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Language Log

Thursday, Apr. 14, 2016 - 9:07 a.m.

I came upon a woman at the park yesterday. Two kids, 3 and 4, pregnant and due in July. Her oldest was less verbal than my youngest (and less verbal than he was a year ago, frankly).

She had recently left here abusive spouse. She says she was so badly beaten before that it had endangered the pregnancy with the youngest boy. But that she had left and was staying with her parents but because she had simply left, rather than calling police and so on, she couldn't get sole custody. There would need to be more evidence of ongoing abuse of the children. They would have to be able to talk. Photos. She said he used harming them as a threat against her, but she had to turn them over to him every weekend anyway. She couldn't get a formal divorce in this state until the custody was worked out. She came to that park because it was on the way to the girl's therapy place, and there weren't any weird homeless people there.

I blew bubbles for the kids and invited her to sit with me.

"Are you a teacher," she asked me. I hedged. "No but I did used to teach a bit, just in grad school. I, uh, I was in grad school." "Because you seem really smart. You remind me of my teacher at the community college." She repeated that I seemed smart, and told me about how she was dyslexic and always had a hard time learning but recently had discovered an author whose books she really liked.

I gave her my number, she could text if she was going to be at the park again.

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