We were told that of all the families presented to her, this young mother chose us. She said that the baby would be her Christmas gift to us. And attached to that same email was the ultrasound she had done the day before. All I could do was stare.
The future of our family rests in your hands. You have the power to make it devastatingly difficult. You can make it confusing and convoluted. Or you can do the right thing. Please, Justice Kennedy, please, please, do the right thing.
That candle's lever refused to click into the "off" position. Too cold and tired to fuss with it, I brought it into the house and set it at the center of the breakfast table, where it glowed all night. And then it glowed all day. And then it glowed all week. And then for two weeks.
This week we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the inclusion of our families in this important law. We've worked hard as a community to make sure this protection extends to our lives and our families.
"Who's the real mother?" I have been asked that question many times -- too many times. But this time was different. I was at a doctor's office, and my son was standing next to me and knew exactly what the nurse was asking.
I always figured there were certain hateful statements that my sons would make, especially ones that say I am inadequate. One of the statements I feared was finally delivered, though it did not come as part of a calculated gotcha exchange. It came at the worst possible moment.
While matters of gender and biology may be relevant to making a child, it is parenting that makes a parent. The ability and the desire to love a child unconditionally has nothing to do with one's gender.
Each time a parenting challenge has levied what could have been a knock-out punch to my sanity, I have grabbed that phrase like an oxygen mask and strapped it over my face. And it has worked. It raises that all-important question, "What do I need to learn here?"
A little more than 24 hours after a young man in Newtown, Conn., gunned down 20 children, their caretakers and his own mother, hearing my kids equate death with "boy stuff" takes the breath out of my lungs.