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June 2006
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August 2006

the day i lost her

RszharpatmoaI now know fear. Fear so cold it ripped out my heart and filled my stomach with lead. Fear so intense it felt like it lasted an hour when it was probably only a minute or less. Fear so complete I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs and stop the world.

I lost Harper.

Just like they say, it only took a second. I was watching her and her brother like a hawk, like I always do. I never look down, I never look away, I never assume the world is safe. But on this day I was with one of my best friends, a friend I haven't seen in more than three years. And her kids were playing with my kids and everyone was well. Sandra and I were talking, though I was watching, and I could listen to her stories and see my daughter playing by the big kid Legos all at the same time. I can multitask well.

Then Sandra said something, I glanced at her to respond, and I turned back to Harper. It took less than three seconds. But when I looked back, she wasn't there. Thinking perhaps she'd squatted down to find a Lego, I didn't instantly worry. Then I got up, said I'd be right back, and went over to see my girl. But she wasn't by the big kid Legos. So I walked to the side of Legoland, but she wasn't there. So I called her name. Loudly. Like she would actually answer me or come running. I called her again. I saw her brother and yelled, "Find! Your! Sister!" I took off running into the Legoland store, ran to the front of the store, looked down every aisle. I saw my friend get up and start looking. I was panicked. I felt like ice. I felt like my eyes weren't seeing anything and I wouldn't recognize her even if I looked right at her.

I prayed.

I ran back out into the play area. She wasn't there.

I ran back into the store. And there she was. Reaching for a box of Legos.

My. God.

I grabbed my girl and held her so tightly. Every possible scenario of what could have happened ran through my mind, and I gratefully thought "It didn't happen!" She was there. She hugged me back. She had no idea how scared I was, how much worry she caused. How fast she is.

I held it together. I didn't cry, I didn't fall apart, I just said, "Whew! She's quick!" But my friend knew. She knew I was trembling. She knew I was not strong enough to deal if something had happened to my girl. We didn't speak of it, because what mom wants to say those thoughts out loud? We just went on with our day, took our kids on rides, hugged good-bye when our time was over.

Then I bought my kids a snack and we went home. Like any normal day. And we never talked about how I lost Harper. I couldn't say those words out loud. Not then.

It was too real. It was too close.

and thus, it begins.


1 a.m. Henry comes into our room. He was sleepwalking again the night before, so my first thought was he had to pee and wandered in our room instead of the bathroom. But nope.
"MOM!" he says.
"What?" says I.
"Guess what?! My tooth fell out!!"
At 1 a.m.? What the heck was he doing at 1 a.m. that caused his tooth to finally fall out? Regardless, there you have it. First tooth. Out. Hope the (ahem) tooth fairy remembers to stop by the bank after work for some silver dollars.
And check out the top tooth ... it's also not long for this world.
Guess the tooth fairy should get change for a $5.

the schwarbs

My friends. Or rather, my dear friend and her amazing husband whom I like very much and her adorable child who I could just eat up with a spoon.

Amy and I were friends the instant we met in summer school camp back in, oh, 1984? 85? Regardless, we were in fifth grade, we were both in Super Summer band, we both were lone girls playing saxophones, and we both had a crush on Kevin Beaver (she, mildly; me, madly). Then, we found, we were also both in Super Summer drama. Two classes each day of getting to know each other. It worked. We stayed friends all the way through high school (even though we went to different elementaries and junior highs in the interim) and then college (when we went to different schools but still got together with our "group" on holidays and summers).

Maybe it's because we've always had so much in common. Maybe it's because Amy's just one of the most geniune, sweet, loveable people I've ever known. Whatever the reason, my memories of Wimmer are many and always come with a smile.

And now she's a senior editor at the Indianapolis Monthly, so we can trade magazine publishing world stories. And she's mama to a beautiful little girl, so we can talk about that, too. I love that she's finally back from Florida and we can see each other more often ... or, at least when we get down to Indy once or twice a year. And she married the best guy. They are such a wonderful couple and I truly wish we lived across town from each other so we could hang, have a picnic, talk books over wine. See, John's a writer too. He wrote a book about the Little 500 and writes freelance for the St Petersburg Times and ESPN, among others, while he stays home with little Miss Edie.

Webschwarb18color Amy and John happily agreed to be guinea pigs for me when I was in Indy over Memorial Day, and I had a ball shooting them and their sweet li'l girlie. The results are a bit grainy (high ISO needed ... but nothing a little Noiseware can't fix!) but totally sweet and lovely. As are they.

Thanks, guys ... I love ya!!