Your two year old self stares back at me with the look of a curmudgeon. I wonder at that same expression? It never left you. What could you possibly be thinking at age two? Such seriousness in that furrowed brow. You are sitting there on the ground with a little cap sliding off the back of your head, a small child-size man suit and your shoes so typical of baby shoes from the forties. You couldn’t possibly be comfortable dressed like that. I look at you and I just want to hold you in my arms until you smile. I want to tickle the baby that I see in this aged sepia photograph. I want to whisper in your ear, “the whole world doesn’t have to love you, but I do.”
A smile, you never did do much of that when I knew you. Why don’t I know you now? I want to, I long to. You really did not give me much time to be your daughter. I saw you until I was nine. Then you left. Then I saw you on and off until I was twelve, then you left again. I got to live with you for three years and then I left, bereft. That is all the time we ever spent together. Was that all you wanted? I hoped for a little more. I don’t know what you hoped for. Your silence seemed like you were either stuck or you need no more from me.
If you are stuck is it easier to stay stuck? Ignoring away the time? Making that first contact must seem like climbing Everest or base jumping Burj Khalifa. Maybe it is not like any of that at all. Maybe you have blocked your feelings or buried your feelings and the thought of excavating them it just too painful. I don’t know how you feel, you never told me.
I only know that your blood flows through my veins and I continue to love you and the picture of your two year old self. It is all I have to go on.