Sometime in July
...for no particular reason. We have one small bathroom and she had blocked my exit so I watched her. It was more observation, like a shiny red shoe catching your eye in a store window or a wavy image you try to figure out from a distance. She is a reflection of me, only taller. Her leotard and tights – the ones that get shabby from so much practice – wrapped her body like a second skin. It took her awhile to smooth her silky golden hair into a ponytail so I watched her arms work rhythmically around her head like a spider weaving. I won’t tell her that. She is afraid of spiders. She looks askance and asks me if I want to get by. No, I say. Okay, my mother is doing one of her weird things again, says the curl of her eyebrow. She is beautiful on stage in costume and makeup and lights, well-rehearsed and centered. But here is where it counts. Here where I watch her using the mirror in the bathroom.