15 Feb

I just spent about half an hour pulling a splinter out of a kid’s foot, cleaning the wound, and listening to her complain as she squeezed my arm with both hands–as hard as she could, though I didn’t feel a thing. We sat on the floor of the bathroom with her foot in my lap and the contents of the first aid kit spread around us, and she yelled “ow ow it hurts! This is the worst thing ever!” and I made lots of cracks about her very stinky feet. She’s around 10, and her feet were wretchedly stinky (she is a young dance student and had a field trip to a farm today), to the point my hands still smell bad after two thorough washes.

We live in a world that is frightening and painful even for adults. Kids are small and fragile, and they live in a world that is confusing, arbitrary, painful, frightening, and designed for people who are wiser, older, bigger, and everything elser than them. They depend on adults whether or not they know it, or would admit to it, or even want to think about it.

I don’t have kids. I never wanted kids. But I have worked with kids extensively. And I have loved, in some small way, every child who has ever crossed my path. Even the dramatic ones, even the smelly ones, even the horrid spoiled bratty ones.

I don’t remember Splinter Girl’s name. She doesn’t know mine. In a few days, once her foot stops hurting, she probably won’t remember this at all. It doesn’t matter; she doesn’t have to remember. She’s a kid. She’s a small, fragile, dramatic kid. I’m an adult. It would be my responsibility to help her even if it wasn’t my job to help her.

And I am in some kind of mood about you people who keep letting your Goddamned gun fetish get in the way of remembering that.

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One Response to “”

  1. Lainey Elise March 13, 2018 at 3:14 pm #

    You are wonderful Rykie–you are the kind of adult I want to be around my girls. Even before I had kids I would smile and be friendly and talk to little kids out in public because I think it’s important for them to see kind genuine adults so they don’t get swallowed by the darkness of this world. I once found a little boy in a grocery store who had lost his mom and I had the same feeling–he will never remember me but on that day in that moment I was the person he trusted to make the world right. I wish more people would do what you did and be that for all kids.

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