Saturday, August 30, 2014


She is six years old and she's usually in your face, a tough little broad.  Her mother approves and I agree. Women need to be aggressive and loud to get their mission across, Gloria and Bella would approve. The little one and I were leaving the liquor store with well, a few bottles and she yelled at the clerks. "Okay, good-by everybody. We're going to go home and have some fun with all this booze."  No wonder I feel like I'm being watched.

But then she got different. Remote, tight-lipped, beyond my reach. "Did you have a bad day at school?" No. "Are you mad at me?" No.
That's all I got.

She's regressing. She wants warm milk in a sippie cup. She wants to sit in a stroller and not walk with me. She's begging her mom to buy her a car seat although she's 17 pounds over the weight limit. She's surrounds herself with old stuffed and stained toys, a fortress against an unrecognizable world.  "Will my dad be at your house for Thanksgiving?"  I'm not going to explain this to her, she does not understand the dynamics. Her mom can do it. This child's vulnerability is like a slap in my face. I can't protect her.

My job shouldn't be this hard. I'm a grandma. Through the generations we have done the grunt work. My great-great grandma and her spinster daughter traveled from one family to the next, stitching quilts, baking cinnamon rolls, holding babies while everybody else went about their work.

This is what I want to do but my job is redefined. Now I chauffer children to golf practice, boy scout meetings, gymnastics class. There is little if no conversation during these car rides. Screens are up, I hear a little snicker, a reaction to some online jolly. I am lonely.

My daughter is reclusive, wrapped tightly in the cocoon of a second divorce, not sure how to deal with the overwhelming angst of it all.  I don't know what to say.

I lie on my back in the pool and stare at the changing cloud patterns.  I know women are not accomplished at spacial perception but I study those clouds and see many things, skawking ducks and elephants wearing clown hats and an entire train chugging across the blueness.

I am lonely, exceedingly lonely, so much pain in my family.

We give each other facials. It is comforting.


1 comment:

Arizaphale said...

Dearest Dawn. You may not be able to talk to each other...but could you write? You do it so well. I grieve to think of you all suffering, just a breath away from each other.