Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The squeaky wheel

I've noticed her before, with a young boy, her son. But I never got a chance to speak to her until now.

"Hello," I said, hoping my voice sounded bright and interested, "what's your name?" I reached out to shake his little hand.

"His name is Leo," she smiled at me.

"Hi Leo!".... He stares into the space behind my head.

"He's a quiet little fellow, isn't he?" I said.

"Yeah, he's very serious..." she offered.

My heart lurched and ached. I looked into his eyes and for the first time, I saw a younger me.

When I was a kid, like him, people used to comment on how I was so "serious"all the time. Nobody knew how troubled I was because I never caused any problems. I was a child who didn't express herself. And that was just fine with my mother. She didn't want me to express myself. She wanted to sweep me under the carpet and pretend I wasn't there at all. I became very good at not being present.

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