Dangerous Compassions

other people’s kids

Once I had a good friend–I talked to her almost every day.  We chatted on gmail chat for hours.  She got up really late.  So we’d start talking in the afternoons.

Her spouse was a psych nurse, and they had two kids who were homeschooled.  And lots of animals.

Once they were visiting Sacramento, when I was living there.  We all went out to Indian food.  The older kid was ordering off the menu, but others were having buffet.  The kid started eating some rice that was from the buffet.

I told her to stop it.  I didn’t want her to get in trouble for eating from the buffet.  I was really surprised when she started to cry.  I felt horrible.  I think she knew I wasn’t trying to be mean or hurt her.  But something about being chastised was painful anyway.

Now she’s a young adult.  I don’t talk to her parents anymore but am still friends with them on facebook.

The other morning at the soupline, we were talking to our friend N.  He likes to bring his two little children.  The four year old walked off, picked up a rock, and was moving toward the pigeons. 


“Why?” the kid asked, spun around to face me.

“You can’t hurt the pigeons!” I said.

“Why?” the kid asked again.  Our friend N seemed unconcerned.

Yesterday I was at Mom’s dining room table writing a long letter to my friend in England for Thanksgiving comfort.  My mom told my niece to change the tablecloth.  It was time to set the table.

“I guess I’m getting the boot,” I told my niece as she approached with the fresh tablecloth.  She laughed.  I gathered my writing things and relocated to the kitchen.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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