Maybe it is being an only child, or maybe it is being a Capricorn, but I have always had an over-developed sense of singularity. That is, I have always understood that, in life, some roads you can only walk alone.

I find that it is easy to share joy. Joy radiates a corona like the sun. Joy is inclusive and draws people in, pain isolates.

Sure, when we are in pain we can lean on friends, but pain drains and distracts. Pain is solitary, and ultimately we must find our own ways out of it. Others can lighten the load, but no one can remove it entirely. It’s all down to you in the end.

Last night, my 4 year old was talking. Thoughtfully, he said, ” Mama, going to school is like being alone.”

I questioned him several times, trying to understand what he meant, or suss out if he even understood the meanings of the words he was saying. Finally, he broke my heart.

He sighed and tilted his head, considered my input that at school he was surrounded by friends, then said, “When you take me to school, you take me in alone. Then I am in the room alone. I am with my friends alone. It is just me, in there by myself. Without you. I am alone.”

It wasn’t bad. It wasn’t mean. It wasn’t an indictment. It was just a fact. A heartbreaking fact I hoped he would be much older before he realized. But he is an only child and much more ancient Roman than a Dane.

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