Saturday, January 3, 2009

Take these sunken eyes and learn to see

Strangest thing happened today. After the gym and a shower, went to a bagel shop in the ‘burbs. I’m hating the suburbs; the vanilla just doesn’t tingle the taste buds of a girl who's strawberry swirl in a sugar cone. I'm too big now for how little it's become. Everyone looks the same (white), dresses the same (too casual, too light washed jeans). Everyone is the same. There’s a glint of gold on the left ring finger of every man sitting with a woman not even trying with lip gloss, hair in a pony.

But that’s another Oprah.

Having finished the morning paper and lox on bagel, I gather my things to leave. Heading out the door, buttoning up my white fitted pea coat, I spot a tiny, almost-toe-headed-with-a-touch-of-amber girl on the sidewalk outside. She’s two or so, just old enough to stand wobbly in one spot in front of a non-descript SUV (“Sport” my ass; the “S” means “Suburban”). I immediately realize and understand a parent is nearby, and from peripheral vision see a man wrestling an even tinier girl from a car seat in the back passenger side.

None of that is the strange.

The second I emerged from the shop, this little creature on the sidewalk locked on my eyes and said, “Mommy. Mommy.” Half statement, half question, over and over again in a sweet voice so soft the man couldn’t hear her. I couldn’t not look at her, turning as I walked by, smiling the whole way.

“Mommy? Mommy?”

There was no woman in or around the car. Did the man have no wife, single Dad, widower? Did I represent or portray the softness and beauty and nurturing of a woman that strongly to that girl? Maybe her Mom was/is a tall, caring and loving redhead who smiles back at blue green eyes.

I’ve never seen Mommy in me. I don't want to be the Mommy. Yet those seconds broke and warmed my heart, that reflection back from a factory fresh, cleanly scrubbed soul.

I don't know if I ever felt more alone.


Paula Light said...

Just remember, sweet darling little girls also fling themselves on the floor in screamy tantrums because their clothes are "itchy" and then throw up all over you when you try to help.

Paula Light said...
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Paula Light said...
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Crys said...

when we least expect it, we see core parts of ourselves reflected back to us in another's eyes.

there was something beautiful about you that she recognized and longed for, and she let you know.

Jodie Kash said...

@Paula - So do big girls on some weekends.

@Crys - How many more layers you got on that onion? Nicest thing I heard in while ;)

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