Thursday, October 30, 2008


Tessa told me this evening, "Mama, I love you as much as everything in the sky: the sun, the moon, the clouds, and the stars...." and I thought I would melt. What a beautiful image for me to carry with me.

Tonight Tessa and I read, "Mama went to Jail for the Vote" which is about suffragettes - a topical theme this election year. Mid-way through the story, "Mama" has to go to jail for six months. Tessa's face crumpled, and I asked her about her worries. She said that I couldn't ask, that she couldn't say. This is what happens when she is most afraid - it breaks my heart. I tried to talk through her fears, and said that I wasn't going to jail. I jumped to the conclusion of the book, that Mama was released AND that women go the vote. It took a long time to reassure Tessa that I would not steal or hurt people, and that I wouldn't go to jail; that children don't go to jail (not five year olds, anyway) and that she needn't worry. Then we talked about voting, and how it has been legal for women for a long time, and that I've voted lots of times and I never went to jail, because it's okay. Poor kid! I had no idea the trauma that I was causing her with this story, but her imagination ran wild.

I'm grateful for a child with such an imagination, and such compassion, and such love. Most of all, I'm grateful that she let me comfort her even when she couldn't voice her fears. No, most of all, I'm grateful that she loves me so much.

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