I cried at the swimming pool today.

I cried at the swimming pool today.

Evelyn was happily splashing around, practicing her backstroke while zigging and zagging backwards through the pool lane, narrowly missing her classmates on multiple occasions. Her friend’s mother sat next to me.
“Anna’s so scared that Evelyn will move.”
Instantly the tears start streaming down my face. You see, Anna’s American best friend, her “amica del cuore,” moved away this summer, and she’s struggling with the loss.
“I see her crying, and she asks me, ‘Will Evelyn leave too?’”

"Yes." I cry as I say this, tears coming fast now. People are staring. “Yes, we will move too.”

Her mom looks away, and I wipe my cheeks over and over. The edges of my sleeves are wet, and the tears aren’t stopping. I think of all of the goodbyes my family has said over the course of Christopher’s career in the Air Force and imagine what it will be like this next time when we move again. I consider how I’ve walled myself off here rather than opening up to possibilities of friendship. Because it’s heartbreaking when you move away from your amici del cuore, your literal friends of heart. In my life, everyone moves. It’s perpetual motion, hopeful connection and eventual heartbreaking goodbyes.

“It’s lonely,” I say aloud.

 Evelyn and Anna

Evelyn and Anna

My words drown in the sounds of the pool. I look again at Evelyn who is currently floating on her back, kicking furiously down the pool lane while passing a small ball around her torso. Anna’s also practicing her backstroke, and the two girls are set to collide in the middle of the lane. At the last moment, they both stop and turn to face each other. A second passes and they’re laughing.

How I wish for a child's heart. Trusting. Open to connection. Kind and loving. Malleable with room to grow. Resilient. 

Both girls turn back and head in opposite directions, and I silently remind myself to stay afloat. Just stay afloat. 

 

 

Daily LifeEmily G.1 Comment