Responsibility Knocking

January 27, 2010
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The fireworks ended and I was giggling and giving hugs goodbye to all my friends. Happily, I meandered through the crowd to find my mother. When I finally found the blanket she was sitting on I looked down to see a seven glass bottles. My mood instantly went from happy to furious. The familiar smell of Molson Ice made me cringe when it brushed my nostrils, just like it always did. Trying to not let it ruin the night, I put a smile back on my face and searched to find our car. Finally we found our car and my sister, brother, my mom and I piled in. As my mom tried to exit the car to see what the traffic jam was. I pleaded for her to get back in. Instead, she stumbled from car to car talking to random strangers, embarrassing herself and me. Within minutes of her return, out of the corner of my eye I saw a cop knocking on my moms window and she stepped out to talk to him. A few moments later, she was asked to walk a straight line. I didn’t even have to watch to know she wouldn’t be able to. My heart was beating harder and harder every minute. I couldn’t help but shake; my stomach was on it’s own roller coaster. The only thing I could think to do was turn the radio up to try and distract my siblings from the scene before us. After what seemed like hours, the police officer had my sister, brother and me get out of the car. As we were dragged away from my mother I held my brother and tried not to look back, knowing that if I did the tears would soon start to fall. Little did I know that this would be one of the worst nights of my life, but even more importantly I didn’t know that it would actually make a positive change in who I am and who I was going to be.

After many questions the officer finally asked me for an emergency contact person that could come to pick us up. Within minutes, my dad was racing into the parking lot. I took my brother’s hand, led him and my sister into the van, and buckled them up. We drove away and I looked back for one last moment to see my mom being escorted with her hands behind her back. Before I could get my brother to look away he asked, “Emmy, are they going to take Mommy away?” I told him that everything was going to be all right, and I held his precious six year old body in my arms the whole way home. Little did I know that this would be one of the worst nights of my life, but even more importantly I didn’t know that it would actually make a positive change in who I am and who I was going to be.

Suddenly, I was in the house that I had walked into so many times but it wasn’t enough; the only place I wanted to be was at home with my mom. As I tucked my sister and brother in I told them that everything was fine and we’d see our mom soon. That night I laid in bed, but couldn’t get a wink of sleep. Thoughts raced through my mind of all the times that my mother had chosen alcohol over her kids the years previous to this night. I remembered having to get myself ready for school at the age of seven because my mom was still sleeping from the drunken night before. On Halloween all my friends went trick or treating together, but I had to deny their invitation so I could take my little brother and sister out so they could be kids. My mom wasn’t in the right state of mind to walk them around the neighborhood. The memories of the nights that I put my siblings to sleep and stayed up into the morning doing homework awaiting my mother’s arrival stabbed my chest. Memories of driving in lane-swerving cars, holding on for dear life made the tears stream down my face.
After this night I came to many realizations and personal discoveries, but the most significant was that I can’t change my mom. I can’t change what she does and the choices she makes. They only thing I can control is my actions and decisions. When I’m adult I will not let myself follow her same path, I will make a better life for myself that I get to choose. It will be a life that I won’t have to disguise and hide from other people. Even though I never got to be a kid, I can make sure my kids are able to have the luxury that I didn’t. I’m in charge of my own life, and I’m determined to make it right.





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