Last night we were wrapping up a small present to send to someone in Maeve’s first mom’s family. While the unwrapped present (a friend of mine’s aunt makes these super-adorable child and adult necklaces! See Maeve wearing one here) sat on our kitchen counter a couple days, Maeve would occasionally point it out and reference the recipient.
“That neck-uh-lace for J.,” she’d say. “My J.,” she’d exclaim with pride.
As I wrapped the item, Maeve sat alongside me, coloring on a blank card to send along as well. I had thought about buying a card, just as a matter of reflex, but thought again. I pulled out a blank card, Maeve’s crayons and told her to go to town.
As I wrapped, I watched Maeve’s tiny hands work intently and enjoyed knowing she was creating something herself, something unique, for this person and their unique role in her life. As she colored in patches of colors here and “Mommy, Look! A circle!” there, and scrawled and “A” and an “M” in random places, she was delighted to take part in the gifting, mentioning J., and that J. is her [their relationship title] as she worked.
And me? I am delighted that our contact and continually evolving relationship with Maeve’s first mom allows for these moments and these experiences for her daughter, for our daughter.
Just knowing Maeve sat at our kitchen table last night and helped complete a gift that she knows is for someone special, someone in her biological family, makes me terribly happy (and grateful, and relieved and well, the list goes on).
These moments add to the important conversations we have in our home about her first mom B. We talk about whose belly she grew in, about the other people in B.’s family and their relationship to Maeve. She repeats these things as we talk, and proudly takes ownership (something most toddlers are proficient at) in these relationships.
“My B.!” “My J.!” Or, “Maeve a baby B’s belly,” she’ll say, smiling.
Of course, at two and a half, I know that she understands just so much. But these are the building blocks we’re putting down now. These are just some of the ways we’re making (and keeping) Maeve’s first family part of her life, part of our lives and nurturing what is, to us, our expanded family.