After she finishes nursing, I gather up my daughter’s things and sail out the door with a silent prayer of thanks: tomorrow I won’t have to bring her back. Tomorrow, it will just be the two of us. I don’t have to return to work for a few more weeks, so I can pretend I’m not really going to make a habit of leaving my child in the care of strangers.
Her head, matted with unwashed hair, smelled sweet and salty, like raisins, ocean air, thick dog fur, sweet-scented wood. I felt the weight of each inhale on my belly, her hard skull against my ribs. Imprinting every detail felt like an urgent matter. I implored myself to cherish, without distraction, this love in my arms, but my mind wandered. I couldn’t get past the fact that I was her mother and couldn’t protect her.
Marina Koestler Ruben
I take both kids to vote. We have to get to work and school, so we’re in line before 7 a.m. I tell my tired, cold five-year-old and tired, cold two-year-old that we are lucky we can exercise this Constitutional right. “It will be worth it,” I overpromise. “One day, you’ll tell your own kids how I woke you up early to vote. We’re voting for the first female president!”
Jessica Franke Carr
He wouldn’t even touch a crayon. Fine motor delay, you eventually learned, is just another common symptom of “being on the spectrum.” Everyone says early intervention is key, but it took you four years just to convince a doctor he had high-functioning autism, even though you knew since Day One because it was like looking into a mirror. A mirror that doesn’t make eye contact.
Everything on my body had loosened and fallen out of place. My hips still wobbled in their sockets when I walked, and my brain had literally shrunk (or so I’d heard on a radio show). I fiddled with the misshapen bun that flopped on the back of my head. In my round-the-clock effort to feed Connor, washing and sleeping had fallen to the wayside.
Meghan Moravcik Walbert
Pieces of BlueJay, memories of all the bedtime stories Mike read to him and the songs I sang to him vibrate through that room. The sign with his name still hangs on the back of the door. The star lamp we bought for him remains dim.
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