When a child comes to you, you are mistaken to think you have a choice. He has chosen you, the way kitty cats rub their noses against your face while you lay asleep to leave a scent that says, “you are mine.” The way your heart sinks at the sight of a beloved, or swoons over scents that remind you of holidays past: pine, roasted poultry, sugar baking in the oven, gunpowder, crispy paper bills.
You are arrogant, even cruel, to think, “Yes, this one, and not that, pretty please with icing on top.”
No, this is not so. A child comes and that is that. Your lives are linked, from the moment he grabs your finger, and walks with you with tentative steps to make known his presence… Indelibly mark floors and ceilings with his being there, forever altering time and space, and dinner plans.
You do not watch and wait to “see if this works.” Like some Christmas present you received and immediately deemed “for regifting.” He does not come with a gift receipt. No certificate of authenticity, or two-year warranty… just a yellow carbon copy of a transfer form, a Husky garbage bag of clothes and toiletries, a favorite action toy, shoes that are two sizes bigger, and yes, possibilities, and confusion, and night terrors.