her side of the story

Tonight, for the first time, Alice sort of told me how her day went.

“Owie hand,” she said as she was falling asleep.

I knew what she was talking about.

When I picked her up this afternoon, one of the teachers was icing her wrist and said that Alice had hurt it on the playground. I asked her to wriggle her fingers. Then wave her hand. And she did. Quite satisfactorily, so I let it go and didn’t worry.

Then, tonight, zipped into her jammies and twirling her hair, she looked up at me and said, “Owie hand.”

“I know,” I said. “You hurt your hand. Does it feel better now?”

Owie hand.

Alice crying.

Friends help.

No help Max

Miss Jamie hold you.

Ice in it.

And every single jagged little sentence made sense.

I know what happened.

It’s a strange thing for me to be let in on what she sees and feels while I’m at work. I wonder if it’s strange for her too, whether the world looks different to her now that there are words for it. If a haze is clearing, or if it’s just getting more complicated.


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