In case I’ve neglected to mention recently, I’m a huge musical geek. Although I will readily admit I am no songstress, nothing can stop me from belting out every last note from the classics (Sound Of Music, West Side Story) to the cheesy (Grease, Oklahoma) and everything in between. My teenage son learned many years ago that my turning on a musical meant for him : “2 hours to do whatever I want!”. After a typical afternoon of dusting and cleaning to 42nd Street, I would find him in the yard with the neighbor boys smiling innocently.
But the Broadway Faeries have seen fit to bless me with two little girls…. two young souls to introduce to the magical world of spontaneous, exuberant song to explain otherwise insignificant events or emotions! Annie seemed a natural choice for a first go around; and there’s a fabulous version featuring Carol Burnett and Tim Curry.
After the movie, Holly and Nola asked about one of Carol Burnett’s lines: “Why any kid would want to be an orphan is beyond me”. So I tried to briefly, and age-appropriately, explain it was meant as a joke and what an orphan was. Yes, this is the exact moment I started to second guess my choice of musical.
To my surprise, Holly asked why I haven’t formally adopted them. Again, something I should have anticipated. Nola has started to express she does not like being called my “step” daughter; one afternoon requested of me to “stop using that word”. Over the last couple years, contact with birth-mom has been minimal and only by phone. Though she has no custodial claim, she has not given up her parental rights. I tried to answer simply that I hope to but as things stand right now it’s just not legally possible.
It pained me to think it, much less say it out loud. As I fought back tears, Nola answered “That’s OK…. we’ll adopt you“.