Noodling / Parenting / Writing

36 Year Old Tree

I’m invisible.
I don’t go to work someplace where people see me.
Not so attractive anymore that I’d catch your eye.
Not so unattractive that I collect scornful glances.
At the grocery store I’m another woman in a line with a cart and a toddler.
If the checker looks up, she doesn’t see me.
On a good day, she’ll smile at my son.
My children see me through children’s eyes.
They see me for what they need, not who I am, and that’s as it should be.
My husband looks at me, looks to me, for sex, for clean socks, for a constant steady friend. He says being near me makes him feel peaceful, he says I’m the source of everything good in his life. He loves me deeply, but he’s simply not interested in the life of my mind. Something I’ve always known.
My best friend is married with a full-time job and a busy life half a country away.
It’s ironic, really, that this place is where I come to feel seen. Where no one sees my face and no one knows my name.
But I have felt seen here.
Maybe I shouldn’t need to feel seen, acknowledged, recognized.
Maybe the inner workings of a 36 year-old stay-at-home mom aren’t interesting.
I pay attention to my children, to my husband, to my friends and my house and my responsibilities. I pay attention to self-growth and continuing education.
I pay a lot.
I don’t make much.
I see quite a bit.
But nobody cares what I see.
Or how it looks to me
I keep up my end. I don’t make a mess. My life is intact. I don’t call attention to myself, don’t get in fights or run up the credit cards. I’m not sneaky. I don’t cheat or gossip.
No one looks at me and shakes their head.
No one frowns in disapproval or scowls in worry.
No one looks or frowns or scowls at all.
I’m Responsible.
If a woman lives and no one sees her, does she really fall?

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