A Christmas Story
This is a tale of two mothers and the Christmas season. Both mothers want the best for their children. One is in pain, the other is causing pain.
One mother cries. There will be no Christmas this year, son. Your father won't work. My only hope is to get through school. Then we will have a better life, son.
The other mother laughs. Don't worry daughter, Christmas will be good this year. Welfare and WIC, food stamps and HUD, they all pay good. I am gone all day at work and school, but don't worry, your daycare is paid for too. Hey daughter, live in one state, work in another. Don't worry, that is what welfare is for.
One mother cries. Trust the kindness of friends. They will get us through, son.
The other mother laughs. Trust the confusion of the system. It will raise you, daughter. I don't have the time.
This is a true story that I have watched unfold this season. There is so much pain in these lives. Yet, the mother who appears to have less, actually has more.
One mother is crying. She can't afford to buy any Christmas gifts for her children. She is trying to raise two young boys and go to school. Her husband refuses to get a job. He won't even watch their children while she is attending classes. They have no food.
A group of people came together to make Christmas a reality for these innocent young children. People pitched in to buy food, new toys and new crayons for the family. The children of another young mother gave up some of their toys.
I cried when we gave her our gifts and I am crying while I write her story. So much joy and so much sadness, so much happiness and so much pain.
Another mother is causing so many people so much pain. She is a single mother with four children, two of them live with her. She works 40 hours every week and is attending school full time. Her sixteen-year-old is forced to raise her two-year-old. She has no time for her children. They have no mother. The children are forced into adulthood.
But Christmas is not threatened for these children. Between welfare and work, this mother can afford all the best toys. But this mother has sacrificed her love and her time.
I cry for these children who grow up alone. So much sadness and so much pain. Where is the happiness and joy?
© copyright, 1998, Thea Clough