You don’t understand…..

I have started several posts in these past few months.  I have never finished any of them.  They would have been entertaining and amusing, but I was never able to find the energy to complete them.

How can I possibly relate what has been happening in our home?  There are truly no words.

My bipolar daughter has been in crisis.  We have all been in crisis.  I stumble through every single day, vacillating between tears and anger, desperation and fear.

I miss my job.  I miss my coworkers.  I miss folding jeans and waiting on customers. I miss my paycheck.

I miss getting my hair cut and pedicures with my girlfriends.

I miss quiet days, spent cleaning the house, folding laundry, running errands, watching Netflix, eating waffles for lunch and taking naps.

I miss my Husband.  I miss laughing with him at the end of a day.  I miss curling into his arms and feeling safe.  Nowhere feels safe.

I miss sex.  I miss flirting in the kitchen, and taking it to the bedroom when the Hobbit’s are asleep.

I miss our friends.  I miss hearing funny stories, playing dice, and laughing while we have another cocktail.

I miss being alone.

Somehow, we manage to make our home safe for all of the Hobbit’s.  We take care of our fragile Hobbit.  We spend time with each of the others.

We are emotionally and physically spent.  At the end of every day, I wonder how we will find the strength to carry on.  But we do.

I currently hate every mental health worker I meet.  They are kind.  They say the right things.  They tell us that we are wonderful parents and we are doing everything exactly right.  “It will just take time,” they say.  They don’t know what they are talking about.  I’m running out of time.  My strength and resources will not last much longer.

I hate people who say they are praying for us.  God is not listening.

I hate people who say they understand.  No.  No, you don’t.  You may empathize, but you do not understand.

I hate people who question her diagnosis or her treatment.  Stay the fuck out of it.  You don’t know what you are talking about.

I hate when people ask how they can help.  There is nothing you can do.  You cannot take over parenting for us.  Would you like to float our bills for a few months so we can parent full-time and then take a long vacation?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.  I know you mean well, but I can’t think of one helpful thing that anyone can do.

We are managing to keep the other Hobbit’s well-functioning.  Our fragile Hobbit is hanging in there.  That is success for now.

We are over-burdened.  We are exhausted.  We are spent.  We are at the end of our ropes.  We are barely hanging on to the faintest glimmer of hope.

Maybe it will get better.  Maybe it won’t.  I just don’t know right now.



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Today is your day.

Twelve years and 22 minutes ago, the celebration of you began.

Today you are not my hobbit.  Today is too important to call you anything other than my child.

In the late afternoon hours of this day, you took your first breath.  You were oh, so difficult to birth.  In many ways, my most difficult.

I remember so clearly the feeling that my body would break in two as you passed from my womb.  I wonder, sometimes, if my heart will break in two as I watch your life unfold.

You have never walked an easy path.  But it is your path.  It is rocky and difficult.  It is breathtakingly beautiful.

I looked into your eyes when you first opened them, and there was depth and knowledge in your soul.  There is still empathy and wisdom beyond your years.

You continually surprise me, and I wonder if the world would continue to spin upon its axis if the beauty of your soul were not a part of it.

Your eyes sparkle with life.  They cloud with anger.  They carry mischief and sadness.

Your spirit soars.  Your heart overflows with kindness and wisdom.

I suppose that I have played a part in helping you to become who you are.  But, many times, I believe my job is to simply protect your soul, as I witness its unfolding like a beautiful flower.

Today is your day.  Today my body was the vessel for allowing your spirit to walk the earth.

You were not an easy child.  You were never compliant.  You were stubborn and difficult.  You were never to be deterred from what you wanted.  You have not changed.

Today is your day.  I celebrate you.  I celebrate your laughter.  I celebrate the way that your body is always just a few steps behind your mind.  I celebrate your silliness.

I celebrate your stubbornness.  I celebrate your determination.  I celebrate your successes and your failures.

I celebrate your strengths, and I celebrate your weaknesses.  I celebrate your courage.

Today is your day.  I celebrate your eyes that look upon the world with empathy and kindness.  Your heart that can sense pain or frustration.

I celebrate your words.  Words that flow from your heart and your lips in song and stories.

Today is your day.  I celebrate your heart full of compassion, empathy, and the silent pain that you carry.  Your tender heart that allows itself the risk of being broken.

Today, I celebrate your beautiful, elegant hands.  The hands that master every musical instrument they touch.  Hands that exude gentle caring.  Hands that wring with anxiety and tremble with fear.

Today is your day.  I celebrate the feet that have carried you every step of the path you walk.

I celebrate your kindness and your instincts.  I celebrate your warmth and your caring.  I celebrate your fears and your loneliness.

