Everything We Don’t Want Them to Know
by Maria Mazziotti Gillan
published in her 2010 book, What We Pass On
At eleven, my granddaughter looks like my daughter did, that slender body, that thin face, the grace
with which she moves. When she visits, she sits with my daughter; they have hot chocolate together
and talk. The way my granddaughter moves her hands, the concentration with which she does everything,
knocks me back to the time when I sat with my daughter at this table and we talked and I watched the grace
with which she moved her hands, the delicate way she lifted the heavy hair back behind her ear.
My daughter is grown now, married in a fairy-tale wedding, divorced, something inside
her broken, healing slowly. I look at my granddaughter and I want to save her, as I was not able
to save my daughter. Nothing is that simple, all our plans, carefully made, thrown into a cracked
pile by the way love betrays us.