Wishing, But Not Really

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My sister is a single mother. A single mother who, fights fiercely to give her little boy a happy childhood. She and I work together. However she, who has the child who needs to see her, has seniority. Which requires her to work longer hours than I.

Tonight. She picked up her child from school and had him come sit quietly, do his homework and wait for her to be finished work so she could go home with him and just spend a few hours with him. If everything went according to schedule, he should only have to wait about three hours. Unfortunately, as luck often has it, hours ran long. Since I wasn't required to stay, I offered to take him home and stay with him until she could escape.

My nephew is a handsome little fellow who has a rebellious streak a mile wide. Highly encouraged by his father. But, his love for my sister is so incredibly genuine and unjaded, it makes makes me wish I had a tiny bit of that.

I took him home and played in the bath with him. We talked about Mama and how much she loves him. How customers can be a real pain and cause her to stay later than she would really like. Because, really, she just wants to be home with her little boy."Yes." He nodded his soapy mohawk. "But, Mama has to have the customers. Because, she is working hard so she can be home with me. And pick me up from school."

Mama didn't get home until late. We were tucked in bed and reading stories by the time she was able to untangle herself from work. However, even though the mothering moments of single-parenthood are few and far between the unpleasant has to be addressed whenever possible. She firmly discussed the unacceptability of his swearing problem, which only seems to pop up whenever he comes back from his Father's. She wasn't harsh, she was firm.

Nevertheless, his huge brown eyes got even bigger and he began to leak tears. And then, his whole body shook and he just cried and cried. Once she finially calmed him down, he apoligized for disappointing her and, well, he was "so sorry for crying, but, Daddy always yells for little mistakes" and it scares him.

For a minute, I remembered that feeling of being little, scared, upset and lonely.

She calmed him, hugged him and told him she loved him. His little brown face lit up. Life was good again.

We finished our story. He planted his hand, which is no longer chubby but rapidly strong, on my cheek. "Auntie. I love you. Please read more for me."

I couldn't read more. I had to go. Just as well. I was crying. Because, really, that's all I want from life. Unconditional love. With a story.

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This odd narrative is my life. I ended up in Pittsburgh, of all places--from the beach. I have no hobbies, other than cooking excessively and eating microwave popcorn. I enjoy shopping, the Food network, hiding the remote so the Food network cannot be turned off, find ethnic food stores and restaurants and reading voraciously. My life is decidedly pedestrian.

I worked in the car business where I was required to be ruthless and soul-less wench, which is when I started this project. Since then, I've kept it up because secretly, I've always wanted to join the military. Every male in my mother's family has joined and I quietly entertain thoughts of joining. I haven't yet and don't know if I ever will, but sending the troops cookies keeps me sane. it makes me think I still have a shred of human kindness left in my withering soul. it's a small way for me to salute the men and women who are brave enough to fight for freedom. And makes me feel like I'm contributing toward troop morale--even if I'm not. So if you want to help, send me addresses of troops you know stationed overseas. you may also contribute toward the cost of chocolate chips, but don't feel obligated, that link is here only by request.

the past


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