2020-11-09T14:05:09-08:00September 17th, 2020|Parenthood|

The day she gave everything away

When I asked them to make piles
of toys they wanted to give away,
I didn’t expect my daughter
to give away everything.

Calmly assessing each stuffy
and toy, and proclaiming
like a small monk
that some other child
needed it more than her.

There is a moment
in a parent’s life
when the child is no longer
a child and you are equals.

There is no timer that goes off
to tell you when this will happen
but I did not expect
it at age six.

But when I got to the shelter
for families in need
and I dropped the bags,
I couldn’t look at them,
all those toys and stuffed animals
I knew so well,
their big, innocent eyes pressed
against the clear plastic bag.

Did we do something wrong?
Why are you giving us away?
We’ll see you again, right?

I don’t know what the man
at the shelter thought
as I ran away crying,
reassuring myself out loud,
all the way home,
like those affirmations
I played on repeat during labour,
that it was going to be okay.

As I walked in the door,
she stuck her tongue out
at her brother
and yelled that he was
the most stupidest dummy head

and I’m sure she wondered
why I folded her into
the biggest hug,
and told her what a relief
that she was still
so very little
after all.

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