Sunday, June 08, 2008


He's not quite four years old, still wearing diapers. He plays alone, drawn away from the pool to the sidewalk next to the lawn, where the parents of all those other kids congregate. The parents who play in the big pool with their kids and their friends's kids, who give out quarters and dollars for snack bar popcorn and candy and ice pops, who unpack fresh strawberries picked that morning or bags of pretzels or jugs of ice water. The parents who say no and warn of time outs and won't let them into the big pool without a grownup. The parents who slather their kids with sunscreen and know when they're so tired they need to go home, who say I love you as naturally as they breathe the chlorine-scented air.

He is caught parent-less in front of all those parents and kids, escorted by the pool manager around looking for a parent, and finally to a person paid for the surrogate role, a person who says get your ass in here on the way to the bathroom when it's pointed out that he is past due for a diaper change. There will be no snuggling with Mommy and complaining about a mean babysitter, no favorite stories and bedtime rituals with a tired but doting Dad, just a brief "good night" from a person who really doesn't care much, doing the bare minimum to keep this little boy alive and sheltered and fed, all for a paycheck.

He's really all alone.


At 10:56 AM, Blogger Sonia said...

Wow. I can visualize this

At 11:43 AM, Blogger Lobbelou said...

This made me cry, both that day and reading this today. I think mostly because I've been that little boy at one point in my life.


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