Shyly, I look up at you. I smile. I don’t say much until I get to know you. Its better to be quiet and listen than to be heard. Go play in your room quietly. Entertain yourself. Don’t get dirty. Why did you break your crayon? How did that toy get broken? I didn’t do it. But, remember, I’m an only child.
Not a lot of play dates. Those other children are too needy. They need to stay outside. They can run home to go to the bathroom or get a drink. They argue too much. They shouldn’t yell. Don’t fight. Play nice. No, you can’t go to their house. Their mother works and is not home right now. Stay in the yard. Time to eat. No, they need to leave. They can come back later. Tell them they can’t wait on the step.
My friends were imaginary. They seemed to be quieter. They didn’t make a mess. My mother didn’t even know they were there. My friends were the bugs and butterflies in the summertime that I could catch and put in a jar with leaves and sticks. My friends were the white puffy clouds that drifted lazily across the blue sky. They wouldn’t want to overstay their welcome. My friends were the birds I found. My friends were the stray animals that I coaxed into the yard. My friends were my pets. Sorry. Pet. One. One cat. He had to stay outside. Never coming in. He was too dirty. He was always too something.
Mom? Can you play with me? Not right now. I have to get this house cleaned up before your father comes home for lunch. Mom? Can you play with me? I’m fixing your dads lunch right now. Mom? Can you play with me? I’ve got to clean up the kitchen. Maybe later. Mom? Can you play with me? Mommy is really tired right now, she needs to rest for a little bit. Go play quietly in your room. Mom? Can you play with me? I have to get dinner started. Should I even ask again?
Maybe, I’ll make a mess. Maybe, I’ll throw a slight fit. Maybe, I could not eat my vegetables. Maybe. No. Don’t make her angry. Don’t make her mad. Don’t make her think she isn’t a good mom. Don’t make her think she is raising a rebellious child. But, she wouldn’t know. She doesn’t know you. She doesn’t understand how your little only lonely child brain works. She only realizes her own needs-to be super mom. To be room mom for the class and make cookies. To have the cleanest house. To have hot meals for her husband everyday. To do her best. The only lonely child is doing her best. I don’t understand why the house has to be spotless everyday. I don’t understand why the laundry has to be done everyday. I don’t understand. I only know, I am lonely.
Shyly, I look up at you and smile. I’m a lonely child.