Saturday, May 18, 2013

Fairy godmother

I moved to Portland when I was 27. My entire family lived on the east coast—my mom's family in Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire, and my dad's family in New York and New Jersey. I don't think I truly understood what it meant to move so far away, but my mother did. I remember her telling me that moves at about that age tend to be permanent, and that while she was supportive of my choice (which was very cool of her, given that the choice was not actually a good one, even though I went on to build a wonderful life there) she was incredibly sad that I was moving so far away.

Over the years she and my father came to love my Portland friends. They came out to visit as often as they could, and after my father died, my mother came on her own. At some point, she decided that she was too far away, and that I needed a mother in Portland, so she appointed my BFF, Rupert, to be my mother. They would talk for hours on the phone without me, and truly adored each other.

Jump forward many years. (Not sure how many. Not sure when Rupe became my "other mother." I went for a run in the park, and talked with Rupert the whole way. ("You sound like you're out of breath.") (Dude, I'm running and talking at the same time! Give me some props for that!) And when I got back, I was finishing up my talk on the phone while stretching on the front porch, and James came outside. I grabbed the chance and put the two of them on the phone together. They had a short talk, but I could tell from overhearing James' side that Rupert was being Rupert, which means that he was connecting like only he can, and which gave me a huge sense of comfort, hope, excitement, and joy.

When they got off, Rupe and I wrapped up our talk. But before we got off, I said to him, "So, are you his grandfather?" Rupe asked for clarification. "If you're my mother, and he's my son, then you're his grandfather." And without missing a beat, Rupert said, "No honey. I'm his fairy godmother, and he's my fairy godson."


BTW,  if Rupert is my mother, and Scott is his partner, then Scott is my father, but Scott and I are born on the same day and year, making us birthday twins, and so as the old yarn goes, my brother is my father. Relationships are sooooo complicated.

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