Why Do You Have Freckles?

I was in that perfect storm of an emotional state. The volatile mood best described as halfway between crying and screaming. Teetering on the edge of maniacal laughter, but too ho hum to crack a smile. Then, I saw it. The graffiti on a power box 23 miles off the interstate, 17 miles off the freeway, across a quarter mile long bridge, around a hairpin turn, and a mile down a one lane road that nearly caused me to wreck the mom van in a fit of laughter.

My son was born with amblyopia. In plain speak, he has a lazy eye. Earlier at the playground, a little girl of about 7 or 8 said, “Why he got a goo goo eye?” It sent a chill down my spine, but she was just a kid. So, I calmly said, “That’s not nice. You should ask him what’s wrong with his eye?” She shrugged and I assumed that was that and I began to walk away.

I wasn’t that lucky. Before I could take two steps, a twangy, raspy voice bellowed, “What’d you say to her?”

I turned to face the wildebeest and I repeated the incident word for word. She said, “Why does he have a goo goo eye?”

The rage! The rage took over and I looked her directly in the prison tattoo and I snapped, “Why do you have freckles?” For a split second, I saw my life flash before my eyes. I witnessed myself being put into a headlock under the sweat stain of that beautiful, unwashed since the 1980’s, Winnie The Pooh t-shirt. Even more than not wanting my son to get wind of the cause of this strange ruckus, I didn’t want him to see his mom get her butt kicked on his favorite playground. Although furious, I was prepared to walk away.

Thankfully, I didn’t have to save face. She snorted at me, gathered her child, and stomped away. I was glad for that, but it was hard to hide how sick I felt inside. Though, I don’t think little man noticed much at all. He pulled the usual leaving the playground protest only breaking from his day to say, “What’s so funny, Mommy? You takin’ pics of that sign?”

“Yes, I am Mister Man! The sign says it all.”

 

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