Her attitude didn’t depict that of a concerned parent’s, but after relinquishing custody of her son temporarily, Sondra was suffering from recurring pangs of maternal withdrawals. At 4:00 a.m. on the last day of the same month that she had ditched her son on her mother’s doorstep, Sondra was calling to check up on him.
“Hello, Sondra,” Ms. Sillow whispered a split second after the phone had begun to ring. It was almost as though she had been anticipating her daughter’s call.
“Mother, Presley, how is he!?” she inquired anxiously. The high-pitched, crackling tone of her voice, coupled with random snorting, bore evidence of her mid-morning drug buffet. “And how did you know it was me?”
“Not important,” her mother replied snappily. “The child’s lying right here beside me… asleep. You know it’s much too early to be calling for him. And listen to yourself. You’re a mess. Turning to drugs after I spared no efforts to instill proper values into you…. Shame on you, Sondra. Dropping this child off here to me was the best decision that someone as stupid as yourself could have ever made.
“You always thought that this parenting thing would be easy, didn’t you? By you bringing this boy to me, I think that I’ve proven to you that you will never be as good of a parent as I was. I even think that my grandson already loves me more than he loved you. Anyway, if you want to talk to the boy, call back at seven tonight.” (Click.) Ms. Sillow abruptly hung up the telephone on her daughter.
Not surprisingly, Sondra never called back that day. The manner in which her mother had spoken to her (Ms. Sillow never took a breath while scolding her) had struck a chord. For the remainder of the day, she sat balled up in a corner of her dwelling, hitting drugs to cope with her anxiety.