summer

‘I grew up obsessed with Little House on the Prairie. I wanted to give my children a simplified childhood. One with very few electronics. I really took a step back on how I’m raising my kids.’

“I want them to be KIDS and not someone I am trying to keep entertained. I want them to spend their summers the way their dad and I did. I want them to learn how to play Red Rover, Capture the flag, and Marco Polo. I want them to have tire swings, chalk, climbing trees, and mud pies. I want their finger nails to be dark brown from playing in the dirt.”

‘At 80 and terminally ill, she was self-conscious of how she looked. ‘They’ll think you’re a rich, eccentric old Hamptons lady,’ I told her. Having aspired to be one, she was happy with that.’

“We wanted to give her one ‘last hurrah’ before the end of her life. A police officer told my father of a place he just HAD to take my mother. ‘People find it only if they’re lost. It will remind her of Ireland.’ I pulled over. There, laid out, was horizon as far as her eyes could see. She was seeing the ocean she had crossed all those years earlier, for the very last time.”

‘Lathered in sunscreen, poolside, I suddenly realized my son wasn’t with me. My eyes hit the shallow end. I spotted a toddler completely submerged in water. The world stopped. I plunged in.’

“I was not the mother to make this kind of error. The mother who looked away. ‘If he’s alive, he’d be kicking, fighting.’ Why wasn’t he fighting? I pulled him onto the cement and thrusted my hand against his back. Fingernails pink, skin pale, lips discolored. His white knuckles gripped my neck. ‘ANDREW. Andrew, please come back to me.'”

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