpa Tee was a bit awkward at first, mostly due to issues between Kaye and her dad. But we were determined to keep the lines open. Recently he got back in touch and said he’d like to be a bigger part of Baby J’s life, and honestly, we are thrilled.
You see, we really don’t know how often we’ll get to see Kaye over time. She is young, a vibrant free spirit. She is unencumbered by more traditional obligations. There’s a reason Kaye chose not to parent, despite her supportive family. Kaye has her whole life ahead of her, the world at her fingertips, and a wanderlust that could take her anywhere. We knew early on that our paths would diverge — we even discussed it when we wrote our contact agreement — and that our visits would be limited to when Kaye was “around,” which promised to be unpredictable, at least for the uncertain future.
When Kaye didn’t show up today, she called later to explain. But the truth is I half expected her not to come. That is not to say that she is unreliable. I just had a feeling, under the circumstances, that she might not show. She did try to make a plan to visit next weekend, possibly with her new boyfriend. I really hope it comes together. We have no idea when we will see her next, but it could be a long while.
Of course I am starting to think about the repercussions of what this means for our daughter as she grows old enough to understand. Even now, while she can’t yet appreciate who Kaye is, Baby J knows Kaye is special to us. But some day, and soon, she’ll be old enough to be disappointed when Kaye doesn’t show up. I know I am not alone in that others have also dealt with this quandary. I imagine at some point we will have to delicately navigate the fine line between reminding Kaye how important she is to Baby J (and us), and unwittingly pushing her to a place of discomfort. Things to think about.
In the meantime, I am more and more grateful to have Kaye’s parents in our lives, in our daughter’s life. They can hold that thread, I hope. They can provide that connection, should Kaye disengage at any point.
So while it may sometimes be challenging and complicated, it is also marvelous in its simplicity. These people love our daughter. Even more than that, they can give her the one thing we cannot.
In other news, we may also be visiting with Baby J’s birth father T (now known as Vic) this Sunday. Vic hasn’t seen Baby J since January, when she was 7.5 months old. He has tried to schedule a few totally unrealistic last minute visits, including once last month, but it didn’t work. If it works this time, I’d be meeting him without M (now Mac, what the hell, everyone else has a name now), who has an all-day seminar. I’ve got a bit of anxiety about balancing the intensity without M’s presence. After a good visit with Vic’s mom this summer, I’m hoping he is more at ease than last time.
Finally, we’re also preparing for my mom to join us for Thanksgiving (yes, she is actually traveling, which is a remarkably good sign).
And as a bonus, I’m now making plans to see a special blogger friend who will be visiting next weekend with her family!