No one noticed how different we were  

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

As I have broadcast across the different forums and personal emails of friends, I had lunch with my daughter yesterday. Sounds so simple, but lunch for us is anything but simple. I had to hitch a ride with a friend who was already driving past there to pick up her grand daughter. It wasn't to the next town or the next county, it was to Ohio from Northern Michigan. We left at 3:30 in the morning, drove right through my daughters town and on to another small town 2 hours past the Ohio line. That in itself took 7 1/2 hours. Then back in the car for the return to Michigan trip and lunch with my daughter and her family. There were 8 of us total and we had to shuffle tables and chairs to accommodate us all. That drew a small amount of attention but then something wonderful happened. Once we were all seated, after all the shuffling and scuffing sounds of tables and chairs being jostled about, we blended in. I looked around a few times to see if we were drawing any more attention, and we weren't. NO ONE NOTICED HOW DIFFERENT WE WERE, different from them that is.

I have always imagined how reunion would be for us. The first time around we were different and people did seem to notice. We were the center of attention for about 50 people in the boring and all to quiet International airport terminal. I'd of been staring too if I wasn't part of the entertainment. There isn't much to do there. But we didn't mind.

We selected park and outdoor settings for the nest few gatherings. Lots of room to move for everyone and things to keep the kids busy so the big folk could talk. Even screaming doesn't draw attention in a setting like this. Kids are always screaming in parks.

Yesterday we bombarded a restaurant, had ordering questions flying back and forth across the tables and at different points, 3 conversations going on at once. No one was being too loud or unruly. No one was thoroughly disgusted or dissatisfied with our waitress, (even though I had something very white and creepy mingling with my Pepsi from the side of my glass, and that it was replaced with a diet Pepsi, which I despise) we seemed to everyone else to just be a large group of people varying in ages from 5 to 53. No one saw the obvious difference between us and them. We had been estranged from one another through adoption.

I barely know my grand-children. I don't feel like their grand-mother. I did however feel something very special from them. Love. The twins couldn't be there and it was mentioned that they will be disappointed to have missed it. The boys were great. What fine looking young men they are. The oldest is my grand-daughter and she was looking much healthier than the last time I saw her. She had unwillingly dropped several pounds that she couldn't afford to lose. I should have such a problem. She looked great. my daughter was smiles from ear to ear. We ordered the same sandwich and split the onion rings. She tried my soup, I declined on trying her cream of broccoli. I've had it before and although it's okay, it's not something I can eat more than a few bites of.

When my husband and I go out to dinner with the boys we do the same thing. There are always forks and spoons reaching across the table. Not in an obnoxious manner, but in an attempt to broaden ones horizons to new tastes. This very much felt like dinning with my family. It felt so good.

I still struggle with titles and this one is no exception, my son in law. I don't feel like a grand-mother let alone a mother-in-law, but if you had to put a title on it he is my son-in-law, and I adore him. He tried so hard to get time off work yesterday to be with us and it looked like it wasn't going to happen. As it turned out, as we were leaving the house for the restaurant, he called and said he managed to get the afternoon off and would be meeting us at the restaurant. We held a seat for him and it was wonderful to see the man who made the call that brought me back together with my daughter. The fact that he really wanted to be there was inspiring enough for me. It was an absolute bonus to have him there in person.

Why this all means so much is because back in the dark days of teen age pregnancy I was told I would never see her again. That if I tried to see her again bad things were going to happen to me. I was paraded around town being humiliated in front of anyone who would listen. I was sneered at, had noses turned up at me, I was shunned to the point that I took it turned it around on them and was utterly obnoxious about it. But I did believe them when they said bad things would happen to me. I did believe that she belonged to someone else and they would come after me, hurt me, to protect her from me. Even though I believed them, in the back of my mind I thought we would over come this and meet again.

Two hours of food and conversation is all we could manage this time, but it was worth every minute of it. I was treated like family and the roof didn't fall on my head. I was looking. No angry mob ready to do bad things to me. No being escorted out by police for breaking the legally binding signature I sprawled at 16.

The best thing of all is that no one noticed how different we were from them.

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