Since becoming a mother, I have learned that all I really care about is that my kids are happy. And healthy. I can only do so much in the healthy department. But, at this stage of this game called life, I pretty much control their happiness. And when I say I, I mean we.
Pour yourself a glass of wine as I sew on all your missing buttons nice and tightly and water the plants until they scream for mercy. Watch me plow through your taxes and plunge into the dog food bag to feed little Sparky.
Even those rare guys who are completely at peace with their place in the family and world routinely bump up against assumptions that they secretly resent their wives, tolerate their children and down deep, kind of hate their lives.
she was getting sick. We were so screwed. By the weekend, she was in full-fledged illness with the raspy Kathleen Turner voice and a waste basket full of tissues. An achy, feverish, sadness filled the house. And I knew we were going down in flames. Or were we?
I wear makeup. Not every day, but then, I work from home, so half the time I don't put on my clothes, let alone my face. But if I'm going out and I have time, I'll do my makeup. But what message am I sending my kids?
Your daughters believe you when you say that there are no boys out there good enough for them. Sure, a woman doesn't need a man to survive, but let's not raise her thinking that not only does she not need them, but that there actually aren't any good ones.
Ryan looked up at his father, and a tiny wrinkle of worry appeared between his eyebrows. His dad was not happy, and it was clear Ryan didn't know why. My pulse accelerated. I felt uncomfortable witnessing this scene.
The relationships between sister and sister or brother and brother are celebrated in greeting cards, inspirational sayings, and other Hallmark-worthy moments. Yet I have loved watching the web that is continuously being spun between my children...a lone sister and brother.
If we teach our kids to interpret cues correctly to guess how someone is feeling and to want other people to feel good, the end result will be kids who make choices that result in other people feeling good and not making choices that make themselves or others feel bad.
Come with me. Let's open the door to a parallel universe. Here in this parallel world, the rules are different because gender roles are flipped. Loving parents and teachers accept this strange culture as if it's not so bad, or perhaps even good.
I sat there for a second, stunned. My menu was open; I had been thinking about eggs and hash browns (it's never too late in the day for those.) But suddenly, rather than eating, I wanted to punch you in the face and get the hell out of there.
I pointed to a bottle with red and green sparkles that reminded me of Christmas and another one with silver sparkles that seemed a good choice for New Year's Eve. "No. This one," he said, sidestepping my choices and picking the sparkly pink. I threw it in my cart.
It's hard not to fall into sexism as the mother of sons. It's hard not to look at your friend's daughters as potential wives to your future head of the household. I know, I know, you can't say it. But you think it when no one is looking.
My life was all about how I fit into other people's lives -- as mother, sister, daughter, wife, teacher, student and friend. I didn't know I was allowed to have my own life. As a good woman, I am a full partner in my own life.
Instead of trotting out the same old stereotypes about what girls and boys are like, we could talk about what our children do; how they move through the world. We could talk about all the ways they are human, and how great it is just to be a part of it.
As parents, with or without our kids' input, we make choices that shape their entry into new social contexts. We tell them what is "normal." We set them up to fit in or stand out. And the choices, for parents and children alike, can be overwhelming.