I remember one morning my mother was out with all of us – her entire brood. Max was fifteen at the time, followed by Andrew aged thirteen, Aaron at nine, Valentine aged six and I was only five.
My brother Aaron was squeezing my hand too tight so I started to pull at my mother’s huge skirts. She lifted me up so I could settle on her hip. Max put Val up on his shoulders. My mother’s helper Grace walked with Max and Andrew. My teenage brothers were already turning heads and Grace kept the owners of those heads from making any suggestions or passing messages of any kind.
I remember looking over my mother’s shoulder at Grace and smiling. She smiled back in her funny closed mouth way so she wouldn’t show her teeth. A man outside of the bank hissed, “Rat girl,” under her breath as Grace passed by. My mother…
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