It's easy to pretend that the phrases "girly girl" or "boys will be boys" don't exist or don't mean anything, but they do. Whatever the speaker's intent, these phrases, which I've used myself, are limiting.
Mothers have lied to their children since the invention of language. Sometimes the lies are for the mother's convenience, such as the admonition that it isn't safe to swim for an hour after lunch. Other times, the lies are to protect the child's ego from a harsh reality.
Daughter, when you feel surrounded by darkness, it's tempting to think you're meant to be dark, too. You might ask, "If others aren't beaming in this way, surely I'm not meant to; and surely I'm not capable of bringing light, right?"
Here's what I would like to say to all the mommy bloggers who are good writers and pretty funny and offer good advice about how to deal with a toddler who will only wear ballerina tutus: You ain't seen nothin' yet. And you moms out there who have kids over 5 know what I mean.
I knew in order to be true in my sharing of the past, I needed to find my childhood diaries. That is where I escaped to, writing and drawing in books which I worked so hard to hide -- however, not always successfully.
I have a child who doesn't sit still -- ever. Over the years, I've watched her peers learn to sit long enough to draw pictures. I've watched others learn to stay seated for an entire meal. My 5-year-old girl operates quite differently.
My baby was bald for her first two full years. Desperate to make her look girlier, I tracked down non-slip hair clips for "ultra fine baby hair" and stuck them on her two strands of hair. When I look back at photos, it just looks like she has a piece of felt glued to her bald head. Major fail.
Now I have the opportunity to write another letter to another daughter; the one I get to keep and raise. I don't feel like I need to get everything out at once, and my heart doesn't have to break a bit more with each word. It's a very different letter, but just as important.
When mom and I are together we slip into our routine banter. Sometimes it does get loud between us and not all the words shared fall into the touchy, feely category. Let's just say, we don't keep anything in.
At 91, she is a phenomenon. When she is at home in Boca Raton, by 7:00 a.m. she is at the athletic center -- they never call it a gym in her gated community of Boca Pointe. Pointe spelled with an "e" at the end, don't forget it.
I came home from the airport to quiet house with an empty laundry hamper, the sink devoid of dirty dishes and a bathroom counter I could actually see. And I thought to myself, there are two things that are keeping me from sobbing from loneliness.
It's a simple question, one that many of us ask ourselves at some point. While scrolling through #tbt photos on Instagram, Danielle Delph, a Portland-based artist, had an epiphany: she wanted to explore the idea concretely.
As a mother I have tried to teach her to be a "woman of substance." We expect so much from women in our society today; we want them to be strong, beautiful, successful and financially stable. So I've created a list of things that in my opinion makes a "real woman."
When your professional title is "Skinny Girl," of course wearing your 4-year-old's pajama set is going to spark controversy. Bethenny Frankel's fortune gets bigger as she "helps" women get physically smaller.
I believe in marriage and I believe this new generation has a shot at getting it right. They know each other better, they have more life experiences, they have goals and aspirations that they tackle as a couple. They get it.
Gone are the days of sharing a leisurely cup of coffee over the morning news. My husband and I now sip our daily elixir while watching Chuggington with our granddaughter sandwiched between us on the couch.