I fold the printed copy of my writing several times so that it is small enough to stick inside my wallet. I shove my wallet in my coat pocket and walk toward her office. The air is cold, so I walk with my head down. I stop at a busy intersection. I bury my chin in the collar of my coat and wait impatiently for the light to change. I think about my writing all folded up. Will I actually take it out and read it to her? I can’t say for sure. I do know that I must want to or I wouldn’t have brought it with me. The walk signal illuminates.
My therapist’s office is warmly lit. I take my coat off and sit down on the couch. We always begin the same way. She smiles at me, but says nothing. It’s her way of inviting me to talk. I hesitate. I smile back at her then nervously avert my eyes to the floor. I stare at the rug. I take a few deep breaths and look back up at her. I meet her gaze. I finally say, “I brought something. It’s some writing I did this week.”
She nods her head. “Would you like to read it to me?” It’s a simple question. But I don’t have a simple answer for her. Instead I squirm in my seat. I feel my cheeks blush, and then I’m giggling nervously. I feel silly. I say it out loud, “I feel silly, sorry.” She doesn’t interrupt me. She waits for me to work it out, to say more. “I feel like I’m 5 years old, and I’m about to show you my crayon drawing, and I’m hoping that you’ll like it.”
“The child with the crayon drawing,” she repeats. “Don’t we welcome the child and her drawing with open arms? Don’t we celebrate and cherish the drawing with her?” It was true. That had been my experience when young children shared their drawings with me. They had been moments of wonder, pride, and joy for the child.
I feel a fearlessness that I haven’t known since my childhood. I pull out the folded paper, open it up, and begin reading. I hear my voice sharing the story that I wrote about my son and me.
I finish reading and look at her. She is smiling. “What a moment you capture with your son! My heart skipped a beat as you worked up to the climax in your last paragraph.” Her response feels sincere. There is no judgement.
I feel 5 years old, filled with hope and eager to start my next creation.