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.
Whenever I find myself on top of a mountain in winter, especially when it’s snowing, I feel a rush of emotions. Above all, I am always amazed that I am there, that I ever took up the sport to begin with and then stuck with it despite a discouraging beginning. Equally important, I am grateful that I can physically do it and can afford it, as it takes stamina, some level of skill, and a decent chunk of money. I’ve experienced this same introspective moment every year for 30 years straight and I’ve experienced it all over the globe.
It’s happened to everyone. You walk into your regular weekly class, the one you love with the teacher you love, and — OH NO! — there is someone else on a mat at the front of the room. It’s happened to me as a student and I’ve also been that unfamiliar, spurious person nervously smiling at the sea of unfamiliar faces. Continue reading