I Understand Now

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Kusho #1, Shinichi Maruyama. 2006.

What kind of mother leaves her kids? She asked. She and her siblings raised themselves and learned how to cook, clean, and be on their own. When she was in middle school, her mom brought them over to the States to live with her new family. Why did I have accept these new people as my family? But I understand now.

How did you come to understand why she did what she did? I asked, incredulous at the amount of compassion and growth that would take.

I’m a parent now, she said. She had a child as a teenager, and her child is now a teenager. She’s a single mother. And her son resents her.

Why do you work so much? Why aren’t you home when I come home from school? He speaks harshly and angrily.

You wouldn’t believe what kind of hold your kids have on you. I won’t let him make me feel bad. I tell him, ‘You don’t understand now, but you’ll understand one day.’

I don’t excuse what she did, but I understand now. 

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