For Christmas, my Dad bought me a giant stack of books from my Amazon.com wish list.
I uploaded the books on the list more than two years ago and then forgot all about them.
Each book I opened surprised me and I thought,
"What the heck is this?!"
I started reading one about conjoined twins, two sisters connected at the head.
In the story, they are abandoned by their birth mother and adopted by their nurse.
I put the book down to get ready for bed and found myself thinking about adoption.
Before I was a parent, I used to wonder more about whether or not it would be possible to love an adopted child as much as a child that I conceived.
I assumed that adoptive parents grew to love adopted children equally, but, if I am honest, I confess to having some doubt about whether or not this would be true for me.
Now that I am a parent I feel differently.
After all, I find that I'm the type prone to parent them all anyway.
"Hey, you! Yes. YOU. No kicking... and keep your hands to yourself!"
I now think that if I were handed a child and told that he or she was my responsibility going forward, I would likely love them as much as my own.
There's something about the simple act of parenting that involves or maybe even requires loving fiercely.
Maybe it's the protective instinct that kicks in when we understand ourselves as responsible for another person.
It is my responsibility to keep you safe. I am responsible for you. I will try to protect you.
[My teeth were getting a better than usual scrubbing.]
I went on to ponder what the world would be like if we all felt that way about each other.
I don't mean a world in which we all parented each other.
But one where we all felt responsible for each other.
Connected or obligated... or something.