2017 Dec 12

15 minutes: Did I tell you about Mara?

"Yes, she is your daughter," I replied.

"Oh is that who she is?" She seemed surprised. "She used to wear this nice little dress, and I would push her on the swing."

"That was a long time ago, Mom," I said. "We don't do that anymore."

"It's been a long time since I played on the swings," she said wistfully. "Do you think the playgrounds are open now?"

"No, I think they've closed," I lied. I had no idea if there were even playgrounds nearby, but I didn't feel like losing more visiting hours on a wild goose chase.

"I want to go back to the house," she said. "Can you take me to the bus stop, Ma'am?"

"No Mom, the buses aren't running at this hour," I lied again. I knew the buses were running, but her house was long gone. There was no house to return to, but I didn't feel like arguing about it with her.

"That's too bad," she said. "Do you think you might take me to the bus stop tomorrow?"

"I'll try," I said.

"Mara used to love that house. I remember when she would get home from school and shout Mommy, Mommy! running down the hall. Oh, we had so much fun."

"That was a long time ago, Mom. Mara is all grown up now."

"You don't say!" she gasped, though I wasn't sure if she was really paying attention. "Sometimes her dress would get so dirty and I would have to wash it after giving her a good talking to," she started to chuckle. 

I liked to hear her laugh. It made it a bit easier on me.

"Did I tell you about Mara?" she asked, suddenly excited.

"Yes Mom, you just did," I said, but knew I wasn't really getting through to her. "She's all grown up now Mom. Mara is a grown woman."

"Oh really," she exclaimed again, half out of politeness. "What is she doing now?"

I'm talking to you Mom. I'm Mara.