I saw my Godson tonight. He works at Wal-Mart, stocking shelves. I don't see much of him anymore, he's 19 now, no longer the little boy that once spent countless nights sleeping over, the same little boy that would throw his arms sround me in a big bear hug, the little boy that I almost raised as my own.
I met his mom when we were kids. I was 18, and she was just turning 16. We were both pregnant with our first baby, and living at St. Anne's House, a home for unwed mothers. Andrea, kept mostly to herself, keeping the paternity of her unborn baby a secret. I felt bad for her, so young, and so alone. Her son was born on November 9, 1987, while I was at a dentist appointment. She moved out shortly after.
KC was born on March 6, 1988, and it wasn't long after that we bumped into each other again. Andrea's son was gorgeous, a tow headed chubby little guy with a quick smile and an infectous laugh. Andy and KC spent so much time together that they thought they were brother and sister. I babysat Andy when Andrea went to school, out on dates, looked for a job. I bought him new outfits each time I bought one for KC, and each toy that I bought was bought in pairs. I loved him like my own, and he loved me the same way.
Andrea got a scholarship after she finished highschool. A full ride to a University in B.C, lodging, food, books, the whole 9 yards. There was only one problem.
Andy was only about a year old when the offer was made to his mom. She couldn't take him to B.C. She couldn't have a baby in the student residences. She had no family, no friends out there. She had no way to take care of him.
I honestly can't say whether she asked or I offered. Either way, she wanted me to take Andy. It was that, or he was going into foster care. I couldn't let that happen. This little boy was a part of my life. He was a part of my family. I loved him unconditionally, and even at a year old, he felt it.
Andrea made plans to go, and I readied myself to have 2 one year olds living in my little second floor apartment. I can't remember why Andrea didn't go. It was 18 years ago. My memory has faded, some things are better forgotten.
She stayed, and Andy stayed with her. I don't think that she ever got over not going, I don't think that she ever forgave Andy for holding her back. He was what some people would call a problem child. He couldn't sit still, he broke stuff, he lied, he stole. I loved him anyway.
I lost track of his mom a couple of years ago. She's not a bad person, she's just different than me. We have different priorities, a different way of thinking. She is very needy, and I just don't have it in me to give anymore. I know how that sounds, but I couldn't rush to her aid when my own family was in need.
So, I see my Godson every now and again. His mom kicked him out about 6 months ago, because he was "In her way." He went to live with an aunt, one of his mom's sisters that needs a person to take care of her young boys- for free. He sleeps on a couch and I know that he's paying her bills.
When I saw him tonight, what he told me nearly made me cry, right there in the health and beauty aids aisle where we were standing. He has dropped out of school and is spending all of his free time at the bar.
I feel an incredible sense of guilt. I made a promise before God and witnesses to be there for him, to guide him, to be there when no one else was. I feel like I should have encouraged him more, kicked his ass if needed, I should have told him that I cared.
KC will turn 19 in a few more months. She is in college, working part time, struggling to find her way. How could these 2 kids that once shared a crib, be so different now?
I saw my Godson tonight. He was stacking shelves and smiling, talking to co workers. I saw my Godson. For a brief moment, he was 9 months old again, sitting on my lap. He was 5 years old, getting ready for Halloween. He was 7, and we were having his birthday party at my house. All of these memories flashed before my eyes, and I cried.
I cried for Andy and what has become of him, and I cried for KC. I am thankful that my daughter is still in school, pursuing her dreams. I can't help but wonder about Andy. I wonder if he would've had a chance if his mother would've gone away. I wonder if she blames him for all of her failings. I wonder if his mom ever thinks of me. I wonder, if, like me, she wonders what would've happened if I would've kept Andy. I wonder if she knows that with a different life, he would've stood a chance.