the safety of objects

I see my nieces and nephew sitting at the dinner table pushing their overly ranch drenched lettuce around in a bowl. I see their four, three, and eight year-old bodies wiggle and squirm out of their seats. I see them reach for second helpings before they’ve eaten any protein. I see them talk with their mouths full. I see them plead to get up and go, to go play, to leave the grown up conversations. I see them jump at the idea of a bubble bath. I see them cry at the idea of getting clean. I see their wet hair and clean pajamas and their made up beds and I crave that safety of childhood, that safety of knowing that your whole house is on your side, that when you go to bed the people who love you most will be at the breakfast table. I miss that innocence and naiveté and joy, but most of all I miss that safety.

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