Conversations With My Son: Anatomy of a Birthmother

conversations with my son - birthmom anatomy


Daddy  •  Jon  •  Daddy’s Internal Narration

“Hey buddy, come show me your button guy you made at school.”

Jon runs into the kitchen and squats down beside Button “Guy,” who is magnet-ed to the fridge. He starts pointing to buttons, starting with two (a dark red and a blue) clumped in the middle…

“This is me, inside Birthmom’s tummy.” [ 1 ] “This is a piece of chicken she ate.” [ 2 ] “I can see it because I’m in her tummy looking at it,” he adds, proudly. They’ve obviously just covered biology in preschool.

“What about these over here?”

“These are her heart.” [ 3 ]


“This is her lung.” [ 4 ]


Points to cluster of buttons below the chicken, “And THESE are her CAST.” [ 5 ]

“Her cast?”

“Because she got a boo-boo there.” She had surgery prior to our recent visit, and showed Jon the scar on her tummy. “And they are cutting open her belly to see that… They’re getting me out.” That was not the surgery.

I move things along… “What’s that on her legs?”

“Those things on her pants?”

Pauses to think. He’s clearly making shit up now.

“That is a rocket ship. And that is a moon. And that is a space man. And that is outer space. And that is more outer space.” [ 6 ]

Another pause. More thinking. “…the rest is outer space.”

“So she has on some outer space pajamas?”

“Oh no, this is just her clothes. She has outer space clothes.” Fair enough.

I move on to the head. “What’s that? Is that her face?”

“No silly, this is her face!” Points to the pencil drawings that are clearly her face. Silly me. “She hurt her eye. She BONKED it! It really hurt. BLOOD WAS COMING OUT!!” [ 7 ]

Oh my.

By this point, I was rather curious as to what the assignment was. “What did the other kids make?”

“I don’t know.”

“Do you know what Channing made?”


“No, I was asking you.”

Pauses, confused. Loses interest.

“Can I have pretzels for dessert?”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I asked my son’s teacher the next day what the assignment was. Not out of any concern, but in an attempt to get some insight into the workings of my nearly 5-year-old’s brain. Alas, they were only told to decorate Button Guy. And practice using glue (a recent addition to his crafting arsenal — and a work-in-progress).

In talking further with the teacher, this birthmother anatomy diagram might have been inspired by the recent arrival of his pal Channing’s little sister. Or it might have been what he ate for lunch. Or something he made up on the spot to placate his inquisitive Dad. Regardless, the boy’s mind is unquestionably always on and ready to go.

How did I get so lucky to be along for the ride?

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