Portrait of a Young Mother and Son

She calls out to him over her shoulder as they bike across Lexington. “Do you remember riding in the wagon trailer, Evan, right along this path?”

She hopes that he remembers. She wants desperately for him to remember.

Because then, even if all goes wrong – if she disappoints him and he grows up to despise her – he will at least recall (perhaps with some fondness?) the caring little acts she now performs to please him. If years from now he remembers, then maybe he will be able to see that she was a good mother once; that she tried.

Because she does try, almost to a pitiful extent. She buys a wagon trailer and builds a sandbox in the backyard, one far too large for a single child. She watches him play from the window as she scrubs dishes from lunch. She asks the next-door-neighbors what they’re buying their children for Christmas, then gets him the same shiny whirring toys that break within a matter of weeks. She reads to him as he falls asleep.

All of this so that one day, when she (inevitably) fails him, he might possess some untarnished memory of her; a memory that could bring him to forgive her.


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