Try as hard as I can, I can hardly see myself there.
I know I was seven, once. Long ago. A lifetime, maybe 3 lifetimes ago, the memory tucked neatly beside that one time my brother broke my hockey stick, just around the bend from when my mother started getting sick. There was a little girl, just like this one. Heavy in the eyes, shouldering the burdens of the world already, heart sad at the unjustness of it all.
“This husky killed a 21 day old baby Mom!” I hear peep over lunch as she reads Macleans, absently with her food, much as I did, and still do, eyes tracing words as food, eventually, found it’s way home.
I curse her quick wit, her knife like brain, the inner workings which barely skip a beat. I can only shrug and nod, my own heart hardened and inured to this type of thing, the horror of everyday life in our world. While I have trouble remembering the sunlight at her age, or the helplessness, I vividly recall the echoing terror of that age, the realization that things can, and will hurt you.
She’s too perfect to feel this yet. Too lovely, too wonderful and magical to be weighted down with such earthly concerns, with the dull roar of what we’re capable of, you and I, and eventually, her. She’s much too Technicolor to be part of the machine.
A mother’s bias, the beauty I see in her. She will always be a myth I’ve created, a glorious accident, the collision of love and passion. Like a stutter she exists everywhere, in my arms, newly born, hesitant to hold my hand near the school these last few days, slamming doors in my face while emotion reigns king, handing me my first grandchild as she smiles, standing fearless at my deathbed. I see all the Vivian my age will bring, and beyond, this woman I’ve created, the girl I hold at night through terror when the darkness only brings the dogs she fears.
I am sad for the person I will never know, the woman I will never see because I am her Mother, and not her friend, or her sister or her lover. I will walk only part of the way with her, in this, the spring of her life, setting her free into her summer to blossom and roar into the sunshine.
Gladly I dance with her now, for spring is fleeting, and terribly sweet.
When I was barely 6 months pregnant, while she slept under my heart, I dreamed of her, the her now, walking hand in hand with me down busy streets, much as I remember of my mother and I.
And here we are, her voice flying through the tender leaves of our new summer, her growing hand loose in mine, ready to slip away in readiness for someone else, sooner than later. We walk the grey streets of my dreams, and talk of nothingness and love.
She the dream, I the dreamer, blessed with foresight.