I am a mother of five active, sometimes aggravating children that drive me crazy, provide me with lots of entertainment and remind me constantly about the value of love and family. I am married to my best friend. He makes me laugh every day (usually at myself). I love to eat, run, write, read and then eat again, run again…you get it. I am a children's author, having published four books with MeeGenuis (The Halloween Costume, When Santa Was Small, The Baseball Game, and The Great Adventure Brothers). I have had several pieces of writing published on Adoptive Families, Adoption Today, Brain Child, Scary Mommy, and Ten To Twenty Parenting. I am also a child psychologist, however I honestly think that I may have learned more from my parents and my children than I ever did in any book I read in graduate school. This blog is a place where I can gather my thoughts and my stories and share them with others. My writing is usually about kids and trying to see the world through their eyes, a few about parenting, adoption (one of my children is adopted) and some other random thoughts thrown in… I hope you enjoy them! So grab a cup of coffee, or a glass of wine, depending on what time of day it is (or what kind of day it is) and take a few minutes to sit back, relax and read. Please add your comments or opinions, I know you must have something to say, and I would love to hear it. Thanks for stopping by. Anne Cavanaugh-Sawan
Monthly Archives: March 2015
A Real Mom
I haven’t written anything here for so long, but something irked me recently and I have something to say, and when a mom has something to say, she says it! So roll your eyes if you must, here it is.
I was perusing my Facebook news feed the other day, checking up on friends, reading various articles, when I stumbled upon this post posted by a well respected, well known online news publication.
A photo of three dogs with the caption: We’re adopted? OMG!!! You mean you’re not our real mom?
And underneath the post: Precisely why I’m not letting my pups know. What they don’t know, can’t hurt ’em.
Immediately I stopped. Now obviously it’s about dogs, great, I get it, and I know, it’s suppose to be funny, I should lighten up, but… those words, “You mean you’re not our real mom?” stuck with me all day: at the supermarket, the post office, the coffee shop; everywhere I went I saw infants strapped to their moms, young children skipping along next to their moms, teenagers slumped down in the front seats of cars next to their moms, adopted or not? I don’t know. I am sure some of them were and some of them weren’t but all of those moms sure looked real to me. I tried to talk myself out of my silly thoughts, perhaps I was overreacting, so I went home and reread the post, which by now had thousands of likes, hoping to see it through different eyes, and then I scrolled down and read the comments, here are a few:
“I never say, “adopted” in front of my fur babies because I know they understand English”
“I never say the “A” word.”
“Mine would never believe you if you told them I wasn’t their real mom.”
“But you said that we’re your BABIES!!”
And then came another photo of a dog, that said, “I’m adopted??? OMG! You mean you’re not my real mom?”
Maybe I shouldn’t have read those comments by all those ignorant people, but I did and my blood began to boil. “I never say adopted”, “The A word.” “You mean you’re not my real mom?” Wow, I thought, how would my daughter or someone else’s child feel reading this? I had always promised myself I wouldn’t become one of those crazy, over the top, annoying, politically correct parents. I believe that the world should strive to laugh more at itself; I don’t want to be one of those people that everyone has to be extra cautious around, and maybe four children back I would have been the one saying, “Oh calm down! It’s just a joke!” But life changes you, love changes you and I am not the person I use to be.
What does it mean to be “real?” Real means to be actual, genuine, valid, true, physical and tangible; something not imagined. I am my daughter’s real mom. I worry when she is sick, I laugh when she is silly, I hold my breath when I see her struggle, I get annoyed when she acts up, I cry when she is hurting and sometimes, as I watch her sleep, her hair a dark tangled mess, her eyelashes fluttering against her cheek, I have to take a deep breath, humbled by how fortunate I am to have this child in my life. These things are not imagined. These feelings occur with all of my children. I love each of them to my core, to the center of my soul, to the middle of my bones, whether they grew beneath them or not. I am a real mom to all of them and I am tired of people insinuating otherwise when it comes to adoption. Adoption is not the “A” word something to be hidden or ashamed of, adoption is something to be celebrated and we will celebrate because we are a REAL family. Real: actual, genuine, valid, true, physical and tangible; something not imagined.
And by the way, the dog joke…it’s not funny.