Have you read the Telegraph article Why Every Woman Secretly Craves a Daughter? Apparently 80% of the Britons who go to the United States for IVF are asking for daughters. I have to hold my hand up and admit that before having children I did want a daughter. Want is probably too mild a term to describe how I felt. I was determined. Not desperate but determined, as if I had a choice in the matter. I decided that I would be having a daughter, and that was that. And by sheer coincidence, my first child was a girl.
But I was not looking for someone to take care of me in my old age. I was not worried about which gender was kinder or less ‘work’. Growing up as an adopted child, although I had a strong bond with my adopted father, I was not particularly close to my adopted mother. Though she loved me, I do not think she had a maternal feeling towards me. That coupled with the insecurities from being adopted, I have always craved a strong mother-daughter relationship. And I knew that having a daughter would heal me in a way that nothing else could.
And heal me, she did. From the moment Husband put Moozles in my arms, my broken heart was mended. With Moozles, I can be the mother I always wanted. I can give her the attention and love I always craved. But I cannot say that having a son first would not have done the same. Having two children now, one of each gender, I can see that there is no difference in how close I feel to each of my children. Dubz is only two, so we are not able to communicate in the same way as Moozles and me. She and I have special mother-daughter time where we go to the ballet or go to a restaurant. But one day, Dubz and I will have that kind of relationship.
Yes, Moozles was an ‘easier’ baby and toddler. Dubz, on the other hand, is a non-stop eating-all-the-food, house-destroying little boy. But I adore them equally. Our children are our children. And we love them, no matter how easy it is to take care of them and no matter if they will take care of us when we’re old.
My word of the week is ‘Open’. This week I did something brave. Brave for me anyway. I did not climb a mountain or battle a disease. But I opened up. I showed a teeny tiny part of my heart, for all to see. There is a small part of me that was afraid for familial fall-out. I no longer care. My blog is my own. It is my head and my heart. it is where I ramble. Sometimes my words are crafted and thought out completely. Sometimes, like yesterday, I just let the thoughts pour out onto the keyboard and then I press publish.
So thank you to everyone who has tweeted or commented. You have allowed me to feel safe in this space. You have allowed me to open up and share a piece of me. Thank you to everyone who has read my post and made me feel that this is a place in which I can continue to grow and develop. If you want to read the post in which I open up, it is here.
Whenever people ask me about siblings and growing up, I kinda stumble on the answer. The thing is, it’s kinda complicated. I was born almost 39 years ago in The Seychelles, the youngest of eight children. I was very much an accident. My biological mother had a sister who was unable to have her own children. So I went to live with my aunt and her husband. I would often visit my biological parents at the weekends, but always wanted to go home to my Parents.
When I was six years old, we moved to the Bay Area, in Northern California. Far away from my biological family, I grew up as an only child. It was a lonely existence. We lived a 45-minute drive from my school (and all my friends) so I spent the weekends at home, playing on my own. My foreign parents did not know about clubs or classes. I would play in front of the mirror, so that I could pretend that I had a twin sister. I would read books, and escape to different lands and be a different person.
My biological family moved to the UK when I was a teenager. I visited them a couple of times, but felt so alien. I was growing up so differently than my siblings had done. These were the days before email so it was tough keeping in touch. There was never enough time to catch up. Years later, when I fell in love with a British boy and moved to London, I thought it would be my chance to build a relationship with my family. But again, we were so different. I had grown up attending private schools and a private university. I am quiet and like to take in my surroundings. None of my siblings have attended university. They are louder and more forthright.
I thought that having children might bring me closer to my siblings. But most of my nieces and nephews are in their teens or twenties. I even have a niece and nephew in their early 30s (my two eldest siblings are in their 50s). There are times I have tried harder. But recently I have been pulling away. They are all so close. They speak to each other every day and see each other frequently. They expected me to slot right in. But I cannot. I am not used to a big family. I am used to being alone.
My biological siblings also expected me to have a renewed relationship with my biological parents. But how can you explain that you do not need new parents in your 30s? One Mom is enough, do I need a new mother at my age? As for my dearly loved and dearly missed Dad, he passed away five years ago. No biological father could ever take his place.
And I have to explain to my children that I have two sets of parents. How do you explain adoption when you aren’t entirely sure why you were given away? Being adopted isn’t something that happens when the adoption papers are signed. It is forever and constant. No matter how much you love your Parents, you always have a place in your heart that hurts from not being wanted. I wish my biological family could understand this. I wish I could explain how I feel. I fear that I will just keep pulling away.
I am linking up to Mama – and More for All About YOU. Go check some posts from some Wonder Women!