The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


NOT a Parental Win-Win Situation

I’m not proud about the Saturday night I drove my six-year old son to the San Rafael Bus Terminal and dropped him off saying, “Find a new mother.”

God knows why he pissed me off to the point that I put him in the old burgundy Corolla and drove north fifteen minutes to give him away.

I remember the dark night decades ago, my rage pounding through my foot to the gas pedal, pulling the car past the western shadows of Mt. Tam and feeling out of my mind, unable to call Brian’s natural father who never saw him and would never be there, hadn’t been there since I left him when Brian was six-months old.

Out of the corner of my eye, Brian looked straight into the darkness ahead, rolling in the only car his brain called into memory, listening to me scream about how, “I can’t take it anymore!”

Dark night.

Silent son.

Raging mother.

Lonesome inside the loss of my freedom. Lonesome without a father to share the painful confrontations between a son and his single parent mother when the boy only wanted his way -- only wanted to talk back, not pick up, yell or whatever he did to drive me toward my desire to be rid of him.

As he sat there, I needed to follow through. I screamed -- he needed a new home, a new start, the whole new family.

What was he supposed to do?

I’m not proud that I pulled the car up to the bus stop kiosk and commanded him to, “Get out!” He did, and stood there facing the car. I pulled away from the curb and made a right turn, instantly remorseful, I’d gone too far. In the rear-view mirror I saw him. He stood there; I made another right, panicked that I could no longer see him. Another right turn convinced me he’d been picked up by some perpetrator and taken to East Hollywood as a sex slave. Third right turn and I knew he was dead. Far beyond fear, I operated from adrenaline’s primordial “Where’s my child?” angst.

By the time I pulled up in front of the kiosk again, Brian hadn’t moved anything except his head. He stood rooted from the spot I made him stand. Less than ninety seconds and a thousand years passed since I last saw him. I stopped the car in front of him. “Get in.” He didn’t say a word. Silent from the gigantic abandon I pitted against us both, I drove back home.

When did I become so rigid as to flip into desertion, frustrated incomprehensible confusion at my own controlling issues about what I wanted from my only son, my light and my future?

Brian forgave me for my human frailty and grew up to be a solid American citizen. The crisis only lasted about an hour in real time, but survives an eternity as deep knowing that my parenting skills weren’t top-notch.

Small comfort in forgiving myself decades later.

By Pru Starr


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This is such a powerful piece - don't we all have these moments that we are less than proud of? Bravo to you for having the courage to write about it.
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