We just returned from Amritsar this morning where mommy had gone to give a talk on Nature versus Nurture in a genetic engineering conference.
So, when she actually showed signs of cooperating while I dried her hair, I was spurred into saying how lovely her hair were and what fun it is for me to dry and comb them. I also added that I wished we could stop fighting about such issues and enjoy the whole process.
She was quiet for a while and then asked if Atreya also fought with me when I used to bathe him. Of course not, I said, he never fought with me on such issues. She said that he didn't fight with me because perhaps I didn't fight either. For a moment I thought she meant that I was more patient with him, but I asked her to explain. And then she says Atreya didn't fight with me because perhaps he was similar to me when I was a young child (she knows that I was a very pliant kid).
Intrigued, I asked her why that didn't hold for her? Why was she not similar to me as well? Her response floored me. She said that perhaps her Sunita mummy fought with her mother and that's why Aloka fights with me!
This little girl is talking genetics with me!
We never spoke about her grandmother's presentation on genes to her, but perhaps she had been listening in to my discussions with mommy as I helped pretty up her presentation last week. It is hard to believe, but what else could trigger this thought in her?
I hugged my little child and told her she is as much my child as Atreya and everything that goes on between her and me is between this mother and this daughter. I take responsibility for everything and will not hold Sunita mummy responsible for anything. If we fight, it is solely our problem to deal with, and if we enjoy our togetherness, it is purely our joy.
There are people who are skeptical of my openness about adoption, but I am telling you, openness that leads to such edgy conversations is way better than the pseudo safety of lies. It is scary, but it is elevating and enriching.