Posts by amandamagee

Changing seasons

Posted on March 30, 2023

I used to believe that autumn held new beginnings. Seventeen Magazine promised I’d look like Jennifer Connelly if I bought the right corduroy jacket and loafers. My school schedule would open new friendships and a school year where I wasn’t a misfit. Instead of longing for recess to be recess again, I’d understand how to traverse the coquettishness of the girls and their lunging toward the unknown that smelled of sweat and Irish Spring. I believed in it all, year after year, of it not being true. I’d walk to school, and the crispy leaves that had framed the magazine spreads were, in my reality, sopping layers of soil and yard waste piled like dirty laundry in corners of the sidewalk. The back-to-school outfit…

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Shame and love during COVID

Posted on February 1, 2022

COVID hasn’t made anything easy. Things that we used to be able to crave—feeling attractive or desirable, cutting through responsibility with a spontaneous act, diving headlong into anonymity through travel, all seem too selfish.  And yet, it’s almost more essential now. Our washing machine has been inoperable, with a one-week exception, since October. We are caught in a limbo of protection plan contractor requirements, labor shortages, and supply chain gaps. The girls and I had COVID over the holidays—we sweat through our clothes and bedding. The laundry piled up, tainted by the virus we had so assiduously avoided for two years. I’ve gone back and forth between doing laundry in the bathtub and taking it to a wash and fold place in town. I…

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Acknowledging Fear and Modeling Courage

Posted on September 13, 2020

The girls went back to school this week. Wednesday, they woke quickly, one even before her alarm. The energy of getting ready to leave was familiar, welcome even, but it also crackled with anxiety. We took turns asking questions and spontaneously saying, “I love you.” Still, we’d agreed as a family to give it a go, and the girls were ready. Avery is a freshman this year, and Briar was excited to have her at the high school. They walked in together, masks on, and plans to manage what the day might bring. We had about 45 minutes to burn before it was time to drop Finley at the middle school. We drove to a nearby coffee shop and ordered drinks and breakfast. We…

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Not so silent

Posted on June 12, 2020

Hello old friends. Time has been moving in slow-motion with a finger not my own holding down the fast forward button. I can’t keep up and the days never end fast enough. Pip died. The vet asked me after 4 visits, “Do you think it’s time?” I shattered, the only thing that remained whole were my arms. I looked at Pip, tiny in the yellow blanket. I dangled in the massive space between wanting his pain to end and owning the words, “It’s time.” I pulled him to me and looked at Sean and the vet. His body felt like nothing, weightless, the blanket sticking to my arms. We were standing in the parking lot, hidden from view of the other masked people there…

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Can I bake the mailman cookies?

Posted on May 14, 2020

We have left cookies in the mailbox for our mailman. We say mailman because he is indeed a man. His name is Bill. Finley has a keen understanding of the extra lengths he goes to to take care of us. Since moving to this a few years ago, she has noticed that Bill often drives down our long driveway to leave things on our stoop. “Can I bake the mailman cookies?” she asked the other day.   “I don’t know if that is the best idea,” I said.   “Too big a mess,” she asked.   I laughed. “No, it’s more about the fact that people are super worried about germs and he may not want to eat food that we give him.” She…

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