Thursday, June 7, 2012


My mom grew up in a foster home.  I don't really know what I mean when I write this, but mom doesn't look like she grew up in a foster home.  She looks looked after, tended to, loved.  Of course, why shouldn't she?  She was in one home the entirety of childhood, having been taken in by folk who eventually adopted her.  Mom also possesses a good genetic make-up that gave her long limbs, strong back, and a good-looking face.  Nothing bad ever happens to healthy-looking, attractive people, right?  Well, that's a crock of shit, but, you know, the ill-effects of whatever mom experienced as a child aren't visible on her face.  They are, however, visible in some of her actions and behaviors.

Tomorrow mom goes home.  This is the first time we've spent prolonged one-on-one time together in twenty years.  We've only had a week together, and, I can say, it's been a nice seven days.  It's been good, and, maybe, just enough.

Over dinner tonight she reminded me of the time that I had 'a little trouble with the police' as a minor.  She and dad had to stand in court with me.  I can't say I remember anything from that day.  Mom said that someone--an officer?--had to take statements from both her and dad.  He'd wanted background information from them.  My mom told this man that she'd grown up in a foster home in San Francisco, and, as she said this out loud, dad turned to face her with a look of shock.  Perhaps he thought such information should be kept private.  But it was true.  She had done.  Dad knew this.  We all did.  We simply never talked about mom's past.  Just because her having been a foster kid was never really mentioned, and mom, sort of, got on with things, didn't diminish it. 

I was a brat-ass teen that liked to get high.  I asked her how she knew that I would turn out all right.  She said, annoyingly, 'I just knew you would.'  I pressed her again, and she said, 'you were polite with everyone.  I told you what to wear to court and you wore it.  I just didn't worry.'  I don't know how she knew how I'd turn out when I didn't seem to know myself.

Even though mom grew up in foster care, and lived through a revolving door of kids moving in and out of the house for all the years she was there, she grew into an optimistic adult.  There were kids she became attached to, and then they left.  There were kids that she then didn't attach to because she'd knew they'd leave.  Mom doesn't even have pets, she said, because it's too upsetting.  Despite her upbringing she always wanted to marry and have children of her own.  It's crazy to me that she wanted kids and a family.  These are things I never wanted for myself.  I'm a bit of a pessimist.  Mom said that I wasn't always that way.  I was an optimist, she said, when I was small.  I imagine that that was before puberty.  -before the incident with the police, obviously.


  1. Mom's have a way of knowing don't they! what a nice story! :)

  2. Thanks, Doria. :) I still don't know how she knew...
    I guess I'll blame it on her optimism!
    Speaking of moms, I do hope yours is doing very well.

  3. I'm so glad you felt comfortable sharing such a personal anecdote about you and your mum. I liked that. You never usually meet people/adults in life who come out and say "I grew up in a foster home." It's a bit mysterious to me.

  4. Well, she wouldn't be so comfortable with it, but, you know, I was inspired to share a bit of mom after her visit.


A piece of your mind here: