I've been outed as a fat girl. My own sister -- a size-four fashion maven -- called me "plus-sized" in an interview she gave to an international media outlet. So now a world of strangers thinks of me as a roller ball to her Sharpie.
The mothers who have walked this road before me tell me that new babies find more curves of your body to snuggle into, everyone fitting perfectly, nestled together like a set of measuring spoons that were always meant to accompany each other. I suppose that it must be true. But what if it isn't?
Babies don't know -- and don't care -- if they are using their older sibling's hand me downs. They don't have it worse than their older siblings, just because they don't have a fancy new bouncy seat. The only person who knows or who cares that it's the same stuff is the parent who passed it down.
When I think about sibling rivalry my mind travels back to a little girl growing up on the fifties and sixties with an older sister. The little girl was me, and I imagine rivalry was present even before I knew what to call it.
I "tagged" the photo. One brother wrote "Thanks, sis." Then he added: "Why did I write that? I never call you sis." What was it about National Sibling Day that made us both feel a need to reaffirm our bond of kinship? Moreover, why has this day come into existence at all?
As babies like to do when their mothers are seconds away from taking the first bite of a meal, my infant son started to cry. He was crying because he was hungry. I tried to decide if I should feed him or just eat a few bites of bagel myself. Feed him or eat? Feed him or eat?
Like an insurance company that reimburses for pre-existing conditions, I will turn a blind eye to my "already-friends" with seemingly flawless children. But I do prefer to spend time among those who, like I, live on the edge.
During the process of deciding whether or not to have another child, I heard often from people that it was "wrong" to have only one if it was possible, health-wise, to have more. One person even called it a "disservice" to my first child.
My love for my boys isn't "equal" in height, weight or circumference. The love I feel for my second is absolutely incomparable to the love I feel for my first. As if it's a different color, a different language, a different texture or a different tonality.
Maybe not in my lifetime, but maybe in my children's lifetime, homosexuality will be like red hair or brown skin or a preference for cheese: not a good thing or a bad thing, just a thing that people won't have to be afraid to share.
"If he had cancer or heart disease I feel like I could talk about it with other people and find support. But I'm terrified to say anything, I don't want them to think this is all he's ever been... he used to be so much more."
Being an only child taught me the most valuable skill of all: the ability to be alone. Sure, I had friends growing up, but I was just as content to sit in my bedroom alone, playing with my Playmobil dollhouse as I was to have a friend join me.
Sibling relationships provide your child with their first lessons about how to handle the more difficult aspects of long-term, intimate relationships. Here are some ideas about how to help your kid get the most out of these lessons.
It's natural that the mother lion in you roars when someone hurts one of your children, even if the offender is another one of your kids. But unless you address the underlying cause of your son's torments, things aren't likely to improve.
As a parent, as a bereaved sister, I feel more than I could ever express in words for the mourners of the victims in the Newtown, Conn., shootings. My son Simon is now 4 ½ years old, barely two years younger than those first-graders.
During the first week or so following the death of someone's child, we are pretty clear about how to help that parent. I am concerned, though, that in our culture, we are at a loss for how to help these parents once the first week or so has passed.