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Before this string of misplacement, I was known as the finder in my family. It took her away from her friends and whatever they were doing to commemorate the final summer of childhood. A princess at a Fifth Avenue toy store painted her nails the color of cherry blossoms. 10) You know how you say to teenagers all the time that if they’re ever too wasted to drive – or their designated driver is – that they should call and you’ll come pick them up, no questions asked? He was supposed to be dropped off by another mother at the end of a day of mini-golf. My husband and I took turns getting up at night to give her pain medicine, just as we had taken turns Ferberizing her eighteen years earlier. Then she closed her eyes, smiled tranquilly, and thanked me.

Whenever I heard panicked cries of “I can’t find my sneakers/cell phone/notebook,” I responded with the calm and swift discovery of said item under couch pillows, in baskets of ski hats, right there on the kitchen counter. 2) My mother never said goodbye to me when I left for college. We’d had an extremely close relationship while I was growing up, one of those in which I thought of her as my best friend and she depended on me to cure the loneliness of her frail marriage. Did I mention that I was spending a lot of time near the ocean? I had taken the bold step of doing something that made me happier than it made her. We saw The Sound of Music in a Broadway theatre, then took a cab back to the hotel. It actually happens sometimes, but I thought such a call wasn’t to be part of our story. Days before she was set to leave, a stereo speaker fell on my daughter’s foot during a party. After returning from the ER at a.m., I was looking forward to a day on the couch. She said she didn’t think I’d ever washed her hair before.

But really, as soon as I stopped filling her world, she dumped me. I often find, with essays and with books, that I know there’s a story there even if I don’t know what it is yet.

3) We start to lose our children the moment they’re born. I’ve learned to be patient with myself, a new skill that may be the result of 19 years of parenting or just a happy symptom of aging.

I did my best to keep the patient calm and warm, to bully the medical staff into speeding things up. I reminded her that she started preschool with a cast on her tiny arm.

Mulcahy-King — Two works Creative Non-Fiction Jake Mc Culley — Apophenia Lianuska Gutierrez — Language Oppression Expanded Virs Rana — A PICTURE' S WORTH…

The summer before my daughter went to college, I lost a pair of prescription sunglasses, my wallet, three sets of i Pod headphones (or one pair three times), a plastic bag containing all of my jewelry, the house keys over and over again, the car keys more often than that. My mother thought that wrapping the limb in a security blanket was enough.

She was bloody and shaking and on her way to the emergency room. I’d been tightening my abdominals like Houdini since her birth. Houdini died, they say, because he’d been ruined inside by one of those punches. My parents didn’t realize the seriousness of the injury so they tended to it mostly with kisses.

Her wasted friends carried her down the porch stairs, helped her into my car and spoke to me about the EMT training they’d tried to employ. She tumbled gently off the swing set and cracked her bone.

I did my best to keep the patient calm and warm, to bully the medical staff into speeding things up. I reminded her that she started preschool with a cast on her tiny arm.Mulcahy-King — Two works Creative Non-Fiction Jake Mc Culley — Apophenia Lianuska Gutierrez — Language Oppression Expanded Virs Rana — A PICTURE' S WORTH…The summer before my daughter went to college, I lost a pair of prescription sunglasses, my wallet, three sets of i Pod headphones (or one pair three times), a plastic bag containing all of my jewelry, the house keys over and over again, the car keys more often than that. My mother thought that wrapping the limb in a security blanket was enough. She was bloody and shaking and on her way to the emergency room. I’d been tightening my abdominals like Houdini since her birth. Houdini died, they say, because he’d been ruined inside by one of those punches. My parents didn’t realize the seriousness of the injury so they tended to it mostly with kisses. Her wasted friends carried her down the porch stairs, helped her into my car and spoke to me about the EMT training they’d tried to employ. She tumbled gently off the swing set and cracked her bone.An unhealthily enmeshed relationship, I would learn later in a therapist’s armchair. To me, those 18 years felt like 18 years: joyful and rich and full of the greatest love I’d ever felt, but also tedious and arduous and full of sacrifice. She had a boyfriend, a gang, a job at a candy store. We rented a beach house, which is where I kept losing all that stuff. My dazzled companion left her Playbill on the seat of the cab and even now, years after the princesses left Fifth Avenue, she’s still mad at herself for losing it. When your kids become teenagers, when they stop crawling into your bed at night and start getting their own cups of water, you can finally sleep through the night again. When my son called midday and said he needed me to pick him up right away because he’d thrown up, I drove with the reflexes of a zombie. Maybe from the place where the dead go mine was offering a gift. A mother can’t count the number of times she rinses the suds out of her little girl’s hair, but kids don’t remember the mundane events of their child- hoods. 15) We drove down to college with the 18-year-old packed tightly in the back seat between tall piles of suitcases that made her look smaller than she is. We peeked back periodically to make sure she was still breathing.