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    Has No Control Over The Past

    | San Francisco, CA, USA | Parents & Guardians

    (I’m in my mid-twenties. I’m in the car with my dad, known for being quiet and reserved, driving and talking about something that happened over a decade ago.)

    Me: “I’ll never forget that. We’re in a massive Suburban, on a windy two lane road, and we hit black ice and start swerving back and forth across both lanes. You just go ‘hang on’ and start turning the wheel calmly and get the car back the right way, then just kept driving like nothing had happened.”

    Dad: “Yeah. I was just trying to aim for in between the trees.”

    Me: *laughs* “Wait, what?”

    Dad: “Yeah, I didn’t actually think I was going to get it back under control. I was just trying to aim it between the trees instead of hitting a tree head on.”

    Me: “… Well, that’s reassuring.”

    Mother Doesn’t Have A Foot To Stand On

    | NY, USA | Parents & Guardians

    (I have sprained my right ankle. Both my feet are really swollen due to a medication I am on, so they don’t notice any outward swelling even though it is about three times its normal size. They don’t do anything about it. 10 months later, I sprain the left one and have to walk home on it. My mom told me that if I was able to walk that far on it, it wasn’t serious enough to warrant a trip to the doctor. Fast forward to present day. My ankles are now permanently swollen since they never got the full treatment they needed. I now work retail, and it is the holiday season.)

    Me: “Those shoes suck, Mom. I need new ones. Look.”

    (I pull my shoe off to show her the bleeding calluses I’ve developed.)

    Mom: “Oh, s***. What did you do to your foot?”

    Me: “Calluses, Mom, These shoes are not helping.”

    Mom: “I see the calluses. Why is your ankle so swollen?”

    Me: “Eight years later, and you finally see that? Good job, Mom. Good job.”

    A Novel Use Of The Navel

    | NC, USA | Children, Sons & Daughters

    (I’m about three years old at this time. My preschool teacher and a family friend are pregnant around the same time.)

    Me: “Mommy, how does baby get in tummies?”

    Mom: “When a man and a woman get married, God will give them a baby.”

    Me: “Okay.”

    (A few days later.)

    Me: “How does a baby get out of the tummy?”

    Mom: *slightly surprised* “There’s a special spot on a woman’s body.”

    Me: “Okay.”

    (A few days later…)

    Me: “Where’s that special spot? Is it the belly button?”

    Mom: “You know what? What about we go get some ice cream?”

    (I thought the baby came out of the belly button for the next seven years…)

    Sadder And Wiser

    | TN, USA | Children, Grandparents, Parents & Guardians

    (I am working as a cashier at a convenience store. We typically get a lot of tourists in the area, and during the summer a lot of families. In this particular instance, it’s a couple, their young daughter, and the grandmother.)

    Daughter: “Mommy, can I have this?” *pointing at a toy*

    Mother: “No, honey. You’ve got toys in the car.”

    Daughter: “Okay…”

    (A few minutes later, the grandmother brings the toy to me to buy.)

    Mother: “[Daughter], are you asking Grandma to buy things for you?”

    Daughter: “No.”

    Mother: “Are you touching things and looking sad?”

    Daughter: “… maybe.”

    Now I Know My X, Y, Zs

    | Milwaukee, WI, USA | Children, Siblings

    (My sister and I are quite young, around three and seven. She is annoying me with questions, and I just want her to stop.)

    Sister: “How do you spell Rachel?”

    Me: “I don’t know. However you want.”

    (She proceeds to spell it with all x’s, y’s, and z’s.)

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