by Catherine Van Alstine
I was crying; not the sobbing, moaning type, but instead the silent, scared kind of tears that slid down my cold red cheeks only to be frozen on my scarf, which your beautiful little head was nuzzling into for warmth. We waited for the bus as the blizzard kept on, the freezing wind biting my cheeks as I did my best to shield you from the cold. After a while I gave up on waiting and began walking down Peterson Avenue in the direction of home, stopping along the way as needed to put you, your diaper bag and my purse down in order to stretch my arms and back. You would look up at me scared and cold, demanding to be picked back up with your little arms reached out and your eyes pleading just above your little cherry nose. I move ungracefully in the two feet of snow, and I no longer feel my toes, but you nuzzle your face in the warmth of my neck and your runny nose takes my warmth as I make my way through the drifts of snow where the sidewalk once was. Eventually I stopped looking back for the bus, stopped hoping it would come and understood that I was on my own, you were completely in my hands, and the sheer enormity of that brought fresh tears to my eyes as I kept on making my way home.
Catherine Van Alstine, whose full 6S catalog is here, uses writing as a tool to learn about herself, people, and the world around her.