The station in
Dad and I left the house quiet, and it took us nearly fifty minutes to get to the station. Dad drives barely above the speed limit, putting him at exactly 67 mph. He claims that the people in the fast lane building up behind him are, “stressed and crazy.”
Beta woke up as I was zipping my duffel. She walked behind me unseen, and I didn’t know she was up until I heard her, loud, from my mother’s bed in the next room. She gets a sticker every time she sleeps the whole night in her own bed, and counted number fifteen on my second morning home. She’s learning to trust her life as it is. Some things, finally, are going to last. Mom is constant. Dad is constant. Brothers are constant. My visits are constant. Uncles, Aunts, cousins are constant. Scout’s excited jumping is a constant, and Yankee’s laborious walk can be counted on in Grandpa’s front yard. On Sunday, she patted his head uneasily, sticking to my side – “Yankee you miss me?” she said, in a nervous falsetto voice she reserves only for the dogs.
Home is constant now, too, and the places that she goes. Church, ballet, trips to Auntie’s pool and Grandpa’s teasing are all part of a routine that’s putting weight on her scrawny form and relaxing her into dances in the hallway, and loud singing in the kitchen. She likes shuffle through the ipod till she finds a Wyclef Jean song, and turn it up, singing and teaching mom the way to clap her hands.
Mom says that sometimes she feels like Beta is catching up for lost time. “She’s asking why like you did when you were two,” Mom said. “And she wants me to watch her, every little thing, all the time.” Mom’s patient, and the love that has developed between them is no different than the love between us. The maternal bonding some might worry over is natural here. Adoption, for my mother, appears to be a smooth ride from parenting high school boys to the loud exclamations of a seven year old who asks to read the same three letter books, morning after morning. Whatever it is that comes from a person’s hormones in childbirth is present here, as if God extended the influence of the body’s maternal instinct from pregnancy and childbirth to the signing of papers and meetings with social workers.
Beta only cringes when I ask if she wants to visit
The quiet of agricultural country opens up time for thought and reflection as my train pulls slowly ahead. As we lagged into the station at
These are my roots.
She’s watching movies I watched, and reading books mom bought me when I was learning to read. The drive to Grandma’s is her’s now, and she’ll learn to expect the spreading oak trees on
Told her I’d be home in three weeks. It was Beta’s first time kissing me goodbye without tears. She snuggled down deep in the sheets with mom, and grinned. “Yep, you come back,” she said.
And I will.
(photo via weheartit.com)