Monday, February 25, 2013

I am at the YMCA.
I see a woman whom I haven't seen in two years. Her son was in preschool with Aoife. She marvels at Fiona and Maeve, their dexterity on the climbing structure, their height, their vocabulary. Last she saw me they were a baby (who could not yet walk) and a big bump. This seemed recent.
And then she says to me, and the older three are at the charter school?
Yes, I say. And I think to myself, did she just say three? But the room is noisy. She must have said two.
How old are they? You have five, right? No, four? Five?
Four, I say, correcting her.
Oh, four, she says. I don't know why I thought it was five.

I do.

(she was one of the few people in my life's history who came to my house and saw something with Charlotte's name on it and asked, with beautiful innocence, "Who's Charlotte?" As I'm leaving the Y, I remember this story with complete clarity. And I am betting that as she left the Y, she also remembered why she imagined me with five.)

P.S. So what is it? Four, or five? What do you say when you are ten years out (almost)?


KellyB said...

I have spent two past few days devouring your blog. I can't even remember how I stumbled upon it just yesterday. I unable at this time to put into words why, but I felt the need to let you know that I have read your words, followed your journey and am deeply and profoundly effected by them. I wish you peace and continued healing.

kris said...

Oh, dear friend. You have five in my mind and heart, but I think Charlotte would understand the answer of 4 to a person in passing. It does not deny her, I don't think.

See you soon, I hope...I drove out your way this weekend and smiled.

loribeth said...

I STILL (almost 15 years later) occasionally run into people who ask "how's the family?" or some such remarks, & when I say I don't have kids, they give me a funny look &/or say, "Really? I was sure you did..." Since these are generally people I don't see very often and have superficial relationships with, I don't usually explain.

Aimee said...


I usually say 4 with some clarification. But I hate that. I suppose I always will....

WhoSheIs said...

Awhile back, I read your entire blog, backwards. And as a happy mama of a 10.5 month old, and a sad mama of a 1.5 year old lost in early miscarriage, I say thank you for putting words around feelings I was ashamed to have. My little is indeed a gift from the first- he would not be without the other. And that is profound. And also some things are okay for me to say/feel/think, but not for others to say/feel/think on my behalf. Absurd, but true. And okay. And thank you.

Sarah Bain said...

Oh, oh, what do you say? I say three, no four, three, yes, four.

Yes, ten, TEN, it's a big one, so I've heard. I'm holding my breath and starting already to sink!