It is a mid July evening in Georgia.
We are at the ball park, sandwiched between
Two rusted, pro life trucks.
Above us, the deep baritone grumble of a
The crack of the bat and my breath held, hoping.
An intern in the heavens flicks a switch and the cicadas cry as one, screeching and cheering her on.
Mosquitos take turns ravaging me, feasting on every bit of exposed flesh. I swat them heroically, but I only have eyes for her.
She does not like failing and she isn’t particularly good at this. I want her to be. Desperately. Laugh in the right spaces. Play the right sports. Be happy.
Be. Be in exactly the right way so that she never cries in the dark, helpless, considering all she never was.
I will try for nonchalance when she returns to the car. For a moment she is haloed by the sun, surrounded by pale faces. She is golden and she is light.
She holds the ball that she was gifted tight in her hand, as fragile as a robin’s egg. Somewhere a strong mother is using this very moment to build a stronger daughter.
I want to be a stronger mother. I want to give her advice. Make this a sage moment that she will remember later.
So I grab her empty hand, and she lets me hold it. I turn down the radio and let the cicadas sing us home.