What are three ways the narrator says she owes her existence to her mother?

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The narrator in this story is the daughter of a woman who was once part of a trapeze act in a circus that came to a sticky end. The first of the ways in which the narrator owes her existence to her mother is that her mother, Anna of the...

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The narrator in this story is the daughter of a woman who was once part of a trapeze act in a circus that came to a sticky end. The first of the ways in which the narrator owes her existence to her mother is that her mother, Anna of the Flying Avalons, once saved herself from certain death when performing as part of this act. When the tent in which Anna was performing was struck by lightning, Anna was able to pivot and change her course as her partner fell, burning her hands but saving her own life. Obviously, if she had not done this, the narrator would never have been born.

Next, Anna met the narrator's father in a hospital in which she learned to read and write, a "form of flying" she substituted for her previous form of literal flight. The narrator says this hospital provided the second arena in which she owes her life to Anna: if Anna had not gone to hospital, she would never have met the narrator's father.

The third time Anna performed an act which led to her daughter's continued existence was when, during a house fire, she sacrificed her pride and her own safety to leap up to her daughter's bedroom and save her from death.

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"The Leap" by Louise Erdrich is organized around the three ways in which the narrator owes her existence to her mother's choices and acts. All of these three choices involves "leaps", two physical and one metaphorical.

Anna, the narrator's mother, was raised as a circus performer and was part of a trapeze act called the Flying Avalons with her husband Harold Avalon. As the Flying Avalons were performing their grand finale at a show in New Hampshire, lightning struck the tent. Anna managed to survive by removing her blindfold in mid-air and grabbing a guy wire but Harold died. This leap, which enabled her to preserve her own life, was one act that led to the narrator's existence.

As Anna was recuperating in the hospital, she met the doctor who became the narrator's father. In leaving the circus world and learning to read and assimilate to middle class society, Anna took a second "leap" leading to the narrator's existence. 

The third leap leading to the daughter's existence was one from a tree branch to rescue her young daughter from a burning house. 

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