Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver


“Want to play?”

I am mixing a cake for my oldest, who turns 13 tomorrow.

I remember cakes of birthdays past. I remember raising the call when the cake was in the oven and being swarmed by boys and dogs who all wanted a lick from the bowl. I’d set the bowl on the kitchen floor and arm each boy with a spoon and stand back to watch. T always made sure the dogs spared some for his brother.

I know, it sounds gross, but it really was sweet.

He’s a good person. He’s a better person than me. He likes to write and some days I think he writes more than I do. He likes to read. We like to read some of the same books–John Green, Madeleine L’Engle. We both adore the Doctor Who show. And sometimes we snuggle into bed and watch Friends. It’s strange to watch a show with my son that I originally watched when I was my son’s age. The times, they are a’stayin’ the same.

The cake smells amazing.

He’s a kind person and sometimes I worry the world is going to chew him up like bubble gum, but mostly I’m hopeful that he’ll be on Team Good and the world will be better for his presence. So, if you see him, share a kind word. Remark on the weather. Ask him to explain a world conflict or two. He’ll gladly give you his time and likely invite you home to dinner.

3 thoughts on “Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

  1. Oh Andi. I remember when we met and he was like 18 months old! And now he’s bar mitzvah age! I too worry about my sensitive older one, even more after seeing his love note yesterday and knowing nothing of the girl he wrote it for except the idea she might not be remotely worthy of it… They will be fine, these fine boys of ours. They’re gonna make it on their own (to quote a different sitcom). Xoxo and happy bday to T and happy mamaversary to you!

  2. Thank goodness for mothers raising sensitive, kind boys. They are exactly the boys the mothers of sensitive, kind girls hope are out there…

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