She seemed fine.

She seemed fine.

Her little girl was sitting next to her, both of them squashed in to a single lounge chair in a coffee shop. While the other children raced in and out of the chairs her little girl snuggled in next to her, both of them sharing a muffin.

She leaned across me to thank someone, she told them they could have their car seat back.

“Oh! Has your air shipment arrived?” the other woman said with interest.

“Are you new?” I asked.

“Yes, we arrived two weeks ago”

She seemed fine.

We talked about schools, housing, and homes that were being renovated “back home”. She asked me about the little travelers, we ran through ages and names.

“I’d have liked to have four” she said wistfully, but my husband travels all the time and we’re renovating now’…. her voice trailed off.

I asked about her boys.

“It was their first REAL day at school today. We arrived the week before the holidays so they just went for the one day – but today is their first proper day”.

I looked at her closely. Her eyes had changed, they were glossy.

“When he woke up this morning, he didn’t want to go. He was crying all morning. It’s just…” she stopped to put her hand on her heart as if she needed to hold it in, as if it was too heavy. “I’m not sure I can talk about it”. There’s an apologetic smile – from both of us.

I’ve been her. More than once. I’ve sat in the chair surrounded by strangers, trying to remember names, ordering muffins for children and wondering if I know the way home.

She’s not fine.

I begin to talk about my guys, how difficult it was for the first little traveler when we we arrived. How happy she is now. And then I notice.

One solitary tear is rolling down her cheek.

She’s not fine – but she will be.

She will be.

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