Slow Learner

At breakfast at the hotel, my ten-year-old is mesmerized by fruit loops. I’ve never tried those, she says, looking at the rainbow bits yearningly.

Go for it, I tell her.

Nearing the end of the milky bowl, she lays down her spoon and comments that Cheerios are better. Those colored rings have failed to hold up to their promised joy. It’s a loss she takes easily, mere observation. When her older sister was that age, I would have leapt forward to fill that moment: disappointed with a cereal? Try this. Or this. This time around, I let it lie. It’s the slightest sadness, and I just let it be. Second time around, I let her keep that sadness for herself.

That evening, she floats on her back in the hotel’s pool, then raises her dripping face and smiles radiantly, sparkling clean, thoroughly happy with buoyancy. I can’t help but stretch for her chlorine-scented hand, and then we flip over and float again, together.

Bring on winter, bring on

disease, & rot & fracture,
because the more broken

we become, the more music
we can spin out of our bones.

– Stephen Cramer, Bone Music

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Woodbury, Vermont/April/Photo by Molly S.

About Brett Ann Stanciu

A writer and sugarmaker, Brett Ann lives with her two daughters in stony soil Vermont. Her novel HIDDEN VIEW was published by Green Writers Press in the fall of 2015. Let my writing speak for itself.
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