7 INVESTIGATES Web Extra: A Kind of Hard I'll Never Know

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How many beds have been “yours”? From the half sheet I read I can count 7 including mine.

I noticed you wanted all your things close today. You kept tabs on the bird feathers you collected, checked on your cowboy boots often, and slept with your bag hidden under your pillow.

How many strangers have you called Mom or Dad? The first hour I heard mom and before the day was over my husband heard you say dad, then look embarrassed.

Why do you want to sleep under the bed? Keep the door closed? Find the farthest corner away? I learned today there’s a reason.

You shuddered when I fixed your collar. When my husband yelled for help with a messy diaper you came running to see what the problem was. When did everyday moments start making you jump?

Did you have to defend your baby brother from the bad guys? You had a fearful look in your eyes when the snowballs started flying. You yelled harshly when you thought he might become a target. When did a snowball fight start seeming less like a child’s game?

It must be hard to go to bed in a stranger’s home. It must be hard to have no control over when the door is open and who might walk in. It must be hard to have the street smarts of an adult in a 7 year olds body. It must be hard to trust people who say they’ll protect you…and let yourself be loved again.