That favorite quote of mine was uttered while a ghost was pumping the heroin out of the veins of a neglectful, horrible woman. Sure, in the movies she turns things around – tries to start again and do right by her daughter. Here in the real world the only thing that happens is an innocent, naive child comes to believe any word that comes out of that woman’s mouth even as she continues to neglect, ignore and take opportunity and family away from her.
That poor girl doesn’t know any different, you see. She’s been taken care of by her grandparents almost her whole life, save for the times when “mom” had a “man” and attempted to be a who knows what. Oh but she managed to fuck that one up, too. (Now she has 4 kids that she can ignore). She prefers to take the money and run – living from house to house on a waiting list, no doubt, to get into the next public housing community that will take her. No responsibility – no strings.
Meanwhile, Dad’s doing better for himself. He’s working hard, making sure the money that she never spends on her daughter is in her pocket month after month and honestly, truly WANTS to spend time with this amazing little girl. After a whole summer she starts to see opportunity. You want to play soccer? Absolutely, here’s how much it costs and when the season runs – no problem. But we can’t sign you up because we can’t spend two-hours round trip on any given day trying to get you to practice or a game (we have 3 kids in total and actually have to work full time). Can “mom” or someone help? Of course not! They can’t drive!! Dance classes – unfortunately the same deal.
This little girl saw the school she would have the chance to attend – an A+ to her C/C- school today (where I’m sure there’s at least 2 eighth grade girls each year who are pregnant). What was one of the best things about it? “Has a library” she put on her list. “You mean your school doesn’t have a library?” Doesn’t have a playground, either, just a big parking lot.
So as Dad tries to reach “mom” at the end of the summer to see if maybe, just maybe, she may for once see the opportunity for their daughter and stop thinking about herself – she ignores his calls.
“I LOVE this school!” the girl says. Well, maybe “mommy” will listen to you talk about it then.
She immediately calls her daughter (the only thing she’s done right all summer – cause let’s not leave out when she forgot to get her ears pierced for her birthday like she had been talking about for 4 months). And the poor girl can’t even tell her about all the awesome things she loves about the school.
“Not gonna happen. We already paid for you to go to the other school.” meaning, “I know what your dad is trying to do and there’s no way he’s taking my babe away from me.” –note: that does say “babe” to be read “baby” because that’s how “mom” thinks it’s spelled.–
Paid what? The $50 application fee? Going towards the $250 material fee for the year. $250 paid to go to a third rate school. One month’s worth of child support.
And the little girl just says okay and moves on. Because it’s her “mom” after all.
Out of hatred, pride (over what, who knows), simple selfishness or whatever else you want to make up she takes away an opportunity for her daughter to be with a family everyday where she has her cat, a dog, her brothers and two parents who love her. No opportunity to belong, be athletic, explore or read (because I know a book doesn’t exist in those houses).
She will, however, have a great opportunity to get lice again here shortly – for the third time. Maybe she’ll even visit with her “mom” a couple more times before Christmas.
And I wish she would see this. Finally understand how we really feel. Oops – I forgot. She probably won’t be able to read it.