By Jennifer Williams-Fields
After more than 24 hours of labor, I’m exhausted and barely awake; yet, I recognize the baby screaming from the nursery as my own. I’m a mom. The nurses bring him to me to soothe him. He continues to scream as I try to latch him to my breast.
“You’ve got a fighter there,” the nurses tell me.
And at barely a day old, the fight begins.
He’s 14 years old, leaving for school in the morning. I ask, “Why do you have to fight with me all the time?”
“Because you’re a f*cking b*tch, and I hate you.”
I have enough composure for the seconds it takes me to respond, “But I will always love you.”
It’s not until I close the door that I sit on the floor and cry giant, anguished tears.
He’s 16 and in an escalating shouting match with his alcoholic father. I physically put my body between them. I stare down his dad’s angry fist, all but daring him to hit me.
“You will not hurt my child without getting through me first.” They know I will not be the one to back down, and the two soon go their separate ways.
As I watch my son walk away, I realize he has been burdened with the sins of his father.