The Birds, the Bees and the Business of Being a Birth Mom

7 Feb

 One day, you are going to ask the question that every parent fears – you’re going to ask about sex and it’s going to be terrifying because no matter how old you are, you’re going to be too young to be asking that question. Most likely either your mom, your dad or I will starting tripping over the “birds and the bees” metaphor or say that “when a man and woman love each other, it makes a baby!” Honestly, I will most likely change the subject entirely (“The sex talk? Don’t you want to play basketball instead? Yeah, let’s go play basketball!”)

However, aside from this one question (and a few iffy areas concerning Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny), I want to make you a promise: I will never lie to you. You can come to me with any questions you ever have, and I’m sure as you get older, you’ll have a lot of them. Currently, you’re barely learning to form sentences (you said your first, multi-word sentence on January 13th according to J, by the way) so I know questions are far off and this is very preemptive, but I’m a mom which means I like to worry way ahead of schedule. So  just for future reference…I will always be truthful to you.

Starting now.

So here’s is my first big truth I want you to know – being a birth mom is weird and I don’t always know what I’m doing. I don’t mean being your mother is weird…I just mean that it is weird to be your mother but not really get to be your mother. The B’s have raised you. You will grow up with their values in their home and I truly think that’s wonderful. They are beautiful people and both you and I couldn’t have been luckier in finding them. But since E and J are your parents, I feel the need to ask for permission before I do anything that involves you, and that’s odd to me sometimes. I get to see you and know you, but I don’t have any “mom-type power” and occasionally, that throws me off.

I told J all this about a week after you were born. I wrote her what had to be the world’s longest e-mail and I told her that even though she would be your mom, I would always feel like your mom; I was always so afraid that would make her uncomfortable. But she wrote me back and she told me that she understood the longing I had to be your mother and that she would never want to take that from me. She told me that you would always be mine and I would always be yours. She and your dad have gone above and beyond to keep that promise. I love them for that, and many, many other reasons. They are amazing parents and people, as I’m sure you’ll learn if you haven’t already.

Which brings me to truth number two: Our relationship is going to be unique, yours and mine. It probably won’t be “mother and son” but at the same time, there is no denying that is what we are. It’s going to be uncharted territory and though I’m excited to see where it goes, it makes me nervous sometimes. I find myself thinking, “I hope he likes me.” That may sound silly, but again, being a mother means worrying about everything, especially about whether or not you’re a good mother. So I hope my honesty is a step in the “good mothering” direction. Mostly, I want to be honest with you because I want you to really, truly know me. I want you to know all about me because I am going to learn everything I possibly can about you.

So here is what I think should happen: you should continue to be the happy, amazing little boy you are. I will continue to visit you and see you and play with you all the time, and we can grow up together. And one day, when we both become grown ups, we can be friends as well as family. The really good kind who get together and goof off or hang out; the kind who swap stories and ask questions and share fears and dreams. I want you to be able to tell me anything. I always want you to be able to count on me.

Just maybe not when you start asking sex questions ;)

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3 Responses to “The Birds, the Bees and the Business of Being a Birth Mom”

  1. Sam Becker February 12, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

    Renee, I find this letter simply wonderful. I cannot tell you enough what an amazing person/writer/friend/mother you are.

  2. exercises to improve vertical jump April 8, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

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