Now it was Me Time. Have some fun. But how? Yoga? No, that’s therapy, not play. I paced from kitchen to living room. How about that hula-hoop in the back of my closet? Nope, that’s exercise. I tapped my fingers against my thighs. Read? Yes. What a luxury to escape into a novel. I found the iPad and curled up on my bed. From the looks of my collection, you’d think I was earning an advanced degree in marketing, creative writing, and spirituality. Not a single pleasure-read. I rubbed my neck. Music! My downloads library was medicinal: Hindu chants, singing bowls, Native American flute. Nothing to boogie with. My mouth tightened into a grimace.
According to her memoir, a pallor hung over Linda Shapiro’s childhood––her mother’s episodes of depression. Treatments in the doctor’s office turned her into a zombie, and then she inched back to motherhood. At the end of second grade, Linda’s teacher took her aside. “Have some fun this summer. You don’t have to be so serious.” Linda was puzzled. She knew how to have fun. Didn’t she?
Sometimes my mother sagged into blankness. Shuffled from day to day in the same housedress. While Dad watched, men in white pulled her from our house and escorted her into the night. She reappeared a week later. Nobody talked about it. Once, when the grown-ups were playing cards, I was in the corner reading and eavesdropping. My aunt pointed at me, “Why’s that child so serious?”
Me Time. I set the iPad on the nightstand. My temples throbbed. Time to get reacquainted with Mama.
Waiting for Keisha