Kid No. 1: Everything is brand new, washed in delicate soap and properly folded and put away in the matching dresser or hung on color-coordinated hangers. Kid No. 2: Hand-me-downs are washed and haphazardly checked for stains. Kid No. 3: It's cool if boys wear purple polka dots, right?
It has been eight months since we set foot in the labor and delivery unit of this hospital . We lost our baby girl in room 13 last May, following a nightmarish few months consumed by trips to the emergency room, bleeding with unknown causes and bouts of contractions.
Someone cried through the baby monitor. Or maybe the older one came to your bedside. And then someone said, "Oh, God, does there have to be light now?" And there was light, and it was not good. It was coming from the television.
Marriage has fractured along class lines. Conservatives and liberals alike can agree that socio-economic class has come to define all couples, gay and straight, seeking access to the institution of marriage.
Do you know the worst part of a bad date with your kids? It doesn't end. You get home and they come with you. Tough luck, parent! That person who just lost it or caused you to lose it or joined you in losing it is still there.
The answer to addressing the rise in single parent homes and all of its consequences, not just child poverty, is not to give up on marriage. The answer starts with acknowledging where the problem lies.
She loves the bright sun and the way it feels on her skin. She adores the feel of the breeze on her face. She takes joy in slowly moving her hands through the sand. She breathes in the ocean air the same way I breathe in the smell of freshly-made chococlate chip cookies.
This isn't a story about regret or failure. I raise my voice because I do a lot as a parent, because there's a lot going on. We all have a lot going on. And kids don't listen all the time, nor should they be expected to.