At times I feel so young that I fear I cannot walk through the world with poise. In those moments I preserve my dignity by removing myself so that my puckered mouth and eager eyes will not be witnessed. With blinds drawn I sob and, with this release, age just enough to function.

I will get through today. I will survive. Perhaps even help someone (I hope). I will peel myself off the ground and support six other adults (none of whom will know that I woke up an infant). I will buy groceries in the half-hour before the supermarket closes. I will come home and heat up a pre-prepared dinner before dragging myself to bed. And if I’m lucky–if I manage to do everything I am saying–I will rest without shame and with my dignity and pride intact.

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