"Dear Prudence" by Amanda Grieme

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dear Ellijah - Sweet

4/5 - Sweet
Dear Ellijah –

I’m studying a picture that you made for me last year, framed in black and hanging above my window. It is definitely one of the dearest, most beautiful and most telling creations that I have ever seen. I remember that I unwrapped it, and was blown away by how thoughtful it was; there is nothing more beautiful to me than a child’s handmade creation, namely yours. “Wow,” I said, staring at the picture, riddled with splashes of red and black, and blue, and yellow, and purple on white, with a perfect “EL” floating in the left hand bottom corner. You ran over to me, and sat on my lap to tell me all about it; “That’s you, and that’s me, and that’s a boat and we are floating.” You pointed up to the upper right hand corner and said, “that is the sun, and those are storm clouds, but we are safe together because our boat is rubber.” Your mom winked at us and said, “I think that Ellijah just learned about that at nursery school.” I’ll never forget that, or the serious look in your eyes when you explained your creation. Thank you.

You were about three, and had just witnessed me falling apart over Jack. I tried to hide it from you, standing in your kitchen, confessing my anguish quietly to my sister, but you stared up at me with your beautiful green-blue eyes, and little nose peppered with sunlight framed by summer blonde hair, tugging on my green bikini bottom. “Ana, don’t cry. Ana, Ana ...”. You tried to get my attention, but I was too self-absorbed, confessing to my sister that I have been in love with a guy ten years younger than me for a year, a former student, and we weren’t getting along. Your mom just stood there and listened to me, without judgment, and consoled me. I’ll never forget it; she was beyond kind, and I was distraught.

You then disappeared for a moment, and came back and said, “these are for you Ana,” and you handed me two magnets with beautiful angels on them. I leaned down and gave you a huge hug and told you how much I loved them and you said, “they are guardian angels.” “Thank you so much,” I told you, and lifted you onto my hip to assure you that I was going to be okay. Usually you would have had enough of being held after a minute or so, but you held onto me tightly, talking a mile a minute trying desperately in your three year old kind of way to change the subject, to make me laugh like the Ana that you love.

Please forgive me for subjecting you to my heartache El; I swore when I held you for the first time, and inhaled your intoxicating baby-scented skin, that I would never do anything to speed up your childhood. I hope that you hold onto it, love it and live it like your favorite soft blanket, your mommy’s scent, your father’s laugh when he hold’s you upside down, and your little sister’s wiggle; don’t ever let go.

Love, Ana

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