I just finished a book where the main character was adopted. The MC (main char) ends up meeting her "real" mother (who is a supernatural being - you know me and my books :) and finally feels the "pure" love from a mother, her mother. Okay, really? But, it didn't bother me all that much. The line about the "pure" love did get to me, but it was obvious that the writer was using adoption as a construct in the story, and the adoptive parents (always referred to as such) were portrayed in a very positive manner (thank goodness). But, it did get me thinking about our families and what our children will imagine about their birth families as they grow older.
In this book, the MC was a supernatural being herself, so she never felt completely at home with her adoptive family. Okay, fine. But, really - even when I was young I used to imagine that I was magic and my faery family would come find me one day. This isn't because I didn't love my family, or didn't feel at home. It was because I had a huge imagination. Oh, and pointy ears.
But, I knew it was imagining. Our children will have a whole different perspective - especially with the media reinforcing the idea that their "real" family might be magic (or famous, or rich, or whatever), after all. It's an old writing construct that is obviously alive and well today. I know I'll have to be aware of these kinds of stories as my kids grow up. Not because I will stray away from them, but so that we can talk about them openly - perhaps start a dialogue. (Any stories you all know of that I should be aware of? I'd love to hear them.)
Why am I thinking about all of this? Micah has a HUGE imagination. I know this. I can see it and I love it. I love watching him play and turn a baseball hat into a "football helmet" or "Spiderman mask." (His real mask is sadly missing.) I also love fostering his imagination and talking about magic (I'm still waiting for my Hogwarts letter, thank you), and superheros, and toys coming to life (in a good way, mind you - no Chuckie stories :).
One of his favorite subjects is Santa Claus. He is obsessed with Santa. Yesterday we had a long discussion about what color Santa is. I told him that I think he can be any color he wants to be. That he represents all the people of the world because he loves all the children of the world. I said Santa might be a mixture of all the people - maybe his skin is brown? We talked about how some skin is very dark, and some very light. I was loving having the conversation and Micah was totally into it. Then he got quiet and looked very thoughtful and said, "Mom? Why Santa not blue? Why no people blue?" Ummm..... *stumped* I love this kid.