The box of toys was already unpacked, but the rest of my daughter’s stuff was stacked, lopsided, in a corner. Today was her first day at a new preschool. She’s lucky she’s just four years old, I thought, otherwise that bitch would be doing this herself. Soon enough, it was two in the afternoon. And she would be waiting for me. I hoped she made some new friends.
By the time we got back home, it became clear that she did not. Everyone already has friends, Olivia mumbled. I looked down at the top of her perfect little blonde head, frizzy from the wind.
“You’ll make friends, I promise,” I said, teasing her with a light punch on the shoulder.
“Grandma says it’s hard to make friends in a new place,” Olivia argued. It was a familiar argument lately. And I was not pleased.
I answered back, “What does Grandma know about making friends?” And I received a shrug. My mother was a loner. Always had been, but she got on with Olivia so well it surprised me. We had never been close, my mother and I. She was my mother. Not Ma, not Mom, and certainly not Mamma. But my Mother, now dubbed Granma, taught Olivia dominoes and checkers. I didn’t know she even knew how to play a board game before. Somehow, for Olivia, my mother could be all kinds of fun.
*This is part 1 of a short story. Continue to the next part.