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He's 100 years old -- truly. I dropped him off at his doctor's office. When I collected him an hour later, I asked if he'd had a long wait. No response. I let it drop. Four steps later, "No, not long; just 10 minutes." I smiled, helped him into the van, admiring his fitness and stylish clothes.
"Who picked out your happening shades?" I asked. "What?" "Your sunglasses, they're very hip." No response. The women in the van chimed in that he couldn't hear. Then I watched as he slowly lowered his glasses. "Sexy, huh."
Already awake for 13 hours, I rush in the door from work. Scrubbing mud out of clothes, beginning the homework battle, preventing a water balloon disaster . . . frustration mounts as I hold ice on a blanket to remove a chewed-up wad of gum. During that moment of exhaustion, Austin runs by and quietly sets something on the counter. Lying before me is a folded pink heart with the words "I Love You Mom." Seven years ago, I thought I knew what motherhood meant. I didn't have a clue.