At the airport I see a young girl of 5 or 6 wheeling her small colorful bag behind her. Actually, I hear her first, as she calls out, “Mom! Mom!” Not panicked at first but then more insistent, without thought or belief that her mother could be very far off. Not receiving any response she then began to repeat the word over and over, “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy”. We are like animals, we mew for our mothers when lost, and cannot easily be consoled by strangers.


I remember being in a department store with my mother once when I was about 4 years old. I was a monkeygirl, always climbing, scurrying, crawling into and over and through. This particular day while my mother shopped I made sport of the circular clothing racks, climbing underneath to the center and enjoying the fantasy of this dark and quieter fabric otherworld. When I crawled back out, my mother was not where I had left her, and I had not heard her calling to me to rejoin her back in her world, though the forest of clothes may have deadened the sound. I remember the store having two open levels that were connected by a single staircase in the center. The second level was half the size of the first which enabled one to see half of the first floor when upstairs. I wandered through the store calling out to my mother but was unable to find her anywhere. At last I spotted her, leaving the store through one of the glass push open doors. I ran to catch up with her and as I sped through the doors I yelled my own perhaps slightly panicked “Mom! Mom!” She was about 10 feet ahead of me and as I yelled again she turned slowly to look at me. I can still hear the voice and the words said to this day, “I’m not your mother little girl.” And indeed, she was not, though the admission from this impersonator might just as well come from a scary-toothed Doctor Who monsters mouth, it terrified me so.


A moment later my mother, my real un-fiendish, non-communicating to other worlds, wearing a coat just like other brunette women mother, appeared at the front door and called to me. This was a great gift on that day, to not have the particular fear of a far off mother brought to life, and I was happy to witness it again at the airport on this day, with this little monkeygirl, as her mother called to her from where she had run off from and her face radiated such joy as she ran back to home base, her little bag fairly flying behind her.



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