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you are not there

We are taking the little one for a ride on her new sled. It is bright orange, with a fuzzy black and white seat cover to keep her extra warm. Her tiny hands in tiny gloves hold the sides as tight as she can. I pull her down a path, shouting "woohooo" and then she replies "woohoo". N's turn is next, pulling her more schoolgirl than mother for a few minutes. There are other parents with children on sleds passing us. Their eyes straight forward, faces completely blank they slip by in silence. I flash a smile to them, and they do not even look at me. I am not there, just another tree leaning towards the stream that runs below.

There are ducks still, flapping around the brackish water and we throw pieces of stale bread to them. I start to think, not about the complete absence of smiles in this culture. I stopped asking about that long ago, told over and again that smiles are reserved for home, behind closed doors. But I wonder, for the children -  these wiggling bu…

what we all need


The winter sun is banging through the windows, drawing greasy fingerprints and reaching into the corners of the rooms.

E is twisted like a kitten in her bed in the living room. She snores lightly, an odd collection of dolls caught in her armpits and elbows. She never sleeps without them.

I walk carefully between the legos and miniature doll furniture on the floor. The kitchen is half-clean. I will sit here and look at the empty sky for a while.  Making coffee would surely wake her. The room still smells of the Amatriciana I made last night for guests. The dishes stand, a messy tower in the sink. I smell crushed red pepper, the sweet residue of tomatoes, the white wine left open. There are three corks on the windowsill - one from New Year's Eve, one from last night, one from a few nights ago.

The year has begun and everyone is sleeping.

My skin itches with plans, wishes, daydreams. We need results, not limbo. We need to thrive, not simply tread water. This is a rare moment, when the fridge is full of food and there is no battle on the immediate horizon.

These are the moments I give thanks for the two women in my life. These are the moments I stare into the horizon, painfully aware of what we all need.



Comments

Annie said…
Lovely, but painful.
Mother Theresa said…
Beautifully written. You know, I think you will get those results...and they will be good ones. It just has to be that way. But for now just enjoy the reprieve...
Omgrrrl said…
Yes. This year will be better for you. Its a promise.

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