Guest blogger Maria: Earlier this year, I wrote a few posts about Chloe, my daughter's friend whose mother has a serious pill and alcohol addiction. I have gone all summer without seeing Chloe's mom. I last saw her on the last day of school, with her multicolored hair and smudged lipstick, shaking and reeking of alcohol. She asked (again) why no one called her anymore. "Everyone's really busy," I remember saying -- while thinking to myself, How can she be so clueless?! She mentioned plans for playdates and sleepovers over the summer with our girls, but since there was no way my daughter was going to her house (or anywhere else with her), I knew I was going to have to finally tell her the truth: "I don't want my daughter around you because of your addiction."
Turns out I didn't have to, though, because Chloe's father (who's divorced from her mother) got in contact and made sure the girls got to see each other when he was on "dad duty." Her mother never called, and so was out of the picture all summer (fine with me). Chloe seemed happy whenever I saw her, so I thought maybe something might be happening -- good, for once -- with her mom.
Wrong. When I took my daughter for the first day at school yesterday, I was relieved that it was Chloe's dad who had brought her, because I wouldn't have to see her mom. Wrong again. The dad and I were chatting, and out of the corner of my eye I saw a figure stumbling (no lie: stumbling) toward us. It was her, looking thinner than I've ever seen her. She came straight for me and gave me a giant, lingering hug. It felt like hugging sticks. "I miss you," she slurred into my hair, heating up my neck with a hot breath of wine. Wow -- not even 8 AM, and she was drunk.
"Hiiiii!" I said, pulling away from her. I had trouble looking in her eyes, because I was being fake. I was disgusted, not happy to see her. I can't even feel sorry for her anymore. I know she's lonely and isolated, but she's put herself there. My brother is an addict, so I've been through this before. My tolerance (pardon the pun) isn't what it used to be with people like this -- in other words, people who refuse to help themselves.
My husband, who was there too, was wide-eyed, and Chloe and her dad just looked embarrassed. I dread facing this whole thing again. Our daughters are friends and Chloe is in our lives, but still I hesitate to level with her mother -- especially since now I can just plan stuff with the kids through Chloe's dad.
What do you think, moms? Should I even bother to set off the mother's wrath? Is it even worth the drama it's going to create in my (and my daughter's) life? I'd appreciate your comments.