The New Wave

by Sarah Kovatch

A back-to-school memory. Fall 2014: First day of preschool for Anna. She is three and barely toilet-trained—fingers crossed on that as we snap a photo in front of her classroom before venturing in. She’s wearing a giant purple L.L. Bean backpack and she looks like a baby still, cheeks for days. At three-and a-half, Anna authoritatively pronounces her “Ls” like “Ys” as in “Yeggings” and “Yook!” and our family favorite, “Yove.” Her fine brown curls are pinned back with pink plastic bunny barrettes. We have dozens of those pastel barrettes—I can’t walk ten steps in the house without picking one up from the stairs, the rug, the play table…it is the breadcrumb trail of innocence itself. Years later they’ll turn up every now and then in a suitcase pocket or beneath a couch cushion, like a message from the past.

Continue reading The New Wave

So Done

By Sarah Kovatch

I’m at an evening gathering on a friend’s pretty patio and I’m holding someone’s new baby over my shoulder. We mothers chat in a circle around a butcher block piled with cheese and meat while our kids run barefoot in the yard. A string of white lights makes our faces glow. At eight and six, my children are the “old ones” here. Even though it’s been a while, the way my body responds to an infant is as natural as blinking.

Continue reading So Done

Mothers and Wives

by Sarah Kovatch

I’m sitting at my desk with a stack of bills and wearing my serious, bill-paying-face, when my phone chimes with a text from Elisa, one of my oldest, dearest friends who knows me like a sister (even our looks are sisterly). Elisa and I were side-by-side through middle school, high school, and college, but we have lived our grown-up lives in different parts of the country. She’s a doctor now and recently closed on a new house.

I look away from my online banking, happy to be distracted, and click on her text. It reads: The moving crew. HOT. 

The way she writes it gets me and I giggle out loud. I text back three dancing-lady emojis and crack up more.

Continue reading Mothers and Wives

Little Sister

By Sarah Kovatch

On the last day of kindergarten, Anna brings home 2 paper bags brimming with her completed work.

“Look at all my work!” she cries, at the school gate. But we are rushing off to Angus’s allergy shots. “Later, Banana,” I say, using her family nickname. “This weekend.”

The weekend arrives and we are on our way out the door to a birthday party. Purse in hand, I stand above Anna, “Get your shoes on.”

Continue reading Little Sister