Everything he wanted went into one large duffle bag, except for the two baseball hats he wore so they wouldn’t get bent.
“What’s it like to move out mom?”
“It’s really hard” is all I manage. To say more would have me crying as I picked up his McDonald’s meal and gift card.
I don’t manage this for long and soon enough I’m bawling in front of the man who will be housing my son, his duffle bag, two hats and his McDonald’s gift card. Later tears pour down behind my sunglasses as I walk my dog round and round the dog park.
He was so quiet. So mild mannered. It made it more difficult. I told him I didn’t want this, but this is what we have now, a void in my home where my son used to be.
When I was 16 my mom told me one Monday that I would not be allowed to live with them anymore and I would be moving up north to live with my father. Five days later I was on a plane to a completely different home and life. I didn’t hear anything from my mother for over six months. It was not the first, and certainly not the last time she cut me off, or decided she didn’t love me. It shouldn’t have been as big as a surprise as it was, but that first major rejection was a shock. For months things had been getting worse with my step-father. One bad day things were bad. I tried to run out the front door and he had caught me by the hair and hauled me back in. Then he really lost his temper. My mom stood in the doorway holding my little brother’s hand watching. Afterwards when I was crying in my room she came and told me I was to come downstairs and tell my step-father that I loved him because he was so upset. Something shifted then, and I realized my mother would stand with her husband no matter what happened. This has been the case for over 30years now. Mothers are suppose to defend and protect their children, mine protected her husband. That was the most physically violent episode, but certainly not the last. Names I can’t repeat, taunts, slaps, fistfuls of hair and every time I deserved it. I simply would not play the part they wanted me to and eventually she wanted me gone, and she kicked me out.
It doesn’t matter that I am not my mother, or that the circumstances are utterly and completely different, I have done to my child the single most painful thing that I have ever experienced, and that is not going to be okay. I did it with compassion, my son knows how much I love him, but at the end of the day I sent my own child away, and that will never be okay.