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Browsing Tag: back to school

Damage Control

It was the night before school started, and I sat on the bottom of Saoirse’s bunk bed to give my nervous girls a pep talk. “Listen,” I said, “when you go to school tomorrow, make sure to keep a lookout for these two girls. Their names are Saoirse and Quinlan, and you’ll know them because everybody will know them. See, Saoirse and Quinlan are some of the smartest, kindest, bravest, nicest kids in the whole school. You’ll want to be friends with them because everybody is their friend. In fact, Saoirse and Quinlan are two of the friendliest girls you’ll ever meet. They’re smart and kind and good, so get to know them, okay? Just trust me. These girls? Saoirse and Quinlan? They’re going to be awesome.” I was looking at Quinlan’s face–her thumb in her mouth (an old habit that resurfaced this summer), eyes closed, a soft smile on her lips–and hadn’t noticed that Cian had come into the room until I heard his voice break into sobs behind me. “I wan’ to…

Because It’s Your Turn

It’s back-to-school shopping, Catholic kid style. A small uniform store crowded with frazzled moms (always moms), wallets in hand, expressions pulled tight as they watch the numbers climb on the register. You can tell right away which are the ones with younger kids, before you even spot the children themselves: they’re the ones with armfuls of clothes, credit cards already out, that strained look of someone who’s about to drop way more money on a couple of plaid jumpers and white shirts with Peter Pan collars than she’d budgeted for. The moms with the older ones, too–they’re super easy to spot. They stand in line, relaxed, watching the others, with maybe a sweater or spare pair of tights gripped softly, like something about to be released. These moms are usually alone, running the errand for their children, who don’t need to be with them anymore, who are out lifeguarding or babysitting or scooping ice cream behind a shop counter somewhere in town. Or maybe they’re at home, on the couch, playing a video game. You can’t be sure. But you…