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They fight and fart and fidget and drive each other crazy, and their momma along with them, sometimes. And then they don’t, and it’s an enduring snapshot tucked into her heart.

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Beauty in the morning, tumbling hair all mussed from bed and dress-up clothes on over jammies and those purple heels, all topped off with a lei.

I am pretty, she says.

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If you sneak under the fence, and end up where you aren’t supposed to be, getting back might be a little harder and a lot less dignified. And maybe kinda funny.

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They make me cry, these pictures of old soldiers standing guard at cenotaphs around the country. Veterans in uniform, honouring a fallen comrade and showing cowards with guns what service means.

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The dog sees the ladies, chatting as they stroll through the grass, and it’s more than he can resist. They scatter and find safety up high, scolding him for his foolishness.

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When I walk the back road to the half mile marker, sometimes I can’t wait to turn back and head straight home, and sometimes I want to keep on going forever.

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Yesterday’s ponytail, still in her jammies, and her shoes on the wrong feet. She is my foster daughter, this girl who loves to laugh and dance and walk the back roads.

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