colorful reflection plastic spoons
2e, Academic, Gifted

Spoons

Not enough spoons today.

Not enough in the clamorous cafeteria of my contrasting brain.

Not enough then. Not enough now.

Not enough for my kids. Not enough for my mom. Not enough for her mom.

When will there be enough?

I was four when I hid in the small bathroom adjacent to the school cafeteria. I walked down there from my pre-K classroom all the way across the school. It was much quieter in there and I wanted to know what the fuss was about. Sara told me that’s where the big kids go, and her name starts with “S” just like mine, and Junie B. Jones did it so what? I wondered if I’d get to see the cops. And nobody in there would try to force me to talk, or play, or do my hair, or make me read to someone else.

I was nine when I sat on my bed in my bedroom with an encyclopedia about space and technology. And my mom popped up in the doorway after her convenience store shift smelling of burgers and grease and smoke, arms crossed, peering down at me, and said, “What you looking at that for? Learning anything?”

I was fifteen when I climbed the great big live oak tree in my yard next to my window. It cradled me with its form-fitting branches and shaded my soul from the sun’s glares. I went up there to smoke cigarettes where no one could see me and the world was still my oyster. No one could ask me where I planned to go to college. No one could force me to choose what I wanted to be when I grew up. No one could tell me I’m wasting my potential. No one could see my tears.

When will there be enough?

When enough parents make enough noise. When enough school boards recognize the need. When enough communities value their neurodivergent.

When enough is enough. Whenever that is.

But there’s not enough spoons today.

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