And so it goes and so it is that leaves grow green and fall and winter blankets us with snow and the sun comes back out, eventually. And children grow older.
My baby, my second born, my risk has turned 6.
Where her sister is rough and burly, she’s delicate and tiny, walking everywhere on her tip toes, lips pursed, a story on her lips. Monkeys that fly, perhaps a pony or a diamond. She’s the girl my mother likely dreamed of, flounce and poof, pink and purple, dolls and puppies.
But she has more than one story my girl does. For all she appears careful and girlish, she has a solid core, a steel inside I did not anticipate. She will wait, she will howl, she will say no, and mean it, and know what that means, to say NO. She is fierce in all the ways I can never be, a silenced acceptance of herself even now,
When I think of women, when I think of the woman I want her to be, I shake my head and realize, she’s already half the way there.
She’s 6. I sat on the bus home yesterday remembering her howling face in mine that first time, the scowl, the iron core even then. How big she seemed in my arms, wrapped and rubbed and angry at a world that woke her almost too soon. I didn’t feel love, I felt puzzlement, awe that I had held her in me, then cast her away from me, as mothers do, again and again and again.