Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Innocence That She Will Lose

I just lost a tooth! she says to the checkout guy at PetsRUs.

He either doesn't hear her, doesn't realize she is talking to him, or pretends that he doesn't hear her.

It is reasonable to think that he doesn't know that she is speaking to him. She has said something out of nowhere, quite softly, and her face was not looking in his direction, and, therefore, the soundwaves of her statement travelled elsewhere.

I try to get his attention, to sheild her from the reality that will inevitably close in on her someday: People don't care.

Maybe I am just cynical.

But she is not, and it is lovely, her world.

She approaches everyone and anyone with her, and our, personal details with the assumption that the details, HER details are important to everyone. Whenever this happens, I hope the stranger will give her some attention. Be delighted in her firsts. I hope that the details she provides are not too personally revealing on my part, and I hope that when people don't care, that she isn't crushed.

I lost my first tooth and another tooth is coming in! LOOK! she says to the besuited woman waiting impatiently for her coffee at Caribou. Her little fingers part her lips so that you can see the both empty space on her lower front jaw and the white little mountains cropping up in the left back; her six-year molars making an unfashionably early entrance.

Tonight at an outdoor concert near our closest lake, the FYO wanders over to a shady spot while I stake out a spot for BioMom and her parents, and the blanket I know they're toting. I overhear the FYO telling a fellow concert-watcher that

No. We don't know if it will be a boy or a girl yet.

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