He walks into the deepening water, impatiently brushing my hands away, laughing as he tries to leave me behind. When the water meets his chin, he reaches for me without looking, secure with the confidence that I will be there. I am right beside him, and I gladly lift him to safety, every time. He is 2. He is independent and completely helpless in the same moment. Sometimes he forgets how much he needs me. I stay close by for when he remembers.

Kristen Bailey

Burke

Astrong Greek woman, my mother has spent the last 59 years proudly telling anyone and everyone who would listen about "her children." Now at 85, as her body and mind betray her, she sees her vitality slipping away. Her independence is threatened as we, her children, must manage her life, control her finances and scold her when she is too demanding of her caregiver. We still think of ourselves as "her children." She, however, has started referring to us as "you people."

Mary Dempsey

Laytonsville

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