The Beauty of Naomi

Wild things have a mind of their own; in myriad ways, my daughter is very much a wild thing.   And for all their cunning and foresight and surprising intelligence, a wild thing cannot take into account humanity's plans for it.

I tried to brush her hair today. It took me an hour, and it's maybe a third of the way done, and she screamed so hard for the first 30 minutes that she burst dozens of tiny blood vessels underneath her jawline.  You can see them, clear as septicaemia, little plum-and-grape-and-strawberry-coloured pinpricks, beautiful and terrifying under her ethereally pale, almost blue-white skin... and I'm going to have to go in there now, and finish brushing her hair, because I can't let today's work be in vain. It's taken me 3 weeks to build up enough of an emotional... reservoir... of strength, to even do that much. I'll have to persevere.

But. Oh, I wish one of us could be less sensitive. If she has to suffer so, why do I have to suffer with her? It makes it worse, I'm so ineffective, so wary of harming her irreversibly, that sometimes, I don't do anything at all...

In the ideal sort of world, neither of us would have to suffer. In the next-best world, I'd be the one suffering, and she'd be happy and healthy and secure, and oblivious to my pain... I wish I could switch places with her. What parent doesn't wish that, when their child hurts? But I *mean* it. I'm whining, uselessly, predictably, boringly, and I don't care; why does she have to be in pain?

She is so beautiful. That's not maternal arrogance, some sort of puffed-up familial pride, some vanity regarding my own genetic superiority... she is beautiful. Somehow, that makes everything worse. Somehow, amidst all the worry and sorrow and unfathomable suffering, it's the fact of her beauty, that breaks your heart.

The End

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