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Granted our kitchen floor isn’t a place I’d recommend a picnic.  But it was the place where everything converged.  In the seconds it took me to dial long distance, my son who’d demonstrated all morning what a perpetual whine could sound like, showed up with his dump truck and a load of books.

My daughter had an urgent question about, well, nothing very urgent.  And just when the lady on the other line answered, the cat scooted through the flap on the cat door and flopped down his fourth bird this week. 

On the kitchen floor.

I pointed hard enough at my son and his dump truck to stop the truck in mid-roll…and wrench my shoulder.   I narrowed my eyebrows at my daughter who made eye contact on the third time she asked her question.  And I rifled through the bottom cabinet for a pair of leather gloves to remove the bird whose heartbeat–dog gone it–was still perceptible and whose death on my kitchen floor was the last thing I wanted.

By the time I’d tossed the limp bird out the back door and had mopped the floors where the bird had wriggled, there wasn’t a soul in sight whimpering for my attention.

But then…

I was no longer on the phone.

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