I Can’t Help You by What Now and Why?
I imagined her saying I don’t need your help. Truth be told, I didn’t have anything to help her with other than maybe talking to her kids while she zoned out for a while.
My daughter and I got on the bus, our first day of catching it together. Our first day of her getting off and transferring to another to go to school, me staying on to get on the subway, me staying on to watch her walk to a bus stop that leaves a lot to be desired as far as safety. Please pay attention to your surroundings. Please.
The mother of the two children across from us was yelling at her son, grabbing his face, telling him to look at her. “Shut up before I give you something to cry about on this bus.” It’s one of the lines used in parenting that I despise. If your kid is crying, he already has something to cry about. “Finish it, now.” He was holding a piece of paper with letters on it. He was about 4, and this was his homework, maybe? He looked so sad. He started to cry again. She grabbed his face again and squeezed, knocking his head against the seat. He cried harder. I winced. I wanted to cry with him. I wanted to hug her. I wanted to smack the absolute shit out of her, see if she felt like I’d given her something to cry about. I wanted to wipe his tears, hold his hand, rock him in a warm blanket. I wanted to offer her something — a kind word, a compliment, an ear. I said nothing. I sat there and took the abuse. Just like her son.
ABOUT ARNEBYA: Arnebya is a writer, blogger, and speaker. In 2006 she was a recipient of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Larry Neal Writers’ Award (Adult Fiction) and in 2012 and 2013 was named a BlogHer Voice of the Year (Op-Ed). Her work is featured in The Washington City Paper’s 2013 fiction issue and she is a featured a guest writer on multiple parenting and lifestyle blogs. Her blog tagline reads, “I write to keep from killing.”
CONTINUE READING IN THE BEDROOM