Saturday, December 3, 2016

What They Reflect

My four youngest sat on a couch, each holding a section of the paper, each reading aloud what they thought important, giggling at what the paper might consider "serious news," and making dramatic sad faces. I asked what they were doing.
"Playing grown up." one answered. 
"We're on the Metro."
"We're adults." They collapsed into giggling again. One ran over to the kitchen and got a diet coke and my purse.
I thought they had a better handle on how we should approach some of the most serious of things. They looked at the news and read aloud the headlines. They marched back and forth from one couch to another, "I have to cook dinner." "I have to go to work." "I'm very busy." "I'm very important." "I'm very important and busy." They kept building and making their world like the moreness they perceived.
I watched them allow their make believe world expand and collapse, and grow again, flexible as they shifted from journalists to doctors to teachers to lawyers to artists to singers to anything, to everything, and they were able, professional and wonderful. They embraced a whole future as if it were all only for the willing for it to happen.
I wanted that future for them, that touchable future. If I could pray them that possibility, I would kneel until my kneecaps gave out. "Give them this future." I'd beg, and not the one penned by all the limitations revealed by standardized tests and report cards and the expectations of others about how to think or be. For the moment, my daughter who struggles with reading, my shy one and my son who suffers from Downs and my youngest, didn't need anyone's prayers or affirmation to be everything.
Oh, to keep that moment longer than a moment. I sat on the couch with them, "What are you going to be on the Metro today?" My daughter asked. "A famous chef, dancer and professor." I said, and we added to the moments, when everyone could be everything.

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