Can You Hear Me Now?

Picture this. You are thirteen years old, and your mind is focused on all things related to eighth grade. In the background, your mom is calling your name. Meanwhile, inside your head, you’re thinking about the Back-to-School dance, tryouts, your friends, your first period teacher, P.E., Algebra, and the weekend. Your mom is still calling you, but her voice seems distant — just a little transactional noise that blends in with the rest of it — the TV, your siblings playing video games, and the sound of your dog’s nails scratching the hard wood floors as he runs from the Maine Coon Cat that’s been bullying him for the past week. Then Mom calls you again, and this time you hear her — not because it finally registered that she’s been calling you and might actually need something, but because she touched you on the shoulder and gave you the

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