Daughter loses mom to villainous new boyfriend

Colleen Stein

Colleen Stein

Why is it that once we graduate from high school and move off to college that we are considered full-fledged adults? Is it because we are legally permitted to drive, smoke, drink, date and get tattoos? Just because we abandon the nest does not mean we can fly.

When I first came to SDSU, I called my mom almost every night. I went home most weekends and spent my summers at our farm. I admit, I did this because I wanted to be close to my family.

My dedication to my family stems from my father’s death almost three years ago. It was a wake-up call that reminded me to value the people that I love. The three of us, my mom, older brother and I, became a tight-knit unit and together we forged a pact to stick together, to move on, to survive.

This past year, we “adopted” several of my brother’s friends. A typical night involved sharing the dinner table with six or more rowdy boys. All of us, my mother included, formed an idyllic group of freedom- and fun-seekers. We were the Lost Boys (and one Girl) of Neverland and my mom was our Wendy.

This was our arrangement until Captain Hook landed on the shore of our humble island, disguised as a gray-haired, balding man with a moustache and pasty skin. My mother met him at work.

In the flicker of a fairy wing, he was sending her pink carnations and red roses. He bought her candy, expensive earrings and even a cheesy little white teddy bear in a mug that says “I Love You.” After she met this villain, my mother stopped coming to our nightly dinners. She stopped buying groceries, and our customary pancake breakfasts died out. The Lost Boys and I were hurt that she no longer had time for us. Who was this old man who seduced my mother and why does he think he can kiss her in front of us?

My mom justified her time with him by telling us that we were adults and needed to grow up and take care of ourselves. It was as if she had done her time as a mother and, now that we were all grown up, she could retire from the position and resume her life as a regular person. Parenthood doesn’t work that way.

I don’t care that I am old enough to vote for a new state senator, I want my mother back.

I recall the old adage, “You’re only as old as you feel.” Well, when my mom doesn’t come home for the third night in a row, I feel like a six-year-old lost in a Kmart department store. Do I stay put or go look for her? Will I ever see her again?

There is a tiny piece of Neverland in every person that makes them yearn to be a child once more.

While I am old enough to do my own laundry and drive myself to school, I will never be too old to need my mother and right now, I would feel so much better if I knew that she needs me just as much in return.

Colleen Stein is a senior journalism and English major.