Perhaps the most surprising thing as I consider the Brave New World I live in today is that my adult life is much more timeless than even my childhood was in neat suburbia with car travel everywhere, supermarket shopping and instant meals.
Perhaps the rise of terrorism, climate change, and the global financial collapse have caused some form of sociological damage that has turned us all into jaded cynics. Maybe we've stopped making movies that are full of wonder because we've stopped seeing the wonder in the world.
I want to enjoy swimming with my kids and proudly display photos of our family at the beach without worrying about whether I look three-months pregnant or if other people will notice my cellulite-covered thighs.
I've not yet been the father of girls ages 8 and 11, or daughters 14 and 17. And I cannot pretend to know how stressful and/or fulfilling having college-aged kids will be. I can only know what I have known, and what I know allows me to declare 6 and 9 the greatest ages of childhood.
By maintaining a balance between love and support with developmentally appropriate boundaries, children will grow up to be successful in navigating the world and accepting the realities that come with adulthood.
I knew how hard his home life was and how badly he wanted to succeed but how limited he felt. This was the only way of life he knew and I was terrified that it would be the only one he would ever know.
Being a single mom stuck in the suburbs can be hard. Happy, intact families are everywhere, holed up in their big houses and two-parent, tag-team bedtime routines, working on the garden or schlepping in the groceries.
For some of us with younger kids (or grandkids), the tiny cap and gown of a preschool graduation is sweet and brings smiles. But when those little ones get bigger, start shaving and can eat their weight in hot dogs, those mom smiles at graduation can be laced with a tear (or two).
How did I get to be such a doormat? When did I develop such a deep-rooted fear of offending others? What caused me to place other people's needs ahead of my own? What did I think would happen if (horror of horrors) I were to actually displease someone?
Toddlerhood is a challenging stage. My daughter has the newfound ability to express her wants, needs and excessively irrational, endless, countless, infinite demands with words, yet lacks the decency to keep it to herself.
What if motherhood puts an even greater distance between an already estranged mother-daughter relationship? What if it makes you feel even less connected to your mother, makes your understanding of her motives and choices during your childhood that much more elusive?
Why is it that store-bought penny candy never gives you the same high when you're reintroduced to it as an adult? Is it because corporations keep finding cheaper ways to produce it, using lesser ingredients than they did back then? If so, how come it's still so darn expensive?