Avoiding the Cracks



on a crack,


and you’ll break


your mother’s



This saying echoed endlessly in my head as a child anytime I walked on a road that had cracks in it. For a young girl with severe separation anxiety, each break in the path held detrimental possibilities. Now, I’m not calling myself senseless; I was an intelligent kid (or I like to think so). I knew very well that the integrity of my mother’s back was in no way connected to where my feet fell as I walked/skipped/jumped down the road. It was the tabboo behind it; if there was even the slightest possibility that my mother’s well-being could be jeopardized, I had to do everything in my power to keep it from happening.

My mom is my best friend, and always has been. Having separation anxiety when I was young only drew us closer, and although I outgrew it with time, our bond never faltered. Coming to university and leaving her behind was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. This is why I decided to channel my inner child and walk a kilometer without stepping on a single crack-just like I use to. The purity and innocence that I felt as I hopped down the sidewalk like an idiot, brought me a joy like no other. The best part of it all…the photographer was no other than my mom herself.

So, thank you mom. Thank you for teaching me how to laugh at myself. Thank you for teaching me how to be independent, and how to trust myself like I’ve always trusted you. Most of all, thank you for standing behind that camera in the chilly evening air, with the same smile on your face that I see every time I look in the mirror.

Your back is safe with me.


~Dedicated with love to Maria Zak

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