Your spouse isn’t your flesh and blood but you come to feel strongly about caring for that person, and so when you adopt a kid, you’re committing to caring for that person. That “committing to care” is how it came to me last evening as I thought this. Maybe I thought in those terms because of how I’ve committed to care for M, which commitment has required more actual care (rather than merely theoretical duty of care) of late. Mom admired my patience with M, and M last night said I was “a saint.” “Could I be St. Jude?” I asked. Saint Sweetie, she said. And I’ve been OK, though I feel a tad guilty when she says this. I was quite solicitous early on, in June, but the last few weeks, I haven’t quite doted on her every minute. I’ve had to distance myself figuratively from her concerns—though in my nervous state, certain … [things] would get to me—and so I’ve also distanced myself physically from her—like being gone 4 to 7 p.m. yesterday (Supervalu [store] after Mom’s).
[From journal written Sunday, 15 July 2007, Journal 87, page 143]