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Sitting Across From Her

by Gina Crotts

· Birth Mother Stories

Sitting across from her, avocado toast on my plate, pancakes on hers. I sip my coffee and watch her in awe. This is the first time I have had this much time with my daughter. It’s her birthday and we are celebrating by having breakfast, just the two of us. I have never eaten a meal in front of her or been face to face with her for over thirty minutes. I am nervous, to say the least. I wonder how she is feeling, from the outside she is poised and laughing comfortably. I try to do the same. The waitress approaches us and recognizes a gift on the table.

“Are we celebrating something?” The waitress asks.

“Yes, it’s her birthday,” I reply.

“Happy Birthday!” She says looking at my daughter.

“Are you mom?” As she turns in my direction.

I pause.

Hesitate.

Silence.

Am I her mom? I ask myself.

“I’m her birth mother and this is the first time we have had breakfast together,” I reply with a smile.

After the waitress’s glee reply, she walks off and I feel flustered and awkward. I shove my face with another piece of bacon and sip my coffee again while she opens her present. It took one second and one question to haul me back to reality and where we were actually sitting. The true story is, I don’t know how to answer that question, not when she is sitting across from me. I am her mother, but she has a mother who raised her. I am also her birth mother. The titles, the words, when it comes down to it, they don’t matter. I love her all the same, as her mother, and as her birth mother.

Once I relaxed and let go, the conversation went smooth. We laughed, talked about school, friends, and how excited we were to see each other. Then I told her I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to answer the waitress and I apologized. She acknowledged how it can be difficult to answer questions like that, smiled, and moved on. Sitting across from her for over an hour, watching her mannerisms, hearing about what she adores and who she adores, getting a small peek into her life through her eyes was pure bliss.

I will forever be grateful for this moment that we were given to get to know one another better. To her parents, thank you for raising such an amazing young lady!

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