I should have known that my sister would grow up to be a shitty mother. She was a shitty babysitter to my younger brother and me. She would shut us up in our parents’ bedroom while she made out with boys, made me take naps when I was too old to need one so she could have friends over, and she’d stay up late and snort Smarties in our shared walk-in closet. I tried to be cool and snort Smarties too but it just hurt and I didn’t like it. Of course, the Smarties turned into other drugs as she hit her teenage years. Then came the running away, abusive boyfriends, and the abuse she ensued to our parents.
She got pregnant at 21 to her common law husband that she met at her job at Waffle House. The first time he came to meet our parents he was wearing a sleeveless cut-off Harley Davidson t-shirt and I remember thinking that he looked 47 instead of 27. They smoked in their trailer while she was pregnant and even more so after the baby was born. I hated them for it especially when my niece had asthma and was sick a lot when she was young.
I remember going over to my sister’s trailer when my niece was 4 or 5 and smiled as I peeked in on my niece who was peacefully coloring in a coloring book in her bedroom. I then walked down the hall and popped my head into my sister’s bedroom where she was doing a line of coke. She looked up at me squeezing her nostrils together with her finger and thumb and smiled and asked me, “Do you want some?” I just turned, rolled my eyes, and walked back down the hall saying no and waited in the living room for her to finish. That was one of the only times I confronted her. I hated her for doing that in the next room to her child. She downplayed it and apologized and said she didn’t do it much.
Her relationship failed, became abusive, and the drugs increased and turned to trafficking, which resulted in years of jail. So, my niece got the chance to be raised by my awesome parents who gave her the stability, smoke-free, drug-free, and loving environment that she deserved especially during her formative years. Now that my sister is out of jail my niece moved back in with her mother, her mother’s boyfriend, and now her own 18-year-old boyfriend. What do you think happens next?
Now, 18 years after her own birth she is going to have a child of her own. She’ll be a lovely mother though with a big heart unlike her own mother. Would I have liked it if she had waited a few more years? Sure. But, is it really my business? No. And, do I think age really matters? Not really. I think some women are just born shitty mothers and some were natural born mothers no matter how they grew up. Thank goodness I think it skipped a generation.