Seeing BMA

I finally finished the year-long committee appointment that has been eating my brain. I loved it, and I’ll miss it, but I’m glad to be able to think about things other than YA fiction for a while. To that end, basically any time I wasn’t in O’s presence, I was actively working on thinking about other things, and even when I was home, work bled into my home life more than it has any time since college. But in the time since the last post, O and I went to visit BMA, he had time in Seattle with his grandparents while I was at a conference, and he has generally grown and changed.

I started to psych myself out over visiting BMA in the month leading up to the visit, especially since I’m a planner and, as evidenced by our previous visits in Philly, BMA can be hard to nail down. I was lucky to be staying by friends who were only in town for half my visit, so I dog sat for them for a couple days and had their house and car at my disposal. Having a home base, both with friends and with just me and O, was really nice, because BMA’s older daughter was sick and we weren’t able to get together the first two times I tried. Having a place to quietly freak out to myself was a godsend. The cute dog didn’t hurt, either.

When we finally did get together on my last day in town, it was a nice visit. We went to the buffet with her three older kids (I didn’t ask about the fourth, and I don’t know what the custody situation is with her) and an adult cousin she was keeping an eye on that day. O was friendly as always, and BMA loved seeing him. We talked about her sister-in-law who is placing her child for adoption through Acadia with someone in my area, so O will know a biological cousin.

This brought up something that I am anxious about in the coming years. BMA spoke pretty strongly against abortion while we were talking about her adoption choices. And while I’m grateful that BMA’s choices gave me O, I’m also very strongly pro-choice. It’s one of several issues where BMA’s values and mine come into conflict (one of the others is natural hair), and on these, I worry about her influence on O. I guess I should worry similarly about the influences that, for example, my siblings have on him when they have really different values to mine, but because I have a history and an ongoing relationship with them, I just don’t at this point. I find it hard to express my disagreement with BMA, partly because our relationship was established on me supporting her and partly because there is still residual desire for her to like and choose me, even though she already has and nothing can change that. I guess I’m just borrowing trouble.

After lunch, we went to Old Navy so I could buy some new year’s presents for her kids, and she bought some cute clothes for O, too. Next time, I’ll remember to be prepared with gifts, because I do want that to be a tradition between us, but it was fun to go shopping, especially with BMA’s tomboy daughter. She wanted things to look good, but not too girly. At least she has more fashion sense than I ever did as a tomboy…

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