010.

When he was little, O refused to wear shorts.  

Refused

He was adamant that he would scrape up his legs if he ever wore shorts, so we never really pushed the issue. Even through humid summers, we let him dictate his clothes.

Until, finally, on a warm spring day, his dad convinced him to wear shorts. As his little toddler legs, newly exposed to the sunlight, carried him from our front door down the sidewalk to our car, he stumbled over his growing feet.

And scraped his legs.

He hasn’t worn shorts outside the house since. 

Moral of the story: your own knowing should never limit you because of your fears, but you shouldn’t rely on someone else’s knowing because it is not necessarily better than yours.

003.

We turn out the porch light and sort through the candy.

I see him picking pieces out of the cauldron.

My heart sort of sinks when I watch him. I feel . . . bad? Guilty?

Guilty.

I look at the teenager and say, “Maybe you should have gotten candy tonight, then the two of you could have traded like you and your sister used to.”

“What,” the littlest says, overhearing and grabbing a chair at the island, too.

“Yeah,” says the teenager, “Sis and I used to pour our candy on the floor, sort it, and trade for our favorites. Like, I’d give her a Snickers for two Milky Way.”

The littlest thinks for a moment and says, “Well, Sis isn’t here anymore* and you don’t Trick-or-Treat, so I don’t have anyone to do that with.”

Guilt. Definitely guilt.

*Sis is our college freshman.

There’ll be no one left to tell our story.

It dawned on me this morning that the United States is a sinking ship.

We are a Titanic with exaggerated, mythical abilities that truly was never built to help all its passengers survive.

See, whatever some of us thought we were, we aren’t.

And some of the first class passengers are just now realizing this.

And some of the first class passengers have always known there aren’t enough lifeboats.

And it’s all hands on deck, but no one is saving us. No . . . no, instead they’re making sure the gates are locked on the third class passengers while the hull floods.

They never intended for us to survive. 

And it’s been women and children first, sure, but instead of helping them, they’re caging them. 

And the rats are fleeing, but not before infecting everything and everyone they can. Because if they can’t have the run of things, they don’t give a damn about leaving a plague in their wake. 

And the water is coming up fast, sometimes faster than we can climb or run or swim, and we feel frozen in place.

Some of us are drowning.

Some of us are jumping. 

Some of us are fighting through the numbness and pain to make it out alive, knowing—knowing—that what awaits us will likely be more treading of water in the darkness before help arrives.

If help arrives.

And the captain doesn’t care about the sinking of this ship because he steered us to the sharks on purpose. 

And the captain doesn’t care about the sinking of this ship because his heart’s already an iceberg. 

So, if we’re to survive this, we need to listen for every whistle of distress.

If we’re to survive this, we need to make room in the lifeboats, turn toward the fray, and risk capsizing to save as many lives as we can. 

if we’re to survive this, we have to realize there is room on the door.  

Things They Don’t Tell You About Parenting Young Adults: 001

1. Sleepless nights don’t stop, but you might find yourself actually melancholy when you realize someday soon your sleeplessness won’t be eased by the sound of the house alarm chime when they walk through the front door . . . because they’ll be sleeping elsewhere.

Like their dorm room. 

2.  Your conversations will run the gamut of topics, from Snapchat and current slang to relationship advice and fashion tips, and you’ll actually enjoy it. 

It’ll feel less like talking to a hormonal wall and more like talking to a younger, smarter version of yourself.  

3. Never underestimate the gift of one-on-one time together. Even if that means running errands or keeping each other company while painting your own nails, you’ll be grateful for that time well spent.

4. Worrying doesn’t stop, either. It just changes, grows in different directions, maybe even becomes that sort of desperate worry that can never be fully alleviated because couch snuggles and kissing their hurts isn’t as effective as it once was.  

Raising Wolves.

Raising a strong, fierce daughter has been (relatively) easy because she comes from warrior blood. 

Dragon ladies and bruhas, shield maidens and hustlers. 

Women who know what it is to not just survive, but fucking thrive even through adversity. 

Raising strong, fierce boys is where my worry lies. Will they be good men? Compassionate and kind, quick to help without need for reciprocity? Will they stand against oppression and abuse? Will they be more than bystanders in life? 

And then I remember they have warrior blood, too.

I remember the lineage of women who once held them in their wombs.

I remember that I married their father because he is a good man and I knew he would help create good men.

I remember my boys never fail to temper their ferocity with the size of their hearts. 

. . . lest their sister kick their asses. 😜