On Friday, I fly to Finland to
Bring my son home.
We’ve been doing this for three years,
So I’ve got some experience with the
When I went to get him,
I hadn’t seen him in person for
(Every-other-day Skype chats
Make this all possible.)
At the Helsinki airport
I came out a different door than
He and his aunt were expecting.
As I came up from the side,
I could see him
Standing on his tiptoes,
Looking for me to come through the
He was smiling.
I grabbed him from the side;
He never saw me coming.
The body was stout and thicker than I remembered;
The giggling face rounder.
Leaving the airport,
He became shy with me and
Ran up to his aunt,
Grabbed her hand.
No way, I thought.
I scooped him up,
And gave him a fart kiss on his belly,
And he laughed,
And had no problem holding my hand after that.
After seven months in Finland
He wasn’t speaking any English.
There were times I had to ask his aunt or his father,
“What’s he saying?”
But I decided:
I’m the mom,
And I’m not going to waste one minute not acting like it.
I’m not going to
What it means
That I have to ask someone to
Translate for my own son.
Act like the mom.
Take him to the bathroom.
Pay for his lunch.
Help him put his shoes on.
Choose his clothes, and help him get dressed.
Don’t stop and think.
No analysis and no self-pity.
Because there he was at a Helsinki park:
Scampering to the top of a small cliff,
The sun in his butter-yellow hair.
He pointed to where he wanted me to stand,
Then leaped off the rock,
His solid body hurtling toward me,
Completely trusting that I’ll catch him.
“Saada minut!” he yelled.
I will, buddy.
That’s why I’m here.
Love this, Jen.
You are a very gifted writer Jen. Love reading your stuff! Kristin 🙂
i really, REALLY can’t imagine being away from him for so long. i hope we can see you while you’re in town!!