The Child

One time, a child was born. Let’s say it was a girl (it could’ve easily been a boy). She was cherished by her parents. Literally nourished by her mother’s milk. Her parents poured all of their hopes and dreams and love into her. Not all at once, but slowly, moment by moment, day by day, through the slow accretion of time. Sure, those parents messed up, they sometimes got angry or cranky or dismissive of her, but for the most part, what they did was good and true. And even from that first moment, she felt things so deeply, joy and sadness and anger and fear and happiness and laughter and crying and all the rest, there was so much. Eventually, from listening to her parents talk to each other and all the people around, she decoded language (it doesn’t matter which one) and shortly after that she began to speak her own words. She grew hair, fingernails, toenails, and teeth. She also grew up and out and up and out. At some point, she figured out how to stand and walk and run and then EVERYTHING changed. She didn’t have much to worry about, but sometimes her parents were terrified that something would happen, because she was so unconcerned and that’s what parents do. Everyone who was a part of her life loved her and left a little piece of something with her. And sometimes her parents worried about all the money they were spending, but, you know, it was WORTH IT. She soaked it all in. Soon, she went to school, where her teachers did the best they could (and sometimes not their best at all) to teach her some of what they knew. More importantly, all the children around taught each other about how to be friends and enemies and how to be alone and how to be together. Yeah, it was a big old mess of complicated feelings and ideas and some of it was good and some of it was bad. It all happened at the slow pace of time, as one minute clicked into the next. The parents got sort of used to not seeing her all the time, but it was still sometimes painful. All of this takes time to talk about, but it happens for all of the other children too, some of whom get a rough deal in the parent lottery, but that’s part of it too. So, anyway, she was loved, which is the best we can hope for, right? One day, a sick white man with a gun shot her and 20 or so of her classmates, killing not just her, but all of the love, hopes, and dreams that had been poured into her. That was the end. Her utterly unique presence on this earth was completely and utterly done.

Moral: You should know without me telling you.

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