Filed under: non-bio mom, visitation | Tags: my little guy, The Lost Moms, The Wrong Side of Public Policy
Let me tell you about last Memorial Day. It was the last day where I really was allowed time with my Little Guy. After that day, in fact, within a week, she cut me down to one afternoon a week, always under her watchful eye. But that day it was him and my dad (pampa) and me.
We went up to my mother’s grave, just west of Ogden. A small, intimate place were 100 years ago Swedish farmers laid their kin to rest. It’s not far from the house my father was born in to immigrant parents. It’s small, no more plots are sold, and my clan is there: my grandma, her two husbands (both of whom she outlived), my aunts and uncles, my oldest brother, and my mother.
The Little Guy enjoyed putting flags on her grave, memorializing her service in the WAVES during WWII. We placed flowers. My dad showed us where his best friend lays, he died during the war when he was 18 years old. Then we went to dinner and then home.
On the way home, my dad made the mistake of telling the little guy to straighten up. It was cute and cheeky, the way my dad said it, saying his name from the front seat and telling him to “straighten up.” Then, we heard his little two year old voice say, “Pampa, straighten up.” We snickered (always a bad idea), it was so cute. Then we heard variations of “Pampa straighten up” and “mama straighten up.” A slight break and then again with the demands from the car seat to straighten up. A quick look in the rear view mirror showed a boy so pleased with himself. I laughed each time. I was so happy that day.
We ate at my dad’s favorite buffet (hey he’s a senior, he likes the buffets). And the little guy watched for both of us, making sure when one was absent from the table (getting seconds) that they came back soon and the threesome was restored. From across the restaurant, the little guy in the high chair, he’d yell “Pampa Come!,” a demand he often levied when he wanted his entourage with him. Or he’d say, “Mama Come.” And when we were all three sitting at the table again, all was well in the world.
On the way home, just past the Lagoon exit, the little guy said, “I want go Gena’s house.” He still interchanged the names mama and gena at this point. I don’t know how she did it, but one day he called me what he always called me, Mama, and the next day he called me Gena.
I told him, “No hon, I’m taking you back to your house, I’m taking you to your home.” And then my heart broke, in shards that have not yet come back together. “I don’t want go my house. Want go Gena’s house. Want sleep Gena’s bed.” I explained again that we couldn’t do that before changing the subject.
A sweet woman I know, who has also lost a child through the legal system, wrote me an email. In discussing the still pending decision by the judge over the legitimacy of the co-parenting contract I signed with the little guy’s mom, she said, “I have a hard time believing that the judge would take you away from him again.” Those words, those simple words meant something to me. I keep thinking about the little guy being taking away from me, but also I am being taken away from him. It reminded me about why I do what I do.
I never want him to think I gave him up voluntarily. I never abandoned him. I loved him and I love him still.
But still we, he and I, wait. We wait to see what our citizenship in this great country means. We wait to see if laws can expand fast enough to prevent real suffering. We wait.
It’s strange to live in both the present and the future. I know that one day this will be a non-issue. People will wonder how we could be cruel, so barbaric to rip a child from their mama. We will look at the reasons that the people doing it gave and see them as archaic and tragic. That will happen, for that I am sure. 20 years, 30 years, maybe 50 years. Yet right now, I’m not sure that our societies expanding values and notions of decency will happen fast enough to help me. My future is still within the scope of the narrow views that embody public policy and cultural warfare.
I am happy for those families of the future who will not have this happen to them. I’m sorry for the families of the past who have experienced such harm and heartache. And I am not sure about how my situation will be resolved. Am I too early for the justice? Or will my citizenship come in?
I’ll end this the way I always want to end these posts. I’ll tell you why I do this, why I pay a lawyer, why I write this blog, why I wait for a judge to determine our fate. I do this because I love him. I do this because he deserves to know someday how hard I fought for him. I do this because it’s all I can do. I love him and I always will.
6 Comments so far
Leave a comment