If you ask Chloe what I do, she will probably tell you that I "help people learn about healthy food." What I am trying to avoid is her thinking that the crucial part of being healthy is weight loss and that weight loss is always a good thing.
I am not a scientist. I am not smart enough for that. But I am a mother. And although I am not really smart enough for that either, I do know autism from that angle. I know the rigidity and the obsessiveness and the rage over having an aide in school. I know the quiet longing that comes with being different or weird, because I see it every single day.
It is unnatural for a childhood to be robbed of its freedom by worry and disease. But only strict vigilance and avoidance of allergens can protect a child like mine, and with this come many restrictions.
For now, it's my job to remember November. To take out the memories and share them despite eye-rolls. To remind my children where they came from, and how long it took them to get to where they are right now.
As our children become more independent and autonomous, they rely on us less for information and more on their friends and peers. We give them the foundation, but once they move into their dorm rooms, our kids are on their own. Which is why I'm so very, very grateful for birth control.
I will educate my daughter as best as I can. I will raise her to be strong, to fight back, to be herself and be proud of who she is. I will raise her to realize how ignorant a 50-ish man with salt-and-pepper hair can be. Who's with me?
Enjoy the moments with your children. Try not to take things too seriously. Remember that things can change in an instant.
I want my son to enjoy watching the game. But only watching it. Because I don't plan to let him play. As the evidence of football's health risks grows, is there any parent left that will?
My silence was deafening, to me at least. Do my girls have a dad who won't stand up to crap like that from archaic people who still believe a girl's chief purpose in life is to make themselves "cute" for boys?
To help other mothers and daughters develop deeper relationships and navigate through the challenges Ryan and I faced along this ADHD journey, I want to take the opportunity to share a few tips that have worked for us.
Our children are the lights of our lives. We all start off as parents envisioning nothing but success, love and happiness for them. However, these dreams often do not manifest because they are not getting the important things they need to become disciplined, mature and motivated adults.
Even if Ben is "big boned," I need to teach him how to make healthy choices -- now. But the biggest change needs to come from Ben himself.
Some things are worth fighting for, no matter what other people might say or think. Your child is certainly one of them.
As if this sort of comment in a seventh-grade gym class wouldn't be enough to put a target on her, my daughter offered one last comment to a growing chorus of dissenting opinion: "I should know what a fruit is. My dad is a botanist."
My goal is to make mealtimes enjoyable so the kids associate eating real food with pleasure. It's working.
By maintaining these six healthy habits, your family can put their worries aside and experience life to the fullest in 2014.