Something Old, Something New
My five year old grandson carries a Brontosaurus backpack with his orange lunch, a bottle of water and an extra pair of pull ups, just in case. He hops on the bus and settles in his usual seat, holding a toy, perhaps the green engine Percy or maybe his bright blue monster truck. When my son went to overnight camp, he hid his GI Joe with a Kung Fu Grip under the shirts and pants and sweaters in his suitcase. He hoped I wasn’t looking, it was too babyish. Later he told me he shared a cabin with Jeremy who brought a stuffed cougar with only one ear. I took three I Heart You bears to college to put on my bed. Others brought Ginny dolls pretending they were cute decorations, matching their new ruffled bedspreads. But we knew we all needed a seed of the familiar in order to safely leave home. When she was older than old, stooped back, half mast mind, painful bunions on both big toes, my grandmother announced she wanted photos of her husband, her four children and all seven grandkids buried with her, along with her saucy crimson heels, just in case.
About the Author
Emily Anne Standlee is a freelance writer living in Kansas City, Missouri. She is the recipient of a 2021 AWP Intro Journals Award and won the 2021 Great Midwest Writing Contest in Nonfiction. Her work appears in Passengers, HASH, Midwest Review, Sand Hills, and Tampa Review. Recently she received an MFA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.