Simeon had visitation today. Because his birthday is very soon, they moved it up a week and had it at one of those loud, blinking, bad pizza, singing robots kind of restaurants. I don’t go there. I haven’t been to one of those since I was six. They make me grouchy and they make kids bad, but today I went. When I went back to pick him up they still hadn’t done cake, so I stayed. I already felt a little awkward, and I didn’t have anything else I needed to do, so I didn’t want to walk in and yank her kid out of her arms so I could take him home and play with him. I sat at the table across from his mother, next to her friend for an hour. I sang happy birthday with them and I made small talk while he played.
It was nice to be able to get to know them a little better, but I felt like I was sitting on the back of the giant elephant in the room. I was the other woman. The other mother. This case is so very different from Reuben’s. The mother wasn’t abusive, neglectful, or involved in narcotics and doesn’t think she did anything to deserve her child being taken away (I guess maybe she’s missing some faculties). She’s been very nice to me, but I can only imagine what I would feel in her shoes. I would hate me. I would be angry at me. I would look at everything I was doing right and villianize it, then I would look at every possible thing I could be doing wrong and make that worse.
I feel that at the very least, I am a neutral party. I neither pass judgement on her parenting, nor defend her rights (rights I firmly believe she has voluntarily forfeited… at least for a time). I care passionately about providing a safe, loving environment for her child while she is indisposed and that has nothing to do with whether or not he was rightly, or wrongly removed from her home. Despite where I feel I stand, I can only project what she must think and feel for me. I guess this will always be awkward. I did not give birth to this child and as much as I may love him, he’s not mine to keep, that will always make things awkward. I will forever be the woman riding the elephant into the room.