Does this title sound strange? Perhaps you are wondering “If she is your daughter, aren’t you her parent?” Well, [pause] yes and no. It’s a long story.
Her parents, whom I am honoring, are the ones who adopted her when she was an infant and raised her to adulthood. I was the young woman, not yet 19 years old, who birthed her and surrendered her for adoption. After holding her, feeding her, loving her for 5 days in the hospital, I dressed her in a sweater I knitted, rode with her in my arms in a NYC taxi cab, and then handed my baby, surrendered my baby, to a Catholic Charities social worker.
In adoption parlance, they are the A (adoptive) parents and I am the B (birth) mom. We never met but we became connected in this offbeat way.
Several years ago, a friend who was getting married for the second time happened to have a fascination with Barbie. Maybe it was a hobby or a whimsy or a fetish, whatever you call it when an adult collects Barbie stuff. You know Barbie. Everyone knows Barbie, the doll that has been around since 1959, Mattell’s weird ideal of the perfect girl/woman that no living female could ever achieve.
Apropos of nothing, I recently got an earworm, that piece of music that continuously, uncontrollably runs through your mind. I can’t even remember when I last heard this particular song. Yet — all day, for several days — I’ve had the Backstreet Boys singing “As Long As You Love Me” in my head on repeat. Annoying, right? But worse than that, without their cute faces and stylish dance moves, the lyrics of the chorus strike me as quite problematic, if not ridiculous, in almost every context.