On buses, walking, waiting, anywhere that a child slithers into my side, a woman will smile that wistful smile, one of waiting or wanting, and stare at the three of us. I can always feel the eyes on me, the same I cast on the unknowing 15 year olds when they walk past me, their hips free of their futures, their shoulders strong and dreaming.
Sometimes, like yesterday, we’ll rise to leave, to make our transfer or get the groceries and a smooth hand will reach for me, briefly hold my gaze and arm.
“Your daughters are beautiful.” she’ll whisper, almost to herself, a secret of gold on her tongue. She’ll smile at me sadly as we walk away, my hands gripping each child warmly.
These women, they are so very right.
There are days when everything is so very hard, where I am tired, or lonely, or just plain done with small creatures who talk and touch and harass and otherwise get thisclosetome all day long. I have to force myself to step back and marvel at how Vivian is so utterly curious with everything, so responsible and such an old soul. Or how Rosalyn can create a new little world in seconds using only the two ratty sticks she carries and the back of a coloring book. If I stop fretting and fluttering, and just breathe, I can see them, the women who will one day play chess for hours together, instead of arguing about the set up as they are this very minute.
I see them as beautiful women then. I see them strong, and brilliant, and talented and above all happy. Their beauty, today, comes from the light which bursts from them, from smiles and grinning eyes, from the peace we feel with each other, when I relax and settle into them, and allow today, as well as tomorrow, to nourish me.
Their happiness keeps me found, solid and firm as they ready themselves to fly. The beauty and strength they project, lights my way as well as their own.