A Note From Faraway

Via a Christmas card, my younger daughter learns someone has been watching her fall soccer games online. While baking cookies, she watches a game, wondering what they’ve seen. From the kitchen table, I look up from my laptop and see a game filmed at her high school, the fields brilliant green.

The scene is so utterly typical small town Vermont: the cheering parents, the sunshot gorgeous autumn afternoon, the game narrated by a dad who’s clearly taking pleasure in being there. I remember the rush to get to those games, how parents juggle work, rushing to the sidelines, asking how far along is the game? What’s the score? How many of your kids’ soccer games do you get to watch in a lifetime, anyway?

In this zero-degree day, we stand in the kitchen, eating warm gingerbread cookies, watching her team. The game and that sunlight looks too good to be true. What luck, I think.

Parenthood, like death, is an event for which it is nearly impossible to be prepared.

— Rachel Cusk

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#10 Pond. Summer swimming currently on hold. Calais, Vermont.

By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

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