Another Second Sunday in May

I was at a restaurant today.

Suddenly, as I stood there with my black clothes and purple hair, I was self-conscious.

And not because there was country music blaring from the speakers and I stood out like the sorest of thumbs.

As I watched a kindly octogenarian offer candy to a willful child

I remembered.

I remembered the questions.

Where are your grandparents?

I don’t have any.

Oh, I am sorry did they pass away?

Looking at my feet I would answer simply “No.”

And then walk away.

Because any kind of explanation would only lead to more questions.

How, in a child’s language, do you explain?

How do you say it’s complicated.

My mother

She doesn’t let us have a family.

Even though she barely sees me and I am mostly raised by a menagerie of older siblings

Each as unique as hand-made glass figurines.

I love them and I think most of the time they love me.

For that I am grateful.

For that I am lucky.

But I am the youngest and invisible to my parent’s eyes.

My mother wants me to have no one else.

But refuses me herself as well.

At worst I am abandoned.

At best unseen.

Unable and unwilling to compete with my siblings.

I am lost.

I watched my friends.

They would get angry because their parents had rules.

They had things like curfews and discipline.

My parents rarely knew where I was or what I was doing.

Much less who I was.

Perhaps I was a pitiable child but I do not pity myself now.

But when I remember.

I think…

Lucky are those who had guardians.

Fortunate are those who had something to rebel against.

Charmed are those who were weighed and measured and molded.

Even if the process was a difficult one.

Look back on those halcyon days and realize that someone cared enough to give their time to you.

Look back and know that you were more than a consequence of someone’s selfish actions.

Look to the family that you were born into or have chosen and know love.


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