One of the first things Batboy said to me was “where your belly button?” For the first few weeks he had a mild fascination with belly buttons, and would ask to look at new people’s. It seemed to be his way of shaking hands, it’s worn off now.
But belly buttons have remained significant for me. Everytime I see my boys’ belly buttons, I’m reminded of the woman who used to be at the other end. A woman I’ve never met. A woman who gave life to my boys. Whose body created, nourished and protected their bodies for 9 months.
That physical bond was severed at birth, but the scar will be there always. It makes me wonder when exactly the emotional bond severed; was it at birth too? Or when the boys were removed to foster care? Or at Final Contact? Was there ever an emotional bond?! And what scars will be there always, under their skin?
This woman who I know so little about will be part of my boys, of my family, of me forever.
Part of me will love her, because she is part of my boys and I love them. Without her, I would not have them.
Part of me will always feel angry, that they were not cared for as they should have been, and the damage that has left.
Part of me will always feel guilty. They are flesh of her flesh, and yet they are not hers.
And part of me will always feel jealous. She created my boys. That was my job. At their most vulnerable, she was with them, not me.
I wonder if one day they will feel the need to find the woman from the other end. I wonder if I will feel rejected, insufficient, jealous. I wonder how she will feel about me. I pray that I will have the strength to love and support my boys, rain or shine.