And you were horrified with the mere truth, the truth that I had so desperately longed to hide. There is a vulnerability in intimacy, in revealing one’s self, in allowing the other to witness a part of your journey, a part of yourself that has remained in the shadows. What do you do upon exposure? Exposure, I have gathered, entails either shame or relief. Both are extreme feelings. Both require a moment to comprehend what had just happened.
It wasn’t a trauma, but it wasn’t an epiphany either. But I do recall the way I felt as only a helpless, crying, sobbing child does, upon first noticing the huge school doors, knowing that it’s time to let go of Mama’s hand, feeling immense fear pull you to the ground, until you’re on your knees, clinging to Mama’s hand for dear life, refusing to let go.
But then once Mama departs, and the child is inside, the teacher smiles kindly, the colors of the classroom come to life, and the possibilities are endless. You can play with clay. You can use markers and scribble whatever you want. You can build something with the blue and red Lego. Whatever you do, it’s like nothing you’ve ever had at home. And the best part is, that’s a feeling you’ve never felt before. The child is now a separate entity. It was worth letting go of Mama’s hand.
“Love is a wonderful feeling, my darling, and I can’t wait to teach you all about it,” you whispered.