The Daughter of Zeus

Goddess (comics)

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Reading Rick Riordan‘s new Olympian heroes series to Dee has only increased her polytheistic leanings. As we stood at the bus stop this morning reveling in plus 1 temps and a pleasant semi-Chinook wind, she wondered if perhaps the wind gods were angry and the blowing was a sign of their displeasure.

She has a habit of mulling before giving her growing philosophy voice. Perhaps I should have seen this coming, but it was still quite a surprise when she asked,

“Do you ever think you are a god, Mom?”

I frowned. Surely, a goddess would live a much fancier and risk-free existence than I was my first thought but instead I asked,

“Wouldn’t I have super powers? Or be able to work magic if I was?”

“Not if your godly parents were hiding you for some reason,” she replied, smiling that pleased way she has when she’s puzzled something out and come up with – to her mind – the best explanation.

“Well,” I said, sitting down on her bed to level our eye contact, “I don’t think so.”

“You were adopted, Mom,” she explained patiently, “right? And maybe Zeus and Hera gave you to Grandma to keep you safe.”

“You think I am the daughter of the king and queen of heaven?”

“Oh, yes,” more pleased beaming.

“And does that make you a demigod?” I asked.

Dee longs to be a demigod. If she could choose her godly parent, it would be Hestia but as that means giving up me – and getting around the pesky fact that Hestia was a virgin goddess.

“Oh no, you had me with a mortal person,” she said. “So I am just mortal.”

“Okay,” I said, “but I don’t think that I am a child of a god. I can’t do anything special. No magic.”

She shrugged with her little secret smile that says “I know better than you” and replied, “You never know, Mom.”

Indeed.

From there the conversation rounded back to reincarnation. She simply can’t understand why demigods don’t choose to come back as “part of nature” like the satyrs and the dryads do.

“It’s good to came back as a tree or bush,” she argued, “because it’s part of nature.”

Rather enlightened for eight because most people hanker to come back and give mortal existence and a chance for the brass ring another go rather than simply contribute to the scenery.

Being a daughter of Zeus would mean dealing with a great many inherited personality flaws. The power to do anything positive would be lost in the struggle, I fear.

More interesting to me is Dee’s not quite voiced curiosity about my origins. Understandable. I am curious myself though not enough to undertake any quest for knowledge. I am still firmly anchored in my belief that my birth parents would not view my presence positively and that more younger siblings  (as there undoubtedly would be some) would add nothing good to my life.

When I was about her age, I spent a period quizzing my mother about my birth parents – my birth mom in particular. I wish I could recall everything Mom told me because she and dad were given quite a bit of information about them. Dad burned all the papers and Mom’s recall was incomplete.

Dad knew a lot. Occasionally he would let things slip but for the most part, he refused to part with details. He didn’t want us going off looking for our birth parents and he wanted our “histories” to be his history, a goal he largely succeeded in as I consider his family history to be mine.

But, it’s a bit annoying knowing that he had answers and chose not to share them because he felt insecure about his place in our lives.

There is a discussion in the blogosphere right now about adoption as the solution to abortion. Which is idiotic. Pregnant teens and young women have two choices realistically – keeping their babies or aborting – usually before ten weeks. Those ultrasound photos of babies at 16 or 20 weeks are so disingenuous when abortions are nearly always done before a “baby” emerges from the clumps of dividing cells.

Anyway, the debate centers on the awesomeness of being adopted. It’s a “win-win”.

It’s neither.

It’s a trade-off like most things in life are. There is nothing awesome about being adopted. It’s wonderful, I guess, but mostly, it’s been something to deal with in one way or other all my life. It’s neither a good nor bad thing. It just is. I can compare it to nothing as I know nothing else.

I don’t know what to think about Dee’s spin on my lack of biological heritage to pass on. Another thing to deal with that, hopefully, as she gets older she will lose interest in.

If I were the child of a god, however, I would choose Hestia too. She was the only one guarding the home fires when the war came knocking after all and who wouldn’t want a mother who puts family ties above all? Though, ironically, I had that in my dad and cannot say the same about my birth parents, whose obligations to me stopped at the relinquishment – that awesome thing they did.

Overwhelms the senses, but in the end it’s not silence but unanswered questions.

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