My Daughter's Smile
by J. Lee Crow
I carefully prepare her plate. She can be finicky, sometimes. The peas are the tricky part, they can't touch anything. None of her food can touch.
"Thanks, Dad," she says, as I set her dinner in front of her.
"Hey, I thought we had talked about this." I point to the fork beside her plate, bent at a ninety degree angle.
She looks up at me with a devilish smile.
"That was your grandmother's silverware. You know I don't like it when you bend it. Now straighten it back out."
Still smiling, her eyes roll gently back. They remain partially open, exposing only the whites of her eyes. The fork, still lying on the table next to her plate, begins to slowly straighten.
It's tough being a single parent sometimes. Especially when your eight-year-old child has, shall I say, a special gift. I fix my plate and sit down at the table beside her.
"So, how was school today," I ask.
"Ok." But I can tell by the way she looks down, rolling a single pea around on her plate with her fork, that something is up.
"Did something happen?" I ask.
"It's Billy Martin, Dad. He's always picking on me. Today on the playground, he snuck up behind me and pulled my pony tail."