Mother’s Day.

Mothers, motherhood, would-be mothers, want-to-be mothers, reluctant mothers, resentful mothers, clueless mothers, helicopter mothers, abusive mothers, birth mothers, adoptive mothers, motherland, motherboard, motherlode, motherfuckers.

It’s nine days before Mother’s Day. Just the word mother has me wrapped up tighter than a spring.

I have no clue what to get my mother. Not that I actually have one. No one to fret over what to get for birthing me, raising me to be the fine upstanding citizen I am, for holding me tight when I was scared, or my hair back when I was sick, or reassuring me when all the kids made fun of me for not having a family.

“Who doesn’t have a family?” I’ve heard more than once.

“You must have been a terrible baby for no one to want you,” others would say.

My favorite one, though, was always, “You were a mistake, given away like trash.”

I wasn’t thrown out, not in the literal sense. At least that’s what I learned when I was twelve and tracked down the social worker who originally got me into the system.

I was only hours old when a man dressed in an Obi-Wan Kenobi outfit waltzed into an emergent care facility, one of those Safe-Haven drop-off points, and handed me over to the desk girl. He said something cheeky to her, supposedly about her facial piercings complementing her aura, brushed the top of my head, imparting what any Jedi Knight would say as he left a Padawan behind, “May the force always be with you.”

I couldn’t make this shit up! This is the story I got not just from the social worker but eventually from the desk girl herself, who had moved on to become a stay-at-home mom who homeschooled her kids after meeting her husband at that same facility. When I met her, she still had her nose pierced, but nothing how I had pictured her after hearing the initial version of the story.

After my safe deposit, I was examined and cooed over by all the staff doctors and nurses and immediately turned over to a foster family who kept me for the first year. Once I began to walk and talk, that mom apparently passed me off to another, and it seemed that at each major milestone, I was passed along until, at the ripe age of 16, I won emancipation for myself.

I am gifted with technical know-how and have a keen eye for design, so I scored a job at a local printer’s shop, doing graphic design and managing the computer network every day after school and on the weekends. I stayed at a local shelter for homeless teens, saving my money for a car and some clothes that weren’t purchased at a thrift store. When I graduated, I was fortunate enough to earn a scholarship at a state university.

Now, here I sit, the owner of a small ad agency for online entrepreneurs, earning a very comfortable living, fantasizing what to get the mother I never knew and who will never know me.

I say that with conviction. I’m not angry. Quite the contrary. I can’t imagine the desperation and fear that it would take to drop your baby off at some random facility, trusting that the kid will make their way in the world and not become a fucking psychopath. I have compassion for this woman. Compassion and understanding. For one, if I were impregnated by a person who liked to walk around in full-on Obi-Wan gear, I’d think twice about what kind of environment my kid would grow up in, too. For another, it takes self-awareness to know you don’t have the capacity to be a parent. It’s one thing to go through a pregnancy and grow the child inside of you. Quite another altogether, to stick around for at least 18 years and again, try to make sure the kid doesn’t turn out to be a mass murderer.

Which is why, as I glance out at the lobby’s TV screen to catch a few moments of Ina Gartner preparing some lovely Italian feast, I know I will never become a mother myself. I might have the capacity to stick around for 18 or even 25 years, but I don’t know the first thing about nurturing or love. Emotions and attachments are just not my thing. Sex is something I enjoy immensely, but not any part of a mating ritual.

And so, another year passes. I push away thoughts of longing and abandonment while everyone around me stresses about what special thing to do for their mother.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mother.

Copyrighted K.T. George © 2018   ∇   No reproduction without authority