Sunday, February 2, 2014

eye opening

Sometimes my kid says something that completely changes my perspective on our shared life together...

D with Daddy in Ethiopia. Ohmygoodness he was so tiny!

Yesterday we had this conversation over a snack:

Daniel: "When I first came home, I thought you and Daddy were like monsters. That maybe you had lots of kids and you killed them and ate them or something. Ha!"

Me: "Really? Wow. And when did you stop believing that?"

Daniel: "Oh, maybe like after 100 days."

Me: "Hmm. And what helped you change your mind?"

Daniel: "That you bought me toys."

Yup. That's right. When our newly adopted son first came home, at age 5, he thought maybe we'd adopted lots of kids, and murdered them, and possibly ate them.

This puts a whole new spin on my memories of our first 100 days as a family, and also makes me rethink the value my son places on new toys.

First of all, you should know that the conversation above was not a whispered, emotional confession. It was a relaxed, normal conversation over apple slices at our dinner table.  As in: "Ha ha ha... remember how I used to think you and Daddy were murderers and cannibals! Ha! That was something!?"

Secondly, our son loves to get new toys, and gets super worked up around birthdays and holiday about which toys and how many and will they be fun and cool enough... Which I used to find really annoying and stressful. Who was this materialistic person I was raising!? And now I see that he's somehow equated these people buy me nice toys = they must not be about to murder me and my baby sister.  So, I guess I will keep those new toys coming for a bit longer just so he is clear that we are not out to get him.

Thirdly, and most importantly: What! holy @#$%! Is THAT what you were thinking during those crucial first weeks when we could barely communicate and you were having daily tantrums and grieving and we were all just trying to survive? I can't believe that Daniel was terrified for his life all the time. I think part of the time he was happy and excited to be in his new home. Part of the time he was confused, and a lot of the time overwhelmed.  But maybe I'm projecting my own emotional memories of that time onto him. Usually when we ask he claims to not remember those first few weeks.  After all, those memories were coded in a language he no longer speaks or understands.

I'm going to have to ponder this some more. And I'll ask him about it again. It maybe that he was pulling my leg. Or he might have other revelations for me...

Life with kids: always full of surprises.

D contemplating his new life in America

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