Reliable

She was a young mother, younger than I am. At this point, some of the grandmothers on my caseload are younger than me, but that's a different story. Her case found it's way to my desk because she tested positive for marijuana after giving birth. The baby was fine, the only way anyone thought to test her was because she admitted to it.

 

It was about 9:30 in the morning.I called her up and told her that the first thing that I would need her to do was a urine screen. I told her I'd pick her up at 2 and take her to the Health Department. It would most likely be inconvenient for her, but by giving her only a few hours, she would likely be unable to flush it out of her system.

 

"I'll be ready at 10", she countered. "You can pick me up then."

 

She lived in a row house in a bad part of the projects. While the outside was garbage, gangbangers, and graffiti, the inside was a home. Paint was chipping and there was a purple stain on the carpet (my son loves grape Faygo, she explained), but it was clean and prepared for a newborn. She had a crib, formula in the fridge, and a car seat ready for my car.

 

She tested negative. She's done everything I've asked her to do. Tomorrow, I need to tie up a few more loose ends, and she can be the first case I close this year.

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Taken on May 29, 2008