I’m sitting here at 11 p.m. the night before Mother’s Day. Anthony, age 11, is here with me. He’s sleeping on the couch tonight so we’re talking. I asked him what he thinks about on Mother’s Day in regards to his birth family. As he spoke, I typed word for word (my kids are used to me multi-tasking) This is what he had to say:
I think of my birth mom on Mother’s Day. My birth mom had a really hard life. She not only had her kids taken away but she had one die. And I know it’s her bad judgment but it’s still hard.
My birth mom, she probably misses us a lot. One thing I think she really did wrong is that she stayed with my birth dad. She had a chance to get us back by leaving him, but she didn’t go. I don’t know why. I’ve actually wondered that a lot since I was taken. I’ve wondered how she feels about that decision. I mean, she picked one person instead of six kids. I kind of have a hole in me, thinking my mom doesn’t even love me enough to keep me.
I know it’s her issue…but it’s my sadness.
My mom wears glasses, I think. She keeps her hair back and it’s not as soft as most peoples. I don’t remember what she looks like. She likes horror movies, I know that. And she didn’t usually do much around us. She helped my dad cook and she watched movies. I didn’t really know her that much. Other than sticking me to a t.v. and feeding me, she didn’t do much and I didn’t really know her any other ways.
I didn’t know my relatives. I never went on a vacation. I’d never been off of the Peninsula before. I didn’t pay attention much to where I was. I didn’t care. We moved a lot. I liked being around my sisters. Whenever I was actually really happy and having fun, I was with my sisters.
My dad wasn’t there when we were taken. They expected him to be there. There were armed men outside. Not like military, but maybe policemen. The one policeman that was closest to the door had his hand on his gun. That’s when I ran to my mom. The doorbell rung and my mom started screaming, “Don’t take them, don’t take them.” That’s all I remember about that. My older sister wasn’t there cause my dad was taking her to the hospital because of when he hurt her face. The thing that gets me is that I never wondered why she was gone. She was usually home.
I was in a guy’s car. I think he worked for the police but he didn’t have a police car. He had one of those magnet things like a police siren. One of those red flashing ones. I messed with his handcuffs.
We had a one room house with a bathroom. That’s all. We slept on mattresses on sleeping bags all in the same room. I never had my own bed before until I came here. We used to have a bigger house but I don’t know why we left that one. I don’t even know where it was. We didn’t stay there very long. I was small then, maybe four. After that we moved into a house where the floor was rotting so you’d have to be careful where you stepped or you would fall through. Even when you couldn’t see the rot, my sister would fall right through the floor. We had lots of land there, maybe half an acre. After that we moved to Homer and we lived in that little one room house. It was fun there because I had an uncle there, and nothing was wrong with him except he got drunk a lot. I had an aunt there too. I don’t think there was anything wrong with her like everyone else. She was good.
I wonder how my sisters feel on my birthday. Maybe they don’t know my birthday. I don’t know theirs. I used to know every body’s birthday except my dads. We didn’t really celebrate. We were just happier on that day and treated that person really good. My dad gave extra licorice.
My dad was sometimes a nice guy. Sometimes you didn’t want to be around him at all. I’m going to talk about when he was being nice. He always promised to me that if I ate half my vegetables, I could have a piece of licorice. But usually we ate on a cardboard box, so I just put the vegetables inside the cardboard box. He never found out. He kept alternating jobs. The longest I think he ever held one of his jobs was maybe three months. He had a good job. He worked in a cubicle in business with some other guys, so I considered that good. He never came home with rash reports, he never came home angry from that job. It must have been good. I guess he was fired.
I never really got hit much by my dad at all. I don’t know why, but he usually took it all out on my sisters. He once hit her for chopping onions wrong. That really annoyed me. He took my breath once when he hit me and my sister blew air into my mouth. I told you about that before.
Mom? Want to hear the poem I wrote for you for Mother’s Day? (gets out his Nook where he keeps notes he writes…)
Mothers day is a day to do all the work
While she lays back with a smirk
You give her cookies and make her cake
That way she doesn’t have to bake
She watches us work a part
While she eats her cinnamon pop tart
This day is for you mom,
I love you with all my heart.