By Joanell Serra
One night my eight year old niece and I find a quiet moment, and she springs a question on me I don’t see coming. Which shows the depth my own denial.
We are two weeks into a long summer visit, my niece Molly and her six year old brother Ryan have travelled across the country to visit with myself, my husband, and our two children. It is a chaotic but fun summer, a mixture of Northern California beach days and trips into foggy San Francisco. I evoke the ghosts of my own childhood in New Jersey, as I drag the four children through city art museums and Shakespeare in the park. And avoid talking about the certain topics, even in the face of obvious evidence that something is very wrong.
Tonight Molly and I are alone, doing her hair before bed. It’s a complicated process, that requires just enough (but not too much) conditioner in the shower and liberal use of detangler after a quick towel dry. Next I pull the brush carefully through the mass of her thick brown hair and braid it tightly so she doesn’t wake up with knots and frizz. This morning’s tug of war and tears as I tried to tame her locks motivates me to get it right this time. Continue Reading…