It was the late '70s when my dad first showed me those boxes of Lionel trains being stored in the basement behind the furnace. These trains belonged to my father and my uncle when they were kids. These trains meant everything to them. My dad told me these trains were now mine.
As I turn the corner in our neighborhood, I catch sight of my pink and purple Rainbow Loom bracelet against the steering wheel; it is one of the first Zoe made. It stays on my right hand as a reminder not to underestimate my girl, and all she has taught us along the way.
My husband's been after me for years to share some of the notes I took as our daughter grew up. On my first pass through them, we savored those highlights together a few evenings a week. Now that Katie's in college, I'm sharing some of them on Twitter.
My child would not have learned this empathetic response if I had remained a yeller. Because yelling shuts down the communication; it severs the bond; it causes people to separate -- instead of come closer.
When the kids were little, the phrase "don't bite the hand that feeds you" was in fact quite literal. I know you really want the Cheerios and you want to show off your choppers, but don't bite my arm as I put them on your plate.
In an age when we are constantly comparing ourselves (and our kids) to other people -- where prodigies of every stripe are just a YouTube video away -- it doesn't hurt to be reminded that we all do things when we're ready and not a second before.
I was grateful for her courage and strong desire to be of service in her life. But bad things can happen to good people. Little did I know that, years after Beatrice's fall in her backyard, I'd take a scary fall of my own.
I realized that since the world is far from perfect, showing my children that what the world does offer is perfectly good enough was important. It also made me realize that being good enough as mother was a worthy goal for me.