It came out of the blue, I was just doing life when it hit me. A memory from days gone by. It crept into my consciousness occasionally but this time it was a force to be reckoned with. It was a day I shoved deep down into my soul, always hidden, never to see the light of day.
My mom who had given birth to me as a single woman, had a fling with my father who was not interested in anything serious. It was the 60’s and “nobody got time for that.” She and I lived with my great-grandparents along with a cousin who was raising her son as a single parent also. In my opinion life was good, really good. My mom went to work everyday and I stayed home with my great-grandparents. They doted on me some fierce, and I loved every moment I had with them. My great grandfather showed me on the analog clock that sat in the TV how to tell time. I knew that when the long line was on the 12 and the short line was on the 3 my mom would be home. I sat there everyday waiting and apparently it never failed. She was always there at 3:00pm. Until one day in particular, she came home at the regular scheduled time but this time there was one obvious change in her plan that day. She took a bath, she worked at a lumber factory, and got drenched in sawdust. She got dressed in a cute outfit and headed out the door again. Hmmmm, I thought where is she going? As she got back into her car I realized something was horrible wrong, I wasn’t going with her. She backed up the car and I screamed for dear life for her to come back. I ran out into the street and followed behind the car screaming and bawling my eyes out. I couldn’t believe what was happening, it seemed like a terrible nightmare that I could not escape. My great-grandparents called me back to the house, I’m sure they were fearful that I would be hit by a car. I don’t remember much else about that day. I’m sure my mom returned eventually but of no concern to me, it was the day that I died. Not not physically of course but nevertheless, I was dead and she was dead to me. Have you ever considered how your child feels when you are not there. Not just one day in particular but everyday. When you say goodbye at the daycare are you aware of what’s going on in that little head? Are you dead to them? I feel the pain of those little children. They look perfectly normal on the outside but when I hear a two year old say “By Mommy” non-chalantly without a hug or a kiss or even a glance over the shoulder, I know that mommy is dead to that child too. The older a child gets it’s even more evident that the relationship is marred. “Mommy don’t walk me to my classroom I want to do it by myself.” Parents believe their child is growing up and becoming independent, but think again. She/he is five years old and is already tired of looking at you. I saw a video on YouTube about Japanese children travel to school alone on the train several miles from home because their parents have to go to work. Well, I’m sorry, this isn’t Japan. We have to teach our children “stranger danger” concepts. Let’s wrap our heads around this concept our children are our responsibility. I know I sound like an old record but who’s raising your children. You, the school, the streets, your parents, their friends, the TV, the video game (I have a soapbox for that too). The ones that brought them into this crazy mixed up world should have this a a top priority. In the scope of things the time that they spend at home with you is very brief in comparison to their journey as adults. Let’s make the time we have with them count.
Have you been disrupted?