I will take my coffee peacefully. No, I'm not making some for you. You want to help me make it? Fine. Take notes on my ratios. That could actually be useful information for Sunday. How old do you have to be to drink coffee? I don't care how old you are, you just have to have a job.
I used to get so annoyed when outdoor toys found their way indoors: sand buckets and pool noodles, hula hoops and soccer balls, the tricycle, the scooter. Now, I just take three deep breaths and look away.
I'm not about to bring another free loader with bodily fluids into my house. I've occasionally considered a goldfish and deemed them too much hassle less than 24 hours later. We are gloriously pet-free and I refuse to feel bad about that.
Your brother's children need to know that he is their dad, not their buddy; knowing he is what I refer to as the "captain of the ship" in their family actually deepens their sense of safety and closeness with him.
How do we know when normal teen acting-out is a preamble to something far more sinister? Is it our parental responsibility to expose our children's suspicious activity and turn them over to authorities, or do we defend and protect them at all costs?
I lied not to protect myself, but because these were not my truths to tell. In all of these cases and so many more (I can't tell you about the more, for the same reason I didn't admit to these in real time) it was their privacy I was guarding, their secrets I was keeping.
"A mother is only as happy as her saddest child," the saying goes. She's only as anchored, and grounded and reassuring, too. But another part of this parenting job is to do a damn good impression of having our feet solidly on the ground.