The spring before Emma was born, our unexpected baby coming six years behind her twin sisters, I bumped into an old friend. I was grading papers at a coffee shop in Edmonds. I still remember how manic and exhausted I felt. My friend walked up to me and laid her hand on my arm and told me that she had heard about the new baby. I remember looking up at her with a frantic expression, words failing me. "Whenever something brings this much chaos into my life," she said, looking directly into my eyes, "it always turns out to be good thing."
I remember coming home from night class a couple years later, and finding all the dining room chairs turned upside down or stacked on the table, and Bruce, looking weary, telling me, "She climbs, and then she jumps."

I remember the summer she turned ten when she set a goal to swim every day.

She is failing her Humanities class, and getting a D in math. Do I make her go to summer school? Or do I stand by, holding a towel, waiting to see what will happen next?


  1. It's interesting how I have relearn that when I'm in crisis with one of my girls, writing about her always makes it better. Swimming makes it better, too.


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