An Essayby Mary Gordon
Because my mother was a widow and I her only child, she often pressed me into the role of escort. Somehow, it was preferable for her to be accompanied by a child than to go places on her own. She was gregarious and seemed at ease in company but perhaps, more deeply than I saw, she was not at ease at all.
Because of all this I was often in places where I was the only child, and where I knew that my presence made people uncomfortable, although I sensed that my mother was not aware of this discomfort or else didn’t care. I grew used to our being a couple; it was unusual, though, for the couple to expand into a trio. But on the weekend of our trip to the lake in Connecticut, my grandmother joined my mother and me, rendering us simultaneously odder and less odd.