12 Lessons for My Son on His 12th Birthday

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1. Be yourself. You are amazing just as you are. So, wear briefs instead of boxers if you feel like it. Trust me. Life is so much more than that 6th grade boy's locker room. 2. Be a good friend. Pick up your phone even if you don't feel like it--you never know when it could be THAT call. 3. Be kind. I saw you help Hadley strap her helmet on when she was giving up on it. Be THAT kid. You never know when it could save someone's day, spirit, or life. 4. Be brave. "All it takes is 20 seconds of insane courage to change the world." Have THAT kind of courage. 5. Be funny. You make me … [Read more...]

Dear Kids, Sorry About this Morning

Honest to God

You both just busted your way out of the house about ten minutes earlier than you had to and I am in my "quiet time"--you know--the 35 minutes between when you leave and when Haddie gets up. I finally washed my face off, blew my nose, and took a deep breath. I want to explain my little outburst this morning. Here's what went on in my mind before your alarm clocks ever went off this morning: "Today is Tuesday--my day to pack lunches and make breakfast and make sure everyone is out fed, healthy, happy and on time--armed with a smile, a hug and all the moral support they will need to have a … [Read more...]

Why Parents Crack: Today, It Was Socks.

Today I got to thinking about how I can go from being absolutely in love with one of my kids...literally drooling and stroking and hugging and tearing up at how blessed I am to..... Enraged...In like a split second. Do I have a psychiatric diagnosis--some pathologic short fuse condition that I need to have treated? Or, are we all just one pair of socks from being the kind of parents we look down on, are ashamed of, and pray never to be? Yes, I said socks. Here goes. This morning at 8:00 Hadley was still in bed. Her bus comes at 8:30. As I watched the clock I accepted the fact … [Read more...]

Living With a 13 Year-Old Daughter

Maisy

To put it mildly, living with a 13 year-old girl is difficult. Some days I contemplate boarding schools. To put it honestly, some days leave me wondering if I am living within a repeated psychotic break. One of the hardest things about Maisy (oh, feel free to insert your own teen daughter's name here..it will work) is the unpredictability of her mood. On our end, mornings are very much the same: I wake up feeling like I got hit by a train and cannot even fathom speaking until I have had one cup of coffee. Chris is the opposite; jabbering from the minute he is upright till the minute the … [Read more...]

Hiccoughs, Lavender and a Verbose 12 Year-Old

PB Lavender Retreat Dried Lavender

I am already a fairly impatient person. Especially on Monday nights. That is my "night at home." It is, in other words, my night as a single parent. So, despite weekly mental peptalks along the 2.5 mile drive home  ( I will be supportive, I will be calm, I will not check my email, I will make them laugh --a mantra repeated,) Monday afternoons are always a train wreck. Stress thins my already anemic patience and  hiccoughs make me downright irrational. So, tonight as my entire body is racked with involuntary jerk after involuntary jerk, my fuse is shortening by the nanosecond. Further, the … [Read more...]