Distraction 1/2

dis·trac·tion

1 : a thing that prevents someone from concentrating on something else

2 : the act of distraction or the condition of being distracted

3 : something, especially an amusement, that distracts

4 : extreme mental or emotional disturbance; obsession

Kimberly always knew she was different, ever since she was young. Now that she’s older she’s starting to understand it better. Mommy says that she can get hurt easier than the other kids so she has to be extra careful. But this is a special occasion — today Kimberly turns six years old.

Kimberly has her padded pants, thick long-sleeved shirt, the squishy headband around her head, and a big smile on her face as she enters the jumpy house. All of her friends from school are here laughing and happy — their brightly lit faces tinged with the surreal light cast by the primary colors of the inflatable castle. The smell of kettle corn and pizza speak to the treats that await them when play time is over.

Outside the jumpy house Kimberly’s mother nervously talks to the other parents as the inflatable castle deforms from the constant jumping of the kids inside. She had reservations about bringing Kimberly to this place today but she wants to let her beloved and sheltered little girl have a special day. She paces outside the jumpy house, holding her breath at every fall.

She carries the weight of the world on her shoulders. Being the single mother of a fragile little girl, she is constantly vigilant of Kimberly’s safety. She carries the guilt for her contribution to Kimberly’s condition and the role that it may have played in Kimberly’s father having removed himself from their lives.

One of the other parents brings her a soda as they all know she wants to stay close to the jumpy house. As she turns to accept it the smile of gratitude turns to alarm as she hears the sound of Kimberly cry out in pain. It’s a primal instinct that all mothers are programmed to respond to — the sound of their child in distress. Spilling the drink on her shirt as she rushes to the clear observation panel of the jumpy house, she knows what to expect from her own experiences.

Laying in the corner of the jumpy house is Kimberly. Blood smears the bright yellow inflatable fabric and the other children scatter away from her as they don’t understand what’s happening. How can such a happy experience go bad so fast? Kimberly’s mother knows exactly how it can happen — from personal experience and from the lengthy explanations from the geneticist.

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~ by KC on September 15, 2010.

One Response to “Distraction 1/2”

  1. Just read this and am now in pause mode, imagining what happened next and playing with various possible outcomes as I empathize with “Mom’s” hyper vigilance. I appreciate the fine line you tread in using stereotypes without losing a sense of the unique qualities of each individual, KC.

    Charlene

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