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An open letter to my daughter.

My beautiful amazing young woman.  You are perfect, just as you are.  You are brave, smart, loving, fun, spontaneous, beautiful, and kind.  I am proud of you.  I love you.

I am terrified for you.

You are turning into a woman.  You will soon have more and more freedom in your life, and while I know you are smart and thoughtful and will do your best to make good choices, I also know you are kind and generous, and may be mislead by the people in your life.

I know that the world holds opportunities and pitfalls, heroes and villians, teddy bears and monsters.

I can no longer protect you from life.  I cannot wrap you in my arms and make it go away with a kiss and a chocolate.  Now you begin to face the real world.  You will begin to see the harshness in addition to the beauty, the pain in addition to the joy.

Now the growing pains begin in earnest.

There is no way for me to stop you from embracing life and all the bruises that follow.  All I can do is promise you this:

I will speak openly and honestly with you about topics that embarrass us both so I may better fit you with appropriate weapons for your future battles.  I will not let discomfort prevent me from sharing with you the knowledge I gained from my own encounters.  I will hand down my armor in the clearest way possible.

I will keep the lines of communication open.  I will let you know that nothing you share with me will ever make me stop loving you, and I will reinforce the fact that there is nothing you can’t tell me.  Tell me anything, tell me everything.  I would rather know it all and be in a position to help you through it, than blindly fumble in the dark while you suffer.

I will not judge you.  I will worry about you.  I will work hard to make you understand the difference.  I will listen to your troubles and talk with you to help you make the decision that is best for who you are, not who I am.  If I get angry or sad about what you tell me, I will let you know the source of that anger or sorrow, and I will not let it get in the way of helping you. I will continue to love you and to listen.

The world is full of sharp and dangerous places.  I can’t stop you from wandering into them.  My parents couldn’t stop me.  All they could do was listen.  All anyone can do is provide you with a soft place to land when the sharpness cuts too deeply.

Let me be your soft landing place.  Let me be the place you run to heal.

I love you.

Where’s the damn manual??

Why isn’t there a manual for life? Why do I have to make decisions and choices? No one told me when I was younger that growing up meant having to make things up as I went along.

Last week I was thrilled at the idea of working full time outside the house at the D.A.’s office. This week, after watching Otter respond to my being gone for classes and dental appointments, I have a hollow space under my heart at the thought of leaving him, and Monkey, to 40+ hour a week non-mommy care.

Now, if I work from home I will feel guilty if I don’t earn enough money, and if I work outside the home I will feel guilty about being gone so much. Are there any guilt free choices at all?

What do I do? Do I believe in myself wholly and throw caution to the wind, along with an advertising budget, equipment costs, and god knows what else to establish my own practice? Thereby giving up the chance at mentor-ship, a steady paycheck, and guided experience so I can spend more time with my little man, easing his transition to big kid, and be here for after school, sick days, and dinner time for both kids? Is that the right thing to do?
Or, do I focus on my career now, having given him nearly two years with a nigh constant mommy, and embrace my steady, if likely paltry, paycheck, and some solid training to go along with it?

I will likely earn a lot more sooner if I stay in my own practice, and succeed at it, than I will ever earn at the D.A.’s office. However, my chances of earning a ton in the future increase significantly with a few years put in at the D.A.’s office. Of course, any future position would likely be at a major law firm, thereby requiring 60-80 hour work weeks, so I would probably never see my children again there either. My other choice would be starting a law practice, which I can continue to do now, right?

I am talking in circles to myself, going over and over these issues, and finding myself less able to decide between them with each passing day. What choice should I make? Do I listen to the ache inside my heart responding to Otter’s increased neediness caused by my recent absences? Do I listen to the sigh in my head at the thought of passing up another career chance? Do I go to therapy to reconcile the damn voices in my head, just in case I am actually losing my mind?

Will one of you friggin brilliant friends of mine write a damn manual on how to do this shit already?

Twas the week before xmas…

and all through the house, the creatures were stirring, especially the mouse.

The stockings were precariously hung from the chimney,

strung on a heavy snowman, flake, Santa, and tree,

awaiting a tug from chubby baby hands,

to pull them from the mantle to crash when they land.

The children were increasingly sleepless in bed,

knowing sometime soon presents would greet them instead

of a sleep deprived mama and cranky mad dad,

wishing the holiday didn’t make sleeping so bad.

The recycling bin bulged with emptied bottles of wine,

as the parents sought strength in some alcohol time.

And yet, in the madness, a strange sense of calm

as the lights from the tree cast a glow like a balm,

and the family spent more time close and nearby,

as they peered out the window and watched the snow fly.

Though the season is rough it’s a great time of year,

to spend more snuggle time with the ones we hold dear.

Happy Holidays everyone!! We wish you the best!