*the unedited rantings of a fat 43 year old menopausal ex -talk show host * -married mother of four- read at your own risk - my spelling sux (add * ocd * adhd * lmnop * suv * dvd * y not me)

4/15/2005

tummy ladies

i never saw her face
I have one photo - blurry and worn
I have stared at it often
trying to feel her

now that kelli has a baby in her tummy
chelsea has freed her mind and mouth
released in the guise of sisterly curiousity
the underside

when she was three,
she told me, she remembered,
when she was a tiny baby –
my skin was very brown

no, i explained
my skin has always been doughy white
but the woman took care of you
the one who was there everyday
doing the things i chose to miss
she did have brown skin

work – sure
but in the end - ultimately
i chose not to participate
i did not mother my baby girl
busy - i was busy

we met when she was almost two
having split open her mouth in the kitchen –
she was handed to me bloody
like all births –
there were tears and trauma,
terror and responsibility.
and then, there she was
an us

well, hello
i think we are suppossed to do this together.
sorry i am so late

mia was brown too
she went missing as well
now tanya, going away to
chels had it down

“ tanya is studying to be a talking doctor, and isn’t going to be a nanny anymore. but if tanya and anthony have a baby, it will have brown skin. because the baby i saw in the mall, had brown skin and the mommy did too. so tanya’s baby will have brown skin, and i will be the nanny for the baby.”

once the flood gates opened
there is no stopping her
she has many questions
she gathers facts

“ i think kellis baby will have beige skin like kelli right?”
yes.
“so my tummy lady - the one who grew me in her tummy - she had this skin like me.”

i nodded
knowing how upsetting it was for her to realize,
she was always going to have boring beige skin
never the bourbon brown kind she adores

“same eyes, like me, blue, the tummy lady, right?”

yes chels, right

“did i come with anything? cause i remember a necklace when i was a tiny baby that lady gave me. I came with a necklace right mama”

no chelsea,
you did not come with a necklace
but you did have a stuffed toy
you came with a binky
and a cute little pink outfit
i have all of it in the safe
and when you are bigger
you can have it all

“what kind of a safe? with a key or numbers?”

i had no idea,
i can’t even tell you what room it is in
key- i said
trying to sound sure and solid

“a small key? a small silver key? can i see it? where do you keep it? what happens if you lose it?”
and on and on and on

well chels – no worries
i have the whole thing under control
it is safe with me
i will have it for you when you want it – ok?

“do you have a picture of the tummy lady in the safe?”

my daughter is not yet 5
unending emotional access

“yes i do chelsea, she is very beautiful, like you.”

she leans back on her pillow and smiles
catches her reflection in the mirror above her desk,
she poses, wide eyed, working her shoulders,
and throws her head back - laughing.
like rita hayward, or zsa zsa gabor
on a red carpet way back when

now she is gone
lost inside herself
performing in the mirror
off somewhere for a full two minutes
when she returns,
she sees I have been watching her
she is caught but not ashamed
she laughs

“why do tummy ladys sell their babies”

that one hits be in the heart
I explain selling is the wrong word

“but you told me most tummy ladies
are too poor to keep a baby”

i did tell her that
as poverty is the main reason women
place their kids into anothers arms and care

your tummy lady wasn’t ready to be a mommy
she was too young
not yet able to care for herself
she wanted you chels
but she couldn’t give u
all u deserve
your tummy lady is very brave

“she must be sad mama
cause she is poor and she misses me”

i am sure she is chels
I am sure she does miss you

silence
then she changes the subject
something about parker
and a frog they found near the river
I half listen and think

she didn’t sell you chels –
she gave me the gift of you
and I am so happy she did
she wanted you in a happy home
she couldn’t give you that
she knew what you deserved
she wanted so much 4 u

“can we have a family meeting tonight
about the frog thing
cause we wanna keep him
in a shoe box”

family meeting yes
frog in a box - I’m not sure
no promises

how I love my eldest daughter
an angel girl
her brilliant brain never stops
it will all fall into place
for her - I know
time understanding and compassion
and finally healing

the journey is the destination
so said dan eldon
he was right