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A drug-addicted mother, her young son and bumblebee

When we arrived at the hospital, Nathan’s eyes focused on his toy, imagining some heroic Transformers mission

By Michael Morse

“Who’s that?”

“It’s Bumblebee.”

“What’s he do?”

Nathan looked at his toy, twirled him around, tipped him upside down and frowned. Then he held him horizontally and said, “he flies.”

“That’s it?”

“He shoots things too, but I lost the bullets.”

“Cool. Where did you get him?”


I couldn’t tell if his mom was strung out on heroin or high on crystal meth. She sat next to her son on the bench seat in the back of the rescue, bouncing around, never making eye contact, anxious one minute, crying the next. When I asked her her name, Nathan answered. When I asked her date of birth, Nathan answered. Where they lived, Nathan answered, never taking his eyes off of Bumblebee.

They had been parked outside of a house in South Providence for over two hours. Neighbors notice things like that, especially when the mother continually gets out of the car and bangs on the door of the suspected neighborhood drug dealers. They called the police, who called us.

The plan was to remove the mother and son from the scene, bring them to the hospital, notify DCYF (Department for Children, Youth and Families) get the mother a psychiatric evaluation and drug screen, then detox and place Nathan in temporary foster care.

Every now and then there would be a love fest in the back of the rescue, when mom remembered her son, and he would smile hesitantly, then she would go back to her crying and self-pity, and Nathan back to his Bumblebee.

When we arrived at the hospital and they took his mom away, Nathan didn’t look twice, his eyes focused on his toy, imagining some heroic Transformers mission.

He didn’t have any bullets, but he could still fly.

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