Thursday, May 1, 2008

All Things Temporary - Except II

We were skiing at Snowy Range outside of Laramie, Wyoming and.....

I pulled Sandy up off the ground and helped her balance on the narrow skis. "Let's go inside. We'll get hot chocolate." I pushed her toward the lodge.

"No way! This is great! Raymond!" She grabbed his arm. "Get me to the lift!"

Full of pride, I laughed as they hopped back on for another run. As the day wore on and she grew more confident, we took her on a long gentle slope that wound around and down the mountain. By lunchtime, I was exhausted and my toes were numb.

While Raymond went to the van to retrieve the food he'd packed for us, we waited at a table inside the lodge. The mustard yellow booths looked like cast-offs from an out-of-date fast food restaurant. Everything in the lodge centered on the open fire pit and giant metal flue that funneled into the two-story ceiling. Cement blocks threaded with two-by-fours ringed the roaring fire. Snowy Range's management believed in putting their money into the slopes, not fancy d├ęcor.

"I didn't think it would look like this," Sandy said, motioning with a wave of her hand around the room. "I see all those ads in magazines and stuff on TV about skiing. They don't look like this."

"I thought the same thing the first time I came. The big flashy resorts draw tons of tourists, but this is the best place to learn. Nothing's worse than a beginner's slope crowded with people who don't know what they're doing." I laughed.

"Like me," she said.

"I was worried at first but you're doing great now, a real natural."

"Think so? Really?" She beamed.

"Really."
"I'm sorry about this morning. I didn't mean to upset you when I asked that question." She dug with her fingernail at a dried blob of ketchup in the center of the table.

"Don't worry about it." I wanted to make her feel better and be honest, too. "The problem is I've heard those questions for as long as I can remember and they either have complicated answers or no answers at all. It's frustrating, makes me feel like I'm on display, like a circus freak."

"Kind of like when people find out I'm in foster care," she said. "They want me to talk about why I don't live at home and if I'm going back to my parents and how I feel about the whole thing. Sometimes I just want to say go F... yourself." Her cheeks bloomed red in exacerbation.

I ignored the language and said, "I understand."

"What I really wanted to ask you was if you want to know who she is? Your real mom, I mean. I bet she misses you and wants to know what happened to you."

"I doubt it." Now I picked at the ketchup stain.

"You watch Oprah. She's done lots of shows about reunions, moms looking for the babies they gave up. If it was me, I'd have to know. That's all I'm saying." She stopped talking and glanced at me. "What?"

I looked her in the eye, knowing I could never say what I felt.

"You want to tell me to go F... myself, don't you?"

I nodded and we laughed uncontrollably.

During the long dark ride home, I thought about the things she said. I knew the shows she talked about. I'd gone so far as to write down the telephone numbers for help in locating a birth parent and hide them away in my bedside table. Raw terror kept me from dialing the phone, afraid of what I might find if I looked and equally afraid of what I might lose in the process.
_____________________________________
What you just read is an except from my memoir "All Things Temporary - Confessions Of A Young Foster Mother"

Thanks for reading...Lisa

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for the book to come out!
Mom Mc

Lisa McGlaun said...

Thank you! You know you'll have one of the first copies I can get my hands on.

Love you,
Lisa

thewishfulwriter said...

you are seriously one of the most gifted writers ever. i was transfixed by that entry. beautiful and poignant.

Lisa McGlaun said...

Heather,

That means alot to me coming from you. Thanks for that. Every now and then I plan to post excerpts. Just look for them to read more.

Hugs,
Lisa