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To the Woman in the Line Next to Me at IKEA Sunday Night

You saw me with my daughter in the double stroller and my rambunctious son who was standing on the trolley being attended by my husband. My boy was playing with a $2 fake flower, and I repeatedly asked him to stop bending it. I was clearly frustrated, but too wrung out to deal with the fit that would surely happen if I forced him into a stroller. Finally I said something like, “Come on buddy, please stop that.” He looked me in the eye and said “No, Mommy, I will…

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The Creek Elves

He doesn’t care that I’m running past him, earbuds in. From his three-foot height, perspective is a tricky thing. Intending to slide by, I smile at the little boy. As soon as his eyes meet mine, though, words fly through the gap in his top front teeth. A big boy at age six, he shouts: “I brwaught my sister to the creek to show her the creek, and we rode our bikes!” Slowing to a molasses trot, I smile again—my heart genuinely feels the smile at the same time my…

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