Nine-year-old Jonathan Carmichael thought his mother was Superwoman.
He observed her unstoppable force, working double shifts as a medical secretary so they could live in a modest town house in a decent neighborhood. He saw her fly off to do overtime, and then surprise him and his sister with toy cars and video games and a trip to Disneyland.
But by the time he was 12, his super mother had vanished, replaced by a crack cocaine addict. He watched her pawn the gifts she’d bought him to feed her habit.