Crystel shuffles out of her bedroom, rubbing her eyes. The rest of us have been up for hours. In fact, Antonio has about used up all of his allotted time with electronics. I briefly look up at her. She’s grown taller in the night, I think. She stretches out her form before flopping down next to me on the couch.
“Good morning, dear.”
She mumbles, “Good morning.” She leans casually towards me. We’re now bumping shoulders.
I return to reviewing my manuscript and drop my eyes to the computer.
“I knew it,” she says. “I knew it! I knew you were going to say it one day!” She jumps up and runs out of the room.
“What!” I say, alarmed.
I look down at the writing on my laptop and immediately know what happened. There in black and white it says Antonio and Crystel aren’t my children….
“Crystel! Crystel! Come back here!” I leap off the couch. Yelling upstairs, I say, “Antonio is Crystel up there!”
“No, she’s not.”
Rushing down the basement steps, I holler, “Crystel, you need to come back and talk to me. Crystel, where are you!” It’s dark and quiet in the basement.
I rush back upstairs to where Antonio is. “Antonio are you telling me the truth? Is Crystel upstairs?”
“She’s not up here. She never came up here.”
I’m in a bit of a panic. What could Crystel think, and if she won’t talk to me, then what? And is it true that she has always thought that I was going to say that she’s not mine?
“Crystel, you need to come here.”
I hear behind me, “You couldn’t find me.” She seems pleased with this.
“No, I couldn’t find you. Now, sit down.” I’m relieved she actually does.
“If you are going to read something that I am writing, you need to read all of it or ask a question. You reading part of a sentence is like coming into a conversation part way or seeing only part of an elephant. You aren’t getting the whole story.”
“Now, look at this.” I point to the paragraph: Antonio and Crystel aren’t my children to own or to have or to keep. Finding their birthmoms, reuniting the mom with their child, promising to bring Antonio and Crystel back every two years to Guatemala continues restoring me to health.
“What this means is that you aren’t an object for me to own. You are your own person. Not mine. Now if we scroll up here, it says, When I say to them, you can count on me, I absolutely mean it.” I look in her eyes. “You are my daughter. I would do anything for you.”
This seems to satisfy her. Crystel is often interested in what I write. When she came upon me reviewing the last blog I wrote about her being interested in the bathroom scale, she read it. She laughed and laughed. Now she will have another blog to read: The Perils of Being a Writer.
At bedtime we will have that other talk, in case she really is expecting to hear me say she isn’t really my daughter. Hmmmm.