A collection of glimpses of the world through the eyes of children. We were all children once--so everyone is welcome to join!
Maria stared at the pale little toe that was sticking conspicuously out of a hole in her black sock. She slid her eyes over the perfect little wrinkly lines that went from one side to the other and wondered if each toe print was unique, just like finger prints were unique. Then she wondered what you called those lines on your fingers that weren’t actually wrinkles, but that you made prints with. Were they finger tip grooves?
Her thoughts were interrupted when Daddy walked in, his big Daddy tummy having an argument with the doorframe.
“Get that cat off my spot,” he said, bee-lining for his comfy chair across from the tv.
“Aww, she’s just keepin’ it warm for you.” Maria quickly scooped the furry animal up before it got sat on.
As Daddy took a sip of his Coke, he glanced her way and she realized that she hadn’t seen his eyes in a long time. They were always fastened to the TV or the newspaper or his breakfast or the road. She saw now that there seemed to be something wrong with his eyes, just like there was something wrong with the rest of him these days. She wondered if some of the fast food had somehow gotten into his eyes. They’d been eating a lot more of it now, since mom had got a job and had stopped ‘sweating the little things’. His eyes they seemed sort of over-fried and fast-served in recycled white paper. She didn’t like it.
So she pushed her nose into the cat’s soft fur and enjoyed his warm, fuzzy smell. It reminded her of the way mom’s thick old wool sweater smelt—the patterned one Daddy’s Mom made, which she only brought out on special occasions, like when it snowed so much you couldn’t open the door, or iced so much you couldn’t go to school. Those had been great days, alternately cooped up in the house with wet socks, or building or sliding in the coldness that made those socks wet.
But there weren’t any of those days anymore, and now her sock had a hole in it. Did everything have to change and wear out over time?
Daddy seemed to have worn out.
She removed her nose from the cat’s neck and looked up at him again. He was looking at the TV, but she didn’t think he was seeing it because there was a food show on and he hated food shows. Suddenly Maria felt terribly sorry for him, like she felt sorry for her favourite pair of socks that she would no longer get to wear, only more sorry than that. She stood up to leave the room, to go find a book to read or something. But then she just dashed over to him and kissed him on the cheek—real quick—and it wasn’t very pleasant because he cheek was scratchy. And she said, “I love you and I’m sorry.” Then she ran away before he could be grumpy at her.
She was in her bedroom sorting through a stack of her favourite books with shaky hands by the time a big tear squeezed out of Daddy’s eye. It rolled down his cheek, changing directions twice because of the sharp little hairs in the way.