Over the years I have had many conversations with my girls about difficult subjects. We have tackled adoption, abandonment, race, sex, and much more. And I've spoken of birth mothers, and racism and the cruelty of some people with ease. But tonight, Rachel brought up a new topic that nearly broke my heart.
We were eating out and a general conversation had sprung up about being left or right handed. Rachel looked at me and announced, "When I get big, I'm gonna have a big hand and fingers that work. Just like you!" I had to swallow hard before I gently explained that even when she was big her hand would be just the same. She looked at me with such sorrow and asked, "Why?" All I could say was that's just the way it is. She nodded and quietly said, "But I wish I had a big hand." Someone changed the subject and dinner went on. I had to look away and blink back tears before I could eat. I have learned to love Rae's little hand, it is precious to me. But while she always makes the best of it, I can not undo her grief. And that is so, so hard.
Later, I painted Rachel's toenails and fingernails, even the teeny tiny ones. She climbed on my lap and wrapped her arms around me on one of her huge hugs. Then she gently patted my face with her little hand, in that sweet way she has and whispered, "I love you, Mommy. I always love you." And I blinked back tears again for my sweet Rachel, who is so loving and so brave.