My husband and I waited all day for the arrival of our imaginary grandchild. It’s a boy. His name is Jackson. He’s quite real. What’s imaginary is the idea that we are his grandparents. Jackson was already nine months old and we had yet to meet him. That’s because our surrogate child lives in Northern California and we haven’t been up there since the birth, and she hasn’t been here. A brief explanation of Jackson’s mom, Tory. When my daughter Augie started second grade, I spotted this tiny, adorable student in her class. She looked dazed and confused, kind of lost. I asked Augie about her and she told me that Tory was new at school. I said, “Let’s bring her home.” So, we did. And she stayed, occasionally for months at a time. The chaos in her own home made it appear that our family was functional. Everything’s relative. Secretly, I liked that she thought we were “normal.” We got so much more out of the deal. Tory was a real find.
Now, many years later, I texted Tory, though I was concerned she was on the road and might glance at her phone while driving. But it’s Tory, more adult than any of us, even at thirteen. She had to be. I get texted right back. Oh, did you think it was today I was coming down? It’s tomorrow, and then I have to leave the following day. I walked into my husband’s home office. “I got the day wrong. There’s a movie in Santa Monica, want to see it?” (more…)