Thursday, February 21, 2008


It is nearly March, which means that Mother’s Day is just over two months away. It’s at the forefront of my mind as last year the holiday passed without so much as a gift, bouquet, or a “Happy Mother’s Day” directed at me. I merely request a modicum of acknowledgement for what I do, day in and day out. No, I don’t earn a steady paycheck or hold a “job” recognized by the U.S. government, but, as women in similar situations will concur, my job is never-ending.

There are good days and bad. Each morning I bitterly watch as the father of our son heads off to work (no, he didn’t feel obligated to ask for my hand in marriage after Jasper was brought into the world) in a safe, bright, and clean office environment where he interacts with other functioning humans. I bid him farewell, and he is blithely ignorant of the trials and tribulations I must toil through in order to make it to sunset. First, I clean up the clumps of waste our son produced during the night (his father will not allow him to slumber in the family bed). Next, I give him sustenance, which I hand-select solely for his pleasure every three days at the local market. He scarfs it down with abandon and then, if I’m lucky, he’ll retire to the ottoman or the back of the sofa (rebellious, he does not deign to sit beside or on top of me) where he dozes. Some days I’m not so lucky. Churning with an inexplicable rage, as he is wont, he’ll spend minutes on end crashing into furniture and performing diabolical experiments which entail repeatedly knocking the same item (e.g., a bottle of perfume) from a high precipice (e.g., the bureau) after I replace it, ad infinitum. An unrepentant iconoclast, he is driven to tear to bits whichever book I am reading at the moment, in defiance of the written word.

The one thing we share is our confinement. Together we gaze out upon the world through glass windows dimly. His mind is a mystery to me. I wonder, “Will he ever hold a job—be able to support himself?” I know the future looks grim. My only hope is that my sacrifice will not go unnoticed this year, and that I will receive the accolades I so deserve.

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