Monday, January 09, 2006

Wanna Make Fourteen Dollars?

I hate the telephone. Really. Just hate it. Maybe it’s because I can’t see the person on the other end so I miss their non-verbal cues, but whatever it is, phone conversations always seem awkward to me. I’ll make a call for a reason - “We’re out of beer, do you have any? . . . Good, we’ll be right over.” Click. - but I’m not much of a phone chatter.

I’m very bad at keeping in touch with my friends who don’t live nearby, and I blame my phone hatred for that. When I see my friends in person, though, I can yammer on until dawn. When my friend Buttmunch and I get together, you can count on at least one good heart-to-heart that goes on into the wee hours of the morning.

Buttmunch and I are alike in many ways. He shares my unhealthy commitment to the ancient beverage made with hops and grain, enjoys a good wager, and is a fearsome competitor at Rock-Paper-Scissors for drinks. Buttmuch is also adopted, and he recently became a dad.

During one conversation with Buttmunch, I had a joyful revelation: as adopted children, we are incredibly lucky. Not just because our families aren’t evil, but we can select which of our parents’ traits we’ve inherited. We can claim the beautiful ones as “nurture” and disavow the nutty ones as “nature.” Not only do we get to pick and chose which parenting behaviors we’ll use on our children, we can claim the mistakes our parents made were due to characteristics not passed along to us.

I can only assume that, since Buttmunch’s self-esteem seems as healthy as mine, our parents did a lot of the same things. I imagine his parents believe the sun rises and sets on his head, and everything he does can only make them love him more. I'm sure we both heard stories of how we were the happy end to years of desperate yearning.

I hope Bump and I can pass along that assurance of unconditional love to Lumpyhead. I hope he knows we think he’s the best little boy in the world, and we would do anything for him, even though we didn’t have to jump through bureaucratic hoops to bring him home or endure years of infertility before he came into our lives.

I hope he doesn’t feel we love him any less just because we got him the easy way.

No comments: