The lower Hudson Valley rainforest feel is in full effect today. I awoke at 5 a.m. to my daughter's voice. She's been waking up the past few days, sore from swimming in the town pool, from trying out her new bike, which she rides at an angle. The world outside feels unstable and dangerous, but in our little apartment, with her father and I as co-navigators, spiders are ferried to safety with relative ease.
I don't remember the first time I read Kelle Groom, nor do I remember how I came across it. I think I saw someone's recommendation, and I thought I'd like it. "Like" is not sufficient. It is one of those books that makes the world feel less grim. Not because she looks the other way, but because she has the stamina to look directly at those moments in her life, which taken together, would have destroyed the most rigorously determined person. But that's the grace of the story, the tender hope I find amidst the grief.
Just a page in, we glimpse it, this hope: "We're still together. My darkness keeps him safe, fed. My body does everything right: carrying, feeding, singing a water song. My heart counted on like a lullaby. In the outside world, my practical skills are limited--I don't know how to keep house or manage money, sometimes I can barely speak. But in my son's world, my body has everything he needs. I belong to him."