01 April 2012
3 Years, 3 Letters
As you may or may not know, my daughter is my sister's birth daughter/my niece, but I took her in almost 3 years to the day. I've blogged about some of our tough times and some of our accomplishments. We are very open in our family, and we speak of how great it is to have more than one "mom" in our lives. I refer to her as my daughter, and people who do not know me closely are never the wiser. It's just not that big of a deal. We are a family, and that is that.
My daughter, however, calls me "Tia." Tia is the Spanish word for aunt. At my age, I kind of decided that I will never be called mother...and that's OK. I do not feel like less of a woman in any way. To get to my story, the other day, I was upstairs trying to unclog a bathtub drain and my mom was downstairs with my daughter. I called down to Chloe and asked her to bring me up something (I cannot even remember what it was). No response. If any of you have a 12 year old, this is typical.
I called down a second time, then a third. Finally, I could hear my mother say to Chloe, "Chloe- your aunt is calling you. Please answer her." The angry and swift response both shocked and tickled me, "Abuela, she is NOT my Aunt. She IS MY MOM!" I could feel the silence coming from my mother. I was completely floored and just moved. Seconds later, Chloe came bounding up the steps with whatever object I had been asking for.
On April 9th, it will be 3 years since we started our little adventure. That's how we refer to our home life- as Our Adventure. I'm pretty sure I've aged significantly in those 3 years. I joke that I will now need Botox for my wrinkles (I'm only half kidding). I have laughed every day, cried many times, and raised my voice just every so often. I've watched Chloe go from what I call "Baby Chloe" to "Young Woman Chloe." As with most adventures, not every day is smooth sailing. But the outcome, the end result is always worth the time and effort invested. The day my daughter called me "Mom," is a day I will remember. Its a short word- just 3 tiny letters, 1 syllable. Yet for me that word's meaning is so grand and so sacred.