Updated: Oct 17, 2020
My second birthday. Or perhaps it is my third. I climb out of my crib to spy my mother making a cake in the kitchen. The smell of sugar. The beating of metal. The strength of her arms as she spins batter. Yellow streams of light. The lamp.
I tug on her skirt. She lets out a scream. I’m frightened. But I’m alive. I’ve caused a sound in her I’ve never heard.
What other sounds were there?
I become a little Houdini. What can I wriggle free from to give her that thrill again.
On the freeway, I wiggle out of my carseat. Us flying in that giant piece of metal. My mother’s hands swatting at the seat behind her, ushering me back to my tiny strapped in chair.
I climb and straddle the center console standing beside her seat. She’s angry. I’m too thrilled to care. I long to be near her, to see her view.
She’s crying as she gets me back in my seat.
Don’t you ever do that again, Piedy.
I learn that a body is a thing to protect. Those metal beasts hurling through space had never struck me as a threat. I didn’t understand. But I understood her fear. Her need to protect me. That I needed to learn to protect my own body from harm.
Hello body. I’m told you are fragile. How to handle you with care.