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For Appearance Sake

The plan was to mow the lawn. The back yard.

To wear a pair of shorts that–even at the knee– exposed more blinding goose bumps than we had blades of grass. To slap on a droopy long sleeve, and–to slodge behind the mower in faded black rain boots.

“Are we going to mow the front, too?” my boy wanted to know.

And I’d shaken my head firmly. “Not the front.”

“But why not?” he’d persisted. “They have.” He’d pointed to where the neighbors had certainly mowed theirs.

“Mommy isn’t up for mowing the front yard,” I said.

“But why…” he started.

Only he got quiet…

And a second passed.

Then it was a simple question. A realization, really. “You don’t want anyone to see you, do you?”

The words hung there. And I smiled a slow smile–a confession. “No, son, I don’t.”

We shared a moment of eye contact before he sighed like a parent. “Very sad, mom,” he said.

He shook his small head.

“Very sad.”

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