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Friday, August 26, 2005

Standing in the Middle of a Memory

She was awake before dawn broke, staring at the ceiling. She called various times throughout the night, hoping to get out of bed and start the day. Finally her mother opened the door. It was morning.

The calm turned to chaos. Quickly fixing hair, eating breakfast, bagging the day’s supplies. The clothes had been meticulously chosen the pervious night, put on now with rushed ceremony. She was oblivious to her mother’s heightened emotions, too excited to observe.

They hurried into the car. Her brother focused on his cereal bar, mother trying not to think about the significance of the day. Her tiny mind, already too quick for her age, spinning with anticipation. Nervousness. Excitement.

Two minutes later they were there. Her mother set her on the curb, concentrating on keeping the tears welled up in her eyes, and off her cheeks. She didn’t even notice. “Bye, Mom,” was about all she said with her goodbye hug.

Her hair bounced as she skipped across the threshold. Pink backpack and coordinating shoes. The teachers were more focused on the kid who were upset, and she blended right into her group of classmates. A fish in water.

Bawling on the way home, her mom thought of the strangeness of it all. Childhood, adulthood, parenthood. Moments you dream about, but never think will come. Standing in the middle of a memory.

She poured herself another cup of coffee, pulled her son close and turned on cartoons

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