Her voicemail message was laced with panic and tears.
I drove over immediately, and ran into the house. Molly was standing in the middle of the living room, as if she was in a state of shock.
“I can’t find Jordan! I just went to the bathroom! He’s one! Seriously! Where can he go?” By the time she finished, her voice had reached a full octave higher than her usual tone. A sudden movement out the living room window caught my eye.
“Is that him?”
Molly’s one year-old son was crawling around her fenced-in backyard, chasing the terrier. Jordan had apparently discovered the doggy door.
Molly slumped into the kitchen chair, and burst into a fresh batch of tears.
“I’m a horrible mother.”
“No, you’re not.”
“No, really. I am. All of the stuff other moms just somehow know to do? I don’t know any of it! I read the books! Where’s my maternal fucking instinct?”
Reflexively, I checked Molly’s refrigerator. A bottle of white wine looked back at me.
I held it up for her approval, and she nodded. Then she took a deep breath, her despair hitting a new low.
“And Jordan won’t say Mama!”
“He’s only one.”
“But he says lots of stuff! He says Dada, and ball, and moo, and car. But he won’t say Mama! The closest he ever came was mooing at me, and that does not make me feel pretty! I gained 65 pounds that I can’t lose, pushed him out my twat without drugs, because I was worried it might have some bad effect on him, and he won’t even say Mama!”
Her chin wobbled.
“And a client at work today asked me when I’m due. I was too embarrassed to tell her over a year ago.”
Jordan chose that moment to crawl by, and Molly picked him up, and hugged him close.
“Come here, baby. Mama could use a cuddle.”
Jordan whined, and pushed against her with all of his being. Defeated, Molly released him, and he happily continued to chase the dog into the living room.
I took one look at her face, and put the wine glass back in the cupboard. I opened the utensil drawer, found a crazy straw, and placed it directly in the wine bottle.
Some days are just like that.