November 16, 2020

Dear Inner Kindergartner: I Love You.

Outside my window was a woman I aspired to be.

She walked carelessly down the cobblestone street with a yellow leather bag strung across her shoulder and a spiral journal in hand.

She stopped briefly to smell the sunflowers and touch their peddles, inhaling their warmth and embracing her own.

She was short, yet tall in her ways.

A force to be reckoned with, yet a gentleness to her touch and a grace to her stride.

A young child soon approached her, and she embraced her in a hug and held her cheeks as if to say you matter and you are safe.

The same warmth she inhaled from the flowers’ peddles was now cupping the cheeks of this young girl.

As I marveled at the woman’s presence, I closed my eyes and imagined the little girl I once was—looking down, shoulders curled in, and my left foot turned 180 degrees; ready for more berating.

As I imagined this little girl, I also imagined embodying the adult woman outside my window. As I took form in her body, I squatted down to meet the little girl in front of me, lifting her chin to meet my eyes. As I looked at her, I saw a creative mind and the same warmth of the sunflowers outside. Wiping away her tears, I tucked her hair behind her ears and gave her my spiral journal.

“Write to me, and I will always respond,” I told her.

I pulled her in gently and held her until her heart rate calmed and she fell asleep.

When I opened my eyes, the woman with the yellow bag was long gone, and I was alone again standing in my kitchen. As the clock turned to 4 p.m., I sat down in front of my computer and turned on Zoom to wait for my next patient. Minutes later, a five-year-old appeared.

“Hi, Ms. Rebecca!”

Her eyes were full of life, and I couldn’t help but smile at her—the way the woman had toward the young girl outside my window.

As the session closed, I heard, “I love you, Ms. Rebecca.” I told her I loved her too.

After the session was over, I looked out the window again and saw the same woman. She wasn’t outside the window after all. She was only my reflection.

As I cusped my own cheeks and closed my eyes, I whispered to the little girl inside me, “I love you too. I love you very, very much.”


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