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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Watching from the Swingset

I just received an e-mail from a good friend asking if I'm doing okay. He says I've been a little quiet lately. Yesterday Auburn Pisces called to tell me she says my energy feels distant. My mother is a Pisces, so I am used to this type of scary perceptive energy-sensing behavior. Mom always knew instantly if I was feeling sad or lonely. Then again, I am pretty easy to read. The problem with having no filters is that everybody can tell when you are "out of sorts". Even if I try to hide how I'm feeling, it leaks out in my writing and in my behavior. My face tells the true story of what's going on inside. The truth is, I just received a concerned phone call from a friend in Cleveland. Apparently my energy travels even to Pisces' who live thousands of miles away.

Most of my closest friends are very open with their feelings as well. I am drawn to people who are open books (no wonder I've become friends with so many bloggers). This morning during our coffee break, Auburn Pisces told Ms. Karma and me a story that caused her to burst into tears. Her daughter, Auburn Aries, is a seven-year-old little girl struggling with her weight. She doesn't have a lot of good friends in school and often spends recess sitting alone on the swingset. Auburn Pisces, being a loving parent, wants to take away her baby's pain and is worried that she might be failing her daughter somehow.

I want to help Auburn Pisces and her daughter. But I know from my own experience that all of us have to make our own way in the world. When I was struggling with the loneliest year of my life, my parents didn't even know. I was too ashamed to tell them. Parents want to protect their children from loneliness, weight struggles, sadness and the maelstrom of hardships kids face.

I believe little Auburn Aries will find her way. From the stories I've heard, she sounds like a little actress in the making. The girl is hilarious and spunky. She has flaming red hair, which is going to get her more dates than she knows what to do with once she's at that age. She's just not "at that age". She's at the age when kids are jerks and anybody who's different is marked for target practice or ignored completely.

I'm going to see if I can help Auburn Pisces find a children's theater in the area or something to give her daughter the confidence and contentment she needs. I know theater helped me to grow in so many ways. Perhaps little Auburn Aries will discover, the way I did, that making other people laugh is one way to build your character and find joy.

Sometimes, though, it is okay to sit on the swingset and just watch. That's what I'm doing right now. I'm doing a lot of thinking and reflecting, and I'm not in the mood to join the other kids on the playground. I think I'll just sit here with Auburn Aries and swing for a little bit.

Don't worry about us. We'll be just fine.

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