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My little boy sure does look like my grandma. I knew it too, when I gave him away. I saw her eyes in his head as I handed him over in his soft yellow blanket to the woman with the big hair who always made me feel small and grimy. She had been coming over ever since he was born.
"Mary Rose. Don't you think little Jimmy would be better off with a family that can teach him how to live properly?"
And I wanted to shout "NO", but I was quite and just held him tight, his brown eyes looking at me with the softest lovingest light you ever saw. But then when she'd leave he'd cry and cry.
And I was all alone in that little basement apartment and the city was so big and I didn't know hardly anyone. Especially no one who wanted a baby around. When the one girl I knew, Angie, would come over and tell me about the parties I was missing I felt pulled apart. I wanted so much to be a good mom to Jimmy, but also he was boring and made me numb - now he needs to eat, now his diaper needs to be changed, now he's crying, now he needs to be rocked and shhhhhhed to sleep, now he needs to eat, and on and on. It was enough to drive me to leave him alone a couple of times - just to run over to Angie's house where I knew I could drink a beer and talk to some other people and feel like life weren't just one chore after another.
But I never enjoyed those visits. One part of me was always back there with little Jimmy, him on that mattress on the floor, and I'd wonder if maybe he was rolling over and getting his face stuck in the blankets and the beer would taste disgusting and I'd think "what the hell am I doing here?" So then I'd go back and he'd be ok, but I'd be mad at him that I couldn't even have a quick visit and a beer. One time he was crying and crying so hard when I came back in and I didn't know what to do cause even rocking wouldn't make him stop and this awful feeling came up in my stomach and arms, a feeling like throwing up, but all through my body and I wanted to just squeeze the life right out of him and I yelled at him "shut up, shut up, shut the fuck up you little brat" and he went real quiet and almost limp in my arms and looked at me his eyes filling up with the first real tears I had ever seen in his eyes and then he started wailing even louder and I had to put him down and my whole body was shaking with anger and fear and hatred at myself and I thought the next time she comes, that social working lady, the next time she comes, I'm going to give him to her cause she's right he'll be better somewhere else without me.Tree