“Perhaps a blog about what it’s like to have a child starting school? I would love to hear your thoughts on that milestone.”

This text message from Joanne deserves a response.

I tear like two halves of paper falling to the ground. Discarded. The ripping is done slowly and then quickly.


A kiss and a hug, and she turns, and I turn. My stomach drops, and my chest deflates. I walk to the car, take a seat in the passenger side and turn to Dave; tears are in my eyes.

I am a crunched-up ball of paper holding it together. I’m fragile; some water turns me to mush, and fire burns me to ashes.

I breathe in and out, “I got this,” I tell myself. But, do I? I’m on a precipice, and I jump. Fall, fall, fall. Untethered to the ground.

I lay. My back at the cement, looking up. Into the future, into the sky, high and free.

I’m a mixed bag of everything and nothing in the margins. I didn’t ask for anything but all of this, and I know there is no turning back. So I smile big and with my braces straightened teeth ask, “How was school? Tell me all about it!”

And I am so proud, and my heart is whole. And I am also scared and so very sad.

Love, Jaclynn

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