An Ode To Who We Will Be
By Claudia Sanchez-Jean
This is written for my mother, who built independence in me.
Thursday afternoon, the rain falls and won’t stop until the next morning. School ended two hours ago and everyone is leaving their nine-to-five job. A girl sits on the steps at school, looking at the door, waiting for somebody to pick her up.
The door opens and it’s her mother, soaked in rain the blue umbrella failed to shield. No worry, no fear, no relief the little girl showed. “It happens often”—the tardiness, the rain.o then why does it seem like you were really waiting?
Hand-in-hand (and on-sleeve to cross the street) to the train, pink rain boots and blue umbrella, the mother starts to ask, “How was your day?” The girl’s day is always the same so that’s all she says. They both know that.
Well, then how was the mother’s day? Does she ever share? Full of coffee, emails, and phone calls? Maybe she should say that. So, go on, tell her something.
But the girl and I already know, because when ‘we’ take the train and she’ll wake you up at our stop, when ‘we’ get home, ‘we’ eat what’s left-over and ‘we’ brush our teeth, and then the girl finally asks you to read her a book, you’ll try not to fall asleep on her bed mumbling “one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.” She’ll always just find it amusing and read the book to you instead (one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish).
She’s not big enough to carry you to bed, so you do. But know that I know the girl can’t wait to see you after school again. To see you try your best. Because the most she can do is give her love. Do you?
Well, the bigger she gets, the more she’ll have, right? Now she can go home on her own. And now you get home after she’s already had dinner. “We never have dinner together.” Does she know this is for her and for the better? Yes she does, and she appreciates it, but I feel as if she rather it not be. What she does know is it’s always going to be like this until she’s grown enough, because you tell her a lot more often now.
She doesn’t know if you love her. But soon she will know that you did and you still do.
Claudia Sanchez-Jean is a class of 2020 Girls Write Now mentee based in Bronx, NY.