I turn around and you are gone.
I begin to look around, sure that you had left, that you had had enough.
Scanning the crowd, I suddenly spot your curly mop.
You are not making a beeline toward the door to escape the thing you hate.
With a lump in my throat, and a warmth in my cheeks, I see that you are part of the circle.
I feel the prickle of a tear rising up, along with pride in my mother’s heart, as I realize you have chosen it.
A thing you never choose—to be part of a crowd.
You are talking.
Curiously, you look at ease there. An ease I never imagined to see.
Can you know how proud I am of you at this moment? Can you know how much I love you?
Others, for whom this mystery called “social interaction” comes so naturally, can’t possibly begin to understand why this is such a sweet celebration.
But I know. I see. I smile to myself and swallow the lump.
And I sit back, in my silent celebration, whisper a prayer of thanks, and watch you blossom.