I sneak into my daughter’s darkened room before she falls asleep and her arms are already stretching out to grasp me.
“I love you,” I tell her quietly as I slide in bed next to her. She smells like her father – a dry warmth with a wonderful animal sharpness like honey. She was weighed at school today – one hundred and five pounds! Hearing this news I gave her a fist-pound: Breaking that double-digit barrier, way to go!
“I love you,” I tell her now.
“I know. I love you even more,” she whispers.
I put my face in her hair. I tell my eldest, with sincerity: “I’m sorry I’ve been sick, and working so hard, and so distracted, honey.”
“It’s okay,” she says. “I know you’re working hard to get us groceries and take care of us. You don’t have to worry about me. The most important thing is that you’re letting us live.”
My throat constricts. I want to die. I feel trapped. I can’t remember what I say next. Something like, “I know… but I miss you. I want to spend more time with you.”
We stay in bed and hold one another a while.
It’s been two weeks since we found out about the assaults on one of our children. I am doing better than I was two weeks ago. The entire family is in advocacy and sorting out counseling. The therapist I found in Olympia just canceled not one, but the next two scheduled appointments. There is something sharply funny about getting a cancellation from a counselor who spent a good hour listing to your intake-crazyAngst. Like:
My daughter is right I don’t have to worry about her. But I am also right in that our life’s pace of late, is not sustainable. It is not good for us emotionally, physically, mentally, or spiritually.
I want to be
A Human Being
A Human Doing