Take Off the Privilege Glasses

Discuss an event that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood

A middle aged woman enters the riding arena with what looks like a rag doll draped over her forearms. Her face has the furrowed brow of melancholy, but her tone is hopeful when she speaks to me. “Esta es mi hija Mili (this is my daughter Mili),” she says, handing over the little bundle like an offering. As I draw Mili into my arms, my legs wrapped tightly around the barrel of the horse beneath us, I realize she is indeed a tiny human, living and breathing the same as myself. With this exchange comes a mountain of responsibility; rising to the occasion is mandatory.

I place my hand beneath Mili's chin to prevent her head from falling forward (her neck muscles lack the strength to do so on their own). Her eyes, big and brown with a rim of thick lashes, roll back in their sockets and she meets my gaze. I look long and hard while doing my best to murmur the encouraging phrases taught by the equine therapy specialist. Then Mili grunts. Our horse trips slightly on a rock and she grunts again, louder this time, a foreign, guttural noise. Her appearance and mannerisms are unlike any child’s I’ve seen before. Her arms are brittle and shriveled, reminding me of a T-Rex's. Holding her to my chest, I’m shocked to feel bones through her...

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