Friday, August 30, 2013

Photo/Text 5: Hands

“I want to marry him,” she said when she was five and he was two, and she was indignant when a six-year-old neighbor girl declared that siblings marrying was not only against the rules but also disgusting. Later, when she had to part with him to go to kindergarten, at the end of the day she would run to him from the school bus, grabbing his hands, crying, “All day at school I’ve been yearning to hold your sweet baby boy hand that’s soft as silk and rose petals!” And now he is five, and his big sister, who can read books without pictures, who can braid and multiply, still leads him everywhere by the hand. He says to her, “I want to marry you. Is that OK?” And she replies with her indulgent smile, evasive: “Well, we can live together always. How about that, sweetie?” Yet he protests: “I want to marry you,” the word carrying some special meaning in his five-year-old heart, and so she marches him up and down the sidewalk in front of our house, telling him something in a low voice, explaining the ways of the world, never letting go of his hand.

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