One Little Indian Boy
Arlo and I went to the zoo today and we kept running into an older couple who would throw a wistful glance at Arlo in between exhibits. Finally they confessed that “he looks just like our son about 30 years ago”. It was sweet and I appreciated their feelings of nostalgia but to my surprise they added “We adopted our son from Kolkata and boy, does he remind us of him!”
It’s not that I forget my child is Indian (Bengali no less, they were right on the mark!) it’s that I forget other people see him as Indian.
I think every parent feels this way but Arlo is all things to me, he is everything. I look at him and I see the universe. He has a tiny beauty mark on his upper lip. My mother-in-law noticed this before I did. Or I noticed it, filed it away and went on gazing at the miracle I live with. His dimple. His eyelashes. His daddy’s ears. Its like cataloguing all the rays of the sun. Impossible. The sun dares you to try but you abandon the effort and remain happy in its mystery forever. Parenthood.
We chatted for as long as a two-and-half-year-old at a zoo would allow. I listened attentively as these parents spoke on and on of their only child’s accomplishments and how much they missed him since he moved. We soon parted but after strolling away I circled back, gave Arlo a normally verboten snack and pried from them all the details of their 30-year-old adoption process. That today I would meet a couple with an Indian son adopted through Madison, a Bengali child no less, who were so moved by the sight of my own son that the man said he was close to tears, well that is something I cannot ignore.
With open doors and available shelves I pay attention to signs from the universe and to her beautiful, beautiful blinding sun.