Children tend to scare me. It doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing, their big glassy eyes find me. I’m always left introspective, wondering what it is they see? Do they see me?
The real me. The one under my skin.
Do children see a happy, charismatic me? The person who can make anyone smile. Do they see a young adult flourishing in the world? A suave, enthusiastic, artist? Someone with no fear, going forth into the world? Someone living their best life.
Or do those big eyes see the me everyone else knows?
The me who has anxiety. Who doesn’t know what fashion is. Can they tell I have no close friends? That I’m lost in the world? Do they know I’m trying not to be that me anymore? Am I a failer to them? A bum with no job and nowhere to be?
But more importantly, do they see me as a guy or girl?
Do my clothes prove me to be an enthusiastic young man? or does my face betray me as a female? Can they see my chest, strapped down under my oversized shirt? Or are they looking at my arms, with no muscle at all? Do they see I haven’t shaved my legs or that I have shaved my pits? Is my hair too long? My shoes too big?
And they say. “Mommy, what’s that person doing?”
“Oh, they’re just relaxing in the sun.”
They see me as a person. Someone just like anyone else. The child can tell I have ups and downs, flaws and perfections. And I am resigned to the world of they. Neither male no female. I have not yet become that person I so badly want to be. So I shut my eyes and continue to bathe in the sunlight. The grass tickles under my binder. And I am content.