Mama Didn't Raise This Woman
Njeri B. Maldonado, author
I’m waiting outside in the car with my brother for my mom to come outside of the old, big, white house. She said she’d only be in there a few minutes but it’s been hours. We were not sure what we should do since I really had to pee. My brother offered to take me inside after what seemed liked hours of waiting. Mama told us not to leave the car but we had to go in. Inside, we found the bathroom just feet away from the entryway. As I slung the door open, I came face to face with a man who was sitting on a toilet preparing to shove a needle into his arm. Fear filled my entire body. My brother and I sprinted back to the car and locked the doors. We first heard Mama’s voice in the distance. As she neared the car her condemnation became clearer. Mama was mad that we didn’t stay in the car as we were instructed. We braced for the impact. My bladder gave way on the back seat just as tears began to run down my face. This is my earliest childhood memory. I know, I know – nothing like family day at the park, the best Christmas ever, or that one time you were the lead in the school play. This is the story of a child and her emotionally and, oftentimes, physically absent mother. I wrote 'Mama Didn't Raise This Woman' to break the silence for all of us with absentee mothers. Our stories deserve to be heard. You deserve to know and understand our why.