I’m not going to jump. I won’t. I look at her. I watch her jumping the pink rope. I wonder what it would be like to jump over a dream or a fear, as if they were rocks at the bottom of a lake, found by our sore feet. Joy or anger. I’m not going to jump the pink rope. She has gotten so good at it. A game of “now-I-can-do-this”. “I’m a big girl”, she said. And I bought the pink rope with butterfly handles. She jumps as if it was the edge of a cliff. As if we were not in the garden of a house we rent and we call home. She jumps smiling, sweating, tearing, saying “vení, mamá”, “jump with me, you try, do you want to try?” I smile. I fear. I am tired. I am tired of fearing smiling and jumping.
Then, I don’t quite know how or why, or when, I feel my body standing up, heavy skinny legs putting movements together until I’m up and walking towards her. She hands me the pink rope and I hold on to the wooden smiling butterfly handles. The wood is shiny, soft to the touch. I think for a moment: how am I going to jump? “Don’t be scared”, she says. I know I have told her the same thing so many times. “Jump-á, mami”, she says in her made-up words that make me smile. “Just jump”. And I do. That brings me a memory of jumping rope as a little girl.
Every movement can be traced back to a memory or perhaps even connected to a dream. So now, I recognize myself again. And once again, Celia smiles.