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She sat me next to it and went into the kitchen, where she wouldn’t be as tempted to help me stand up but could check my progress periodically by poking her head around the corner. I loved that doll- a little teddy bear with a soft cloth book in the middle of its tummy- and I went for it, just as mom had expected I would. “You puttered around for a little; It took effort. I watched you then from the kitchen, keeping my hands busy with dinner so I wouldn’t run over to help you. Finally you gripped the edge of the stroller with your hands, pushed yourself up with your right leg, and used the knob of your brace to lift up the final few inches.” After that, she told me, “you were steady on your feet and walked as well as any kid.”

My mother dropped me and my twin sister off at college and started on her journey¬†back home to Rhode Island, where she was unable to see us in person but she could check up on us by calling or texting us. I loved this school- a little liberal arts college with great opportunities nestled in the middle of Virginia- and I went for it, just as mom had expected I would. “You struggled adjusting¬†a little; It took effort. I watched you from home, keeping myself busy so I wouldn’t bother you with many questions about your new life. Eventually you got the hang of it and started to make friends and have steady grades.” After that, she told me, “you were doing great and worked as well as any other student.”

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