A glimpse into the progressive worsening of the relationship between a mother and her daughter.
"The trees are gently swaying, swaying, swaying..."
Wearing a hand-sewn sundress of pink and purple, swishing with ruffles and bows, the tiniest girl in the room of three-to-six year olds swayed back and fourth to the mildly hypnotic music. It's Saturday, and summertime of 1993, and the little girl is me. She's at church, in Sabbath School, being led in song by her overly thin mother with a plastic smile plastered on. Of course, I am 3 years old and don't really notice the glazed look in my mother's eye, to me it's relatively normal, and I've grown accustom to it at a young age. However, I do sense that she might be on the verge of snapping and outright yelling at a child, should they try and run away from the circle we have formed in the middle of the room, standing with our arms raised over our heads and singing in our little high-pitched voices in a rather off-key fashion. She's extra on edge today, and it wouldn't bode well for anyone to misbehave. That's why I'm the one to break the circle, and toddle over to the felt board. I'm a drooling miscreant of a child, and begin slobbering on the toes of one of the fuzzy disciples.
My mother takes a moment to realize someone is missing, but when she does, that look in her eyes goes from glazed to fiery. She abruptly ceases her song, and leaves five other children who are behaving in order to make her way to where I am, snatching the felt out of my hand. Her assistant takes over the abandoned kiddies as to not have chaos in the classroom, and my mother takes me outside for a "stern talking to" that winds up with me in tears, and my mother on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I am sent to my father, and my mother goes back to her class. I smile to myself, because being under my father's care meant basically the same thing as being left to fend for myself. I wander to my heart's content around the lobby of the church, sucking on a bulletin here and licking the carpet there as my father has his nose buried in a lesson quarterly. A small success in my even smaller world.