Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Mile in Her Shoes

This morning I got Moy Moy dressed as usual - nothing special or different except for this: as I buttoned her jeans, for some reason it struck me to put my hands in her pockets. When I did, I found they were all crumpled up - you know the way they get sometimes. I pushed my hands down in the pockets on both sides so the cloth went all smooth and straight and I felt in myself that little sigh of satisfaction I get when I do the same to my own pockets.

Well, then I put her shoes on and as I did I thought about the dozens of shoes I try on each time I buy a new pair - about how it takes that many to find the perfect fit, to find the pair that feels just right: with the kind of spring I like and the snugness I want, to say nothing of color and price and whether they make my feet look big or small . . .

And then I thought about how much of Moy Moy's life is in my hands - what she wears, when she eats, when she rises, when she sleeps, who she meets and how she wears her hair. There are so many ways to look at this reality: I can feel overwhelmed by the responsibility or saddened by her lack of choices or guilty about making the choices on her behalf or all of the above.

Or I can consider this: when Cathleen was here last year, she was cuddling Moy Moy before putting her to bed and she commented: "My My, Moy Moy, your skin is so soft! And your hair is so thick and beautiful! How do you do it?"

And I thought to myself that if we all had the number of devoted handlers Moy Moy does, washing and massaging and applying lotion, shampooing and conditioning and combing and brushing, our skin would be soft too, our hair would be thick and beautiful.

She has a full and a happy life, with people on all sides who love her and wish her well. We should all be so lucky.

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