Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tears of a Lost Parent

I love my son. I truly do. But there comes a time when a parent has to make difficult choices, choices that can affect a child’s future in unknown ways. And it is the unknown that scares me.

My child didn’t ask to be born, Even if I subscribe to the theory that children choose their parents based on the lessons they are to learn in that lifetime, I can definitely say I didn’t get a whisper in my ear saying, “Please don’t abort me”. Or I don’t know, maybe I did because, if I let you in on a little secret, aborting him had been my long thought-about plan.

I was a single mom to a two-year-old already, a child conceived out of the violent act of rape. I was also a college student, going to school full-time and working full-time. I barely had time to spend with my first child so another child was definitely not in my plans, not for a long while. But when stupidity and lack of proper birth control planning reigns, consequences do too.

I tearfully sought counsel from my friends but was met with biased and heated accusations; “How could you even think to have an abortion?” “It’s amoral, a sin against God.” “I would never do something like that.” (I found out later, within that same year, most of them did do something like that). So I stopped looking for help and made plans for termination. But as luck would have it, a bank account I shared with someone, who shall remain nameless, became mysteriously empty. Meanwhile, I was climbing up there in pregnancy weeks.

When I hit twelve weeks pregnant, I stumbled on an abortion website, which had a movie called “The Silent Scream”. This movie showed a 12-week fetus being aborted and how it opens its mouth as if it’s screaming while some device moves in to either crush or sever its head. That movie did it for me; that movie sealed my fate. I was going to be a single mother of two children.

Little did I know that there would be days of sorrow that outnumbered my days of joy. Or maybe I did.  When I was eight months pregnant, I dreamed I was asleep under water and a whale swallowed me. The similarity to the story of Jonah and the whale did not escape me. I wasn’t exactly running from God but I wasn’t running to him either. I hoped it did not mean I had years of hardship ahead but that hope was futile.

My second son was special, intelligent, headstrong, and mature beyond his time since birth. When I first looked into his eyes, I was taken aback by the knowledge and intelligence I saw in them. It occurred to me that this child had been here before. Frankly, it scared me a little and I doubted my ability to take care of him alone.

Now, nearly twelve years later, following yet another phone call from his school’s principal, outlining the unlikelihood of him passing the fifth grade due to his attitude and laziness, I sit here, thinking the same thing: I can’t do this alone. Though he and his older brother started on similar paths of academic struggle, the older one sought to improve himself while the younger just, simply, shut down. They are, literally, night and day as far as their times of birth, personality, and spirit.

After trying nearly everything from punishments to rewards, I don’t know else to do other than to make that ultimate sacrifice. I love my son but clearly a mother’s love, my love, isn’t enough to ensure he has the best future possible. I feel like I failed and I worry about his future. Sometimes, a parent has to make difficult choices. So I’m sending him to live with his father. God help me.

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