Luxe has been lying to her friends at school about her background, pretending to be a rich kid just in from boarding school [instead of a kid who did not get adopted and went from one lousy foster home to another], but she gets suspended for selling a huge bong lamp aka drug paraphernalia. (I know that sounds weird, but the bong lamp is a touchstone of the show.) Mom Kate brings the social worker's file on Luxe to the school and begs to have the suspension lifted, but some snarky girl at school Xeroxes the file and posts it all over Luxe's locker...about her not having parents, being in foster care, etc. (Her letter to Santa written as an eight-year-old will piece the heart of anyone who hoped to be adopted and wasn't.) Luxe's friends drop her, but Luxe gets to get back at Kate and "outs" Kate as Not A Single Women But As Someone Engaged to her co-host on their morning radio show--when she is supposed to be single. Will this ruin Kate's career?
Luxe spends the night at Baze's (her father) apartment, Baze tells Luxe she is going to have to work it out with Mom Kate. In the morning, Luxe meets her and before she gets a chance to say much of anything beyond "Hey," Mom Kate speaks:
I just don't know how many more times I can say that I'm trying. I can only do what I think is right....I didn't out you on purpose. I didn't Xerox your file, I didn't post it on your locker, but you outed me on purpose...I don't know if...I can't do this Luxe. Not this way, this isn't working.Well, I don't know how many times I said that same speech to my daughter--or thought it--because as many of you know, she came, she stayed, she left. For months at a time. Around a year once. And it was hell. Then she would come back only to do it again, a few years later. Up and down, in and out, warm love or cold rejection, I never knew when one would turn into the other.
I know you have been through a lot and I have a lot to learn about being with you, but right now I don't know how to do this better than I'm doing it...and even with all of that you still keep pushing me away, you keep leaving. It feels like ever since you got here all you do is leave and if you don't want to be with me, we can all Freda [the social worker, maybe, not sure who that was], you can get Baze approved [to be the custodial parent], we can find you someone else, we'll figure it out. Because I'm not a perfect mom. You know, this is my best and at some point you are going to have to take it or leave it. It's up to you.
And Linda and Jane, and Allison and Karen and Denise and and so many other first mothers I know have the same experience--it doesn't matter who found whom either. It feels like no matter what we do, no matter how hard we try, no matter what we say or don't say, our found children want to leave, want to hurt us, want to tell us to shove it and show us how little we matter to them. It's a way of showing us what it was like to be abandoned without warning--just as they were when they were too young to object.
So we first/birth mothers weep and go over everything we said: Was that the offending sentence, the comment that got us black-listed? I should not have said that. But usually that is an innocent comment, not worthy of such analysis. For many of us, it feels like our children are lying in wait for us to do something that they can say: See what she did? She used the "guest towels" when she wasn't supposed to. She wore the wrong kind of dress to my wedding! She introduced me to the lady at the grocery store as her "daughter." She asked me to write a letter in favor of open records--who in the hell does she think she is? The nerve! She said that girls were harder to raise than boys! I'm leaving! I'll show her! She means nothing to me. Nothing. I'm outta here.
And on into the night.