Mom’s Night in the Slammer
A recovering alcoholic rebuilds her life and becomes the perfect doting mother, until a fateful relapse sparks a downward spiral and a tumultuous night in jail.
Illustrations by Sean Ford
You are a superhero. Best mom on the block. You serve healthy breakfasts, the right ratio of carbs to protein. Every morning you wake up at four a.m. to finish your novel. It has to be done now. You pop a painkiller, or three. You drink your tea. You watch light fill the sky. Buzzing on painkillers, you are invincible.
Breakfast is ready for your daughter and husband at six a.m.; dishes are washed thirty-four minutes later. The painkillers make you queen of the commute as you drop your daughter off at school. People drive too slowly. Your twelve-year-old daughter cringes when you honk, or flip other drivers off.
You feel only slightly bad.
“It’s a big, bad world,” you say. “Toughen up, kid.”
She is so small, so lovely, as she descends the stairway down into school. In the last year, there have been three lockdowns at the school. Gang members. Police.
As you drive away you think: God, keep her safe.
You don’t realize that the biggest threat to her safety is you.
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