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a peaceful protest

I was 16, and the thought of being forced to mention God as part of the pledge of allegiance was too hypocritical an act for me to play along with. Each day of high school began with this mundane recitation, as most people just stood with their hand jutting from a hip, the other dangling across their chest as they counted out the seconds until they could sit back down. They leaned against desks, and talked through it about what party and where it would be, if there would be a keg or a bonfire in the woods. I recited the words, omitting the "under God" part as a sort of half-baked protest. I was raised to flaunt my family's ramshackle atheism, as a choice of smug pride. We knew better, was the prevailing logic.

But one day, I could not stand and say any of it. It felt so rote, so hollow, so devoid of choice. There was no law that said I was required to say it. I knew this was my right, a form of free speech. My homeroom teacher was a legendary drinker, a trash-talking re…

tonight



She is not here. Just her toys frozen in mid-play. Dolls asleep in makeshift beds. Lego worlds hibernating, waiting for E to return. I have her six days a week these days, a huge spread of time. We make music together, learn the English alphabet, enjoy a galaxy of overlapped moments. I answer a thousand questions a day now - like what the soul is, what air looks like, where babies come from.

On the one day she is not here, the silence is deep.

Five minutes away and I miss her already, the snow still wet on my coat from bringing her downstairs. I find a half-eaten chocolate on my chair. She left it for me.

Comments

Sweet Baby Voice..
Love.
Ella said…
Your lovely daughter has a beautiful voice. You are doing a great job raising her. Take it from a mother who has raised 3 outstanding children. My heart goes out to you.
Omgrrrl said…
So, obviously you were able to answer the question about what a Soul Is.
Rabbit blogger said…
the explanation of what and where the soul is was much easier than where babies come from. besides, E says babies come from tiny stars before they are inside mothers and it was hard to revise that.

we go to solfeggio classes at a very serious music school two times a week. she struggles there for a number of reasons. her mind works differently than this rote memorization stuff (big surprise). ironic she can still sing her little heart out.

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