This is the story Ivy asked to hear before bed.
When I was very little, but still bigger than you, my mommy and my daddy decided they didn’t love eachother. They got a divorce so they wouldn’t be married anymore. My daddy moved into his own house. I still lived with my mommy and Auntie Sherry. Later, my mommy got a new friend, a boyfriend, LeRoy, and she spent a lot of time going places with him. They would go out on dates like Daddy and I do sometimes when Nanny and Papa come stay with you.
I didn’t have a Nanny and Papa to come play with me, I had my big sister Sherry, but she had her own things she liked to do. When my mommy was gone, I’d get lonely when I had to go to bed and I was scared of the dark. But I had Teddy Brown to cuddle. He’s a good bear. He always kept me safe.
“I get scared of the dark too, Mama,” Ivy says.
I think of this place as our meeting place–alone, us two, in a night room covered by constellations of colored stars. This is where she discovers Mama’s fears, and I hope, finds solace in our likeness. Her after dark is so different from my own childhood night times with Ma silently keening in the blacked-out basement beneath layers of Country and Western music. We should be hidden it said to me. We are shamed.
Ma’s shame was that of the predivorce era, when it still felt fresh and new and wrong, It was as if her husband’s wrong was her wrong, a thing she turned first to pain, then to anger. But in all that pain and anger, in nights long of dark and tears, she never spared her daughter a word. I can’t blame her unknowing, but I go to it now, in the dark of Ivy’s room, willing myself to spare her nothing. We are strong, I try to say, We are good.
P.S. Next week I should be returning to the regularly scheduled Throw me Thursday posting times–somewhere around midnightish a day earlier than now. Thanks for reading through the chaos!
P.P.S. Should you feel compelled, subscriptions and Facebook likes are always a huge bonus.
P.P.P.S. I love the creativity of the TMT suggestions, Please, Please keep submitting ideas. Is that too beggy, I don’t want to be too beggy.