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Jett Superior laid this on you on || June 23, 2001 || 12:09 am

I left her standing there in the rain, crying. I did not pass it off as a child’s fancy; it was in no way manipulative or falsely wrought. I felt acutely the disconnection she was feeling.

She looks for all the world like my sister, save for my darker skin and loud blue eyes that tell it all up front. She carries my personality, as my sister will admit. My niece, perhaps, is her gateway to understanding me (my father served the same role in helping me know my sister; they are more patently alike in the realm of internal workings than either of them realizes or cares to admit).

I hadn’t seen her in nearly 4 years…she could barely talk then. The first words spoken to me by my niece after, “Hi, Aunt Beth,” on Tuesday afternoon were, “How come you and my mommy don’t get along?”

Of course, I was speechless. How to answer such a big question rendered from such a little five-and-a-half-year old mouth?

She quickly rescued me without knowing it. Placing a hand on my shoulder, she asked, “Is it because you don’t understand each other?”

My mother was watching, amused but expectant. I told her last year, unequivocally, that she should stop trying to build a bridge between Fred (my sister’s childhood nickname) and me because she didn’t have all the facts.

“Why?” I asked (fairly quickly, to my way of thinking), “Is that what your mom told you?” She nodded.

“Wellllll…..(here is where I smiled, kinda chuckling, and my mom laughed) I think that is an excellent way of putting it, Morgan. Your mom’s right. We don’t always understand one another.”

She looked closer into my face. “But you still love each other, right?”

“Right. We still love each other.”

We had to leave prematurely, due to weather. The kids and I were in a tent, while my parents and niece had a camper to ride out rainstorms in. Fate was against me…..ever try to corral a two-year old into an 8′ by 8′ space? Logistically impossible, so we were forced to cut the time by a day-and-a-half.

She would have reacted the same way if we had stayed as planned. She would have reacted the same way if the sun was winking at us brightly from between the treetops. If it had been morning, noon, or night. If, if, if…..

She has a strong urge toward family. It’s in our blood. She was born to a child of wanderlust, a recessant gene, but one that is nevertheless also in our blood. She feels with a passionate depth and the words to express it don’t even have to be there for you to understand, but they are. Both traits are mightily in our blood. She has a scary way of innately understanding things, of cutting to the root of a matter without too much trauma. Yep, ditto….the blood thing

Perhaps I feel so deprived of her because she is my only niece. Perhaps it is because she is so like me and I want to be able to show her the bends in the road where I fucked up, so that she might glide past and become the best version of a me that the world could ever possibly see. Someone who knew when to unlace the gloves and not fight. Someone who knew the key to NOT being a chronic nailbiter. Someone who knew how to give away herself completely without losing her identity. Someone who could win the Pulitzer or sing an entire opera, perfectly mastering the silences between notes. Someone not so given to weak self-indulgences.

Is the obvious layer of self-criticism here? You decide. Just go on and do it, because you’ll probably do it anyway; I might as well labor under the illusion that I made it so.

“Where is this post heading, girl??” you may ask. I’ll tell you.

I left a little girl –who has led such a jaggedy life (not of her own volition or making, of course) thus far– standing in the rain crying today.

It colored my whole day and may well do the same with the next few.

Nobody worked it out »

Don´t be shy. Lay it on me.

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