Months To Years Spring 2018 Months To Years Spring 2018 - Page 25

Evolution of a Pack Mule By Guilianna Nenna Busy, able-bodied teenagers strode past my 16-year-old With an unbalanced but determined gait, Sofia clutched daughter on her high school campus. Through their banter, her cloth lunchbox with the same grace that her great- they glared side-ways, at my scarf-covered daughter.  She grandmother had carried her handbag: hinged over the was fused in cream and pink over her head, then in purple, elbow, forearm raised, fingers held like a queen.  Nonna blue, and red around her neck.  Not having seen Sofia looked people in the eye, never glancing down or up, dressed in that way, and most probably not sure how to never pretending she was more or less than others, using react, their eyes darted away.   a full range of vision to notice small details, smiling slightly every-now-and-again.  Sofia had the same look, the soft “Hi, hi,” my girl chirped to other teens, eyes moist in air of confidence, same joy to be alive.  And she had the the wind. “Come on, Mom,” she commanded me.  She best of her great-grandma: gnocchi-rolling hands handed grabbed at one end of her fluttering headdress, leaving down from the centuries, precision ingredient-dosing, eye passers-by to wonder what was with the new-wave fashion for art, avid reader.  No one else in the family could roll statement. Straggling behind Sofia’s lurches was her scarf- gnocchi into small art forms, dimples on display, though less, blanched-out, middle-aged mother, struggling under we all tried.  Nonna was the reference for the extended the weight of her 30-liter volume backpack. family, including her sons in-laws.  Now it would be Sofia.    While my face sent ‘old lady’ alerts to most teens, my mind Inside the stone building, my daughter labored up the kept telling me I was forever young.  I was a 20-want- stairs to her classroom, leaning into each step, one hand to-be, not because I dawdled on my daughter’s campus, holding the railing and the other gripping my arm—like but rather because I was trying to walk erect, possibly her great-grandmother.  She was passed by more student resembling a Neanderthal.  I huffed under my daughter’s stares, but she forgot about uttering ‘hi.’   Their gazes load, a day’s worth of textbooks, notebooks, art pencils, trailed towards me, the sweating, toiling mother.  My a 36mm camera, two one-half liter glass bottles of tea, smiles were met by either blank stares or eyes darting meds, and —oh— her tablet.  I broke into a sweat in the away.  chill, trying to keep pace.   25