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You're dumber than you think

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

I drove into town with my mom to do some banking. 

Because it was after hours, the plan was to use the machine to deposit a cheque and withdraw $200 to pay a guy for doing some work on my husband's truck.

It was a simple errand.

I went through the doors and walked over to the machine. Holding a cheque in one hand, I reached for the deposit envelope with my other hand. Only, there were no envelopes.

What are you looking for?

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

One morning when my daughter was 3, she and I were walking along the seashore at low tide, searching for what the waves had brought in.

As we stepped carefully around the rocks - our rubber boots sinking into the squishy sand beneath our feet - we discovered seaweed, sand dollars, crabs, sea urchins, periwinkles and even a starfish or two.

“Can we take them home? Pleeeease?”

This is 10

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

This not-so-little-anymore person turned ten this week, and spent her birthday at the hospital, waiting for word on whether her great aunt had survived a massive stroke. 

From the in utero loss of her twin and my father's sudden passing, to my mom's medical scares and my aunt's uphill battle, this angel child knows far more about life, death and survival than most others her age. 

When she was born, I wanted to shield my daughter from the frightening realities of the world. 

But life is what happens when you're making other plans. 

In spite of everything, my 10 year old still finds joy in little things, plays like a trooper, laughs with her friends, dances like no one is watching and is excited to see the sun rise each day. 

She is my joyous old soul. 

And I want to be just like her when I grow up.

No, really.

And a Crappy New Year

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

"Having that pool skimmer in there really complicates things."

The plumber was bewildered, and he hadn’t yet discovered the paint roller extension pole.

It had been 24 hours since I noticed a puddle in the basement. The source of the leak was unwelcome, but repairable, according to my husband because a trickle from the sewage cleanout pipe was nothing a plunger couldn’t fix.

The plan was to remove the cap, eliminate whatever obstacle might be impeding the flow to the septic tank, replace the lid and carry on.

A gentle twist was all it took. From there, it was like watching a WWII submarine movie with saltwater gushing through breached pipes, drenching the actors struggling to shut valves with nothing more than wrenches and dangerously good looks.

There's One on Your Chair

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

My mother and I were sitting in the magazine lounge of a library we had never been in before. We were waiting for my daughter to learn how to play chess because when you homeschool, you enroll your kids in strategic board game workshops led by cheerful retirees.

It’s in the handbook.

Fifteen minutes in, I noticed a little black fluff on the water bottle wedged in the outer pocket of my backpack. I could have left it alone but my phone battery was dying so I was looking for something else to do.