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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…

threading the needle (the birds)


That familiar feeling washes over the morning  - of being pulled in opposite directions. At one end, the petty, twisted mechanisms we cross paths with in life, the foul, grotesque result of miserable people trying to make sure everyone they encounter feels the same as them. It is a form of narcissism, this selfish cloud. It is hard to outrun a cloud, sometimes. At the other end is a tiny creature, a growing ball of new smiles, hands outstretched, eyes that grow curious, an enduring stare that does not blink. This little person that was not here a few months ago, at the center of our rhythms, guided by her ability to sleep, to be bathed, to poop, to eat.

I never forgot the clock I call baby time. Every time I wake E up, I think of those mornings we spent when she was the same pale-skinned lump of needs and big eyes. I think of walking around with her late at night, singing Desmond Dekker songs because that was what brought her peace.

We never forget those times, but there is nothing like doing it all again.

Now, I am walking with V in the stroller and she is not sleeping. She needs to. She wants to. Every curve of the path, every pebble is an obstacle. Will she thread the needle, and close her eyes? I look for noisy children and steer away from them. Out of nowhere two men with a chainsaw appear and I veer into the opposite direction before the throaty cough of the machine begins, and the buzzing into tree limbs brings her back to eyes fully open.

Those petty people, they are not here now. Their shadow cannot reach so far into this leafy suburb. I can only focus on the way V's hands jump around, finding a Michelangelo pose, one pinky frozen in the air as her eyes do surrender to this smooth asphalt, the chirping of at least two different kinds of birds, the smell of fresh cut grass, the low wet splash of a few leftover rain puddles.





Comments

marvelous, again. and always in that magical sense of the word, Marco!
liv said…
Ahhh, run away with them, bring them home and kiss them both for me.

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