I saw this little video on Nick Jr today. I may have shed a very little tear.
There’s a mummy pterodactyl tucking up her babies in a nest: one baby pterodactyl, another baby pterodactyl, and, nestled right in the middle, a baby T-rex. All the while the mummy is singing ‘I’ll always be your mom’. It’s very sweet.
It made me give my little T-rexes a big hug too. They may be fearsome creatures with huge teeth and no table manners, maybe they won’t ever be able to fly as well as all the other pterodactyl babies. But I will always be their mum!
Adopted children have a very different view of family. They frequently think of families as changing and changeable structures.
When the boys first came home, they asked me many times when they were leaving. They expected visitors to take them away.
When I told them that I was pregnant, they asked when the baby would be adopted by another family. They sometimes slip up and say ‘if the baby is still in our family’, even though they know that I am certain the baby is staying.
Even now, if I have too bad a day and shout at them, the boys ask if they are going to have to leave. (It’s not as tear-inducing as it sounds: they are delighted at the thought of a ‘new and better mummy’ ideally one ‘with a job who can buy more X-box games’.)
Eldest explained to his play therapist that he had to leave home when he was ten. I don’t know where the idea of leaving at ten came from, but this view of his life with me as temporary is painfully familiar.
Against this onslaught, stand me, my husband, my family, my friends and every professional the boys meet. Over and over again, we all tell them that this is it. I am their last mummy. This is their Forever Family.
They don’t believe us yet, but that’s ok. Maybe the only way to prove that I am going to be their mummy forever is to do it. Which is just fine because that is precisely what I intend to do.