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My sister actually reminded me of this story in the comments of a post a couple weeks ago. I’ll get to it in just a second but I don’t think I’ve blogged about how inspiring it is to have kids. They really do the funniest stuff, and in many ways, Eleanor and Magnolia have inspired my writing. I also hope that beyond being entertaining, having some of our family stories on this blog will be a consolation prize for all those photos I never took and scrapbooks I never made. They’re totally gonna love reading this later, right? It won’t be at all embarrassing? So anyway–

Eleanor was in Kindergarten or first grade. (My memory sucks.) And she got the forgetful genes in the family–my side, I’m pretty sure. I’m not sure if this was before or after the bout with the gym shoes. But, it seemed like every day she was coming home without something. Our two-week Michigan Fall was long gone and the snow was falling. Big Snow. We had no matching gloves. I’d knit more hats than I could count. What was going on?

I happened to be home one day when I heard the bell chime down at the elementary school, signaling the end of the day. I went to the window to watch her walk home. She was dutifully piled up in her snow gear, backpack heavy on her back, but still a happy little thing. She waved to the crossing guard and the never-ending mom in me hoped she remembered to say thank you. As soon as she was across, she looked down the home-stretch (about half a block), threw herself joyfully into the snow, and log-rolled all the way home. Gloves and hat flew off. So did a boot. I imagined everything in her pack was crushed. I cracked up.

When she was through the door, caked in snow, I asked how her day was.

“Great!”

“Did you lose a few things, like your boot?”

She looked down. “Oh.”

“How did that happen?”

“I don’t know.”

“I think I might know.” I led her to the window and showed her the trail she’d left behind her.

She laughed. “Oh, yeah.”

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