For, yes, you are sometimes lonely.  There is no one who can truly understand your experience of the world.

Sometimes, you take my hand, and allow me to walk the path beside you.  Other times, you are too tired to walk, and you allow me to carry you for just a little while.

Often, you walk alone, but you are never truly alone, sweet baby.  I am beside you, ready to catch you when you stumble.

Today is your day.  Today, I celebrate you.  I celebrate all of the things that make you so uniquely you.  I celebrate every single breath of the life you have shared with me.

Thank you for choosing me to be your mother, and for allowing me to celebrate you today and every other day of your precious life.

Happy birthday, my sweet child.


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Screw you, Costco….

Dear Costco,

I have been in love with you from the first day that we met.  You whispered sweet nothings to me.  “Low prices,” you whispered, “high quality, large quantities.”

You spoke straight to the heart of this tired, harried, pregnant mom with a house full of toddlers.  I fell for you.  I love you.  But, now, I worry that you are taking advantage of me.

I appreciate your giant two-pack of peanut butter for less than I pay for the regular sized jar at the supermarket.  I happily buy your quantities of cereal, for less than the cost of a box of sugary cereal that lasts through one breakfast.

We host parties, and we stock up on your cheap beer and reasonably-priced wine.  And, god, I love your fruity drinks.

We look to you first for nearly everything.  Food, meat, cleaning supplies, paper goods, holiday wrapping paper, electronics, Halloween candy, kitchen utensils, sheets, even the mattress on our bed.  We have bought furniture, diapers (oh, so many diapers), cakes, coats, and swimsuits.

But, oh, sweet Costco, you are a cruel mistress, preying on my weaknesses.

When I am thirsty, you offer me a cold sip of a new vitamin health drink.  When I am hungry, there is a bite of a tasty quiche.  I turn a corner and you offer me a yummy cheesecake or a gooey, chocolate muffin.

Before I realize what you have done, I have added the vitamin drink, a cake, and two frozen quiches to my giant buggy.  I pack the buggy carefully, but it is soon overflowing with toilet paper, boxes of cereal, frozen waffles, and deli meat.

I need you, Costco.  You complete me.

I need your cases of paper towels.  I need your deli meat.  I need your tender steaks.

I need your easy breakfast, lunch, and dinner foods that are healthy, nutritious, and easy to prepare.  I need the sanity you offer disguised as a box of drinkable yogurt.

And, surely, I need the extra vitamins in the health water I have just tasted.  Extra vitamins could be the cure for the common cold times eight!  The Hobbits are back to school and crawling with germs.  Sickness is just a mere cold snap away.

I am weak and powerless against you.  My eyes begin to wander, looking for other pleasures you have for me.

I don’t take care of myself.  I forget to eat sometimes.  Maybe instead of cookies, I should buy “natural granola” to satisfy me.  Trail mix?  Edamame?  Protein drink?

No.  I will focus on my list and get the last two items I need.  But you are not done with me, yet.

I am paused at the end of an aisle when a subtle scent tickles my nose.  My head turns toward the cooler of freshly-cut flowers.

They are beautiful bouquets, with a lovely, soft fragrance.  You are like a lover, kneeling at my feet, offering me a token of your affection.

Baby Hobbit and I choose a bouquet in stunning shades of purple.  Blooms of deep aubergine and soft lilac.  We deserve these flowers.  You want us to have these flowers.  You want us to feel special.

I am sweating when we finish checking out.  But you made lunch.  A half-pound beef hot dog and a cold glass of lemonade for Baby Hobbit.  Nothing for me, thanks.  I’m exhausted, and probably too tired to lift that half-pound to my mouth.

I refuse to unload any more quickly because a dumb shit is waiting for my less-than-optimal parking spot.  Dude, we are at Costco, on a Thursday afternoon, with a suburban.  Chances are, I am a stay-at-home mom with a big-ass family.  This is going to take a little while.

When we get home, I unload only the perishables.  I tuck the baby Hobbit in for a nap, and then sit down with my giant box of individual cups of rice pudding.  Four of these put me into a perfect semblance of a post-coital nap.

I love you, Costco.  Thanks for the nooner.  I will see you soon.








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Gender bending….

On June 1, 2015, the athlete once known as Bruce Jenner revealed himself to the world as Caitlyn Jenner.

On July 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is legally recognized in all fifty states.

Both of these events have led to increased awareness and heated controversy about equality and gender rights.

Because the national news is drawing attention to issues of gender and orientation, my facebook feed is full of moms who allow their children to dress how they want regardless of gender stereotypes.  My feed is full of mommy blogs declaring an end to gender “rules.”

I am glad we are talking.  I wish we could talk without hatred and anger.  I wish we could listen with open hearts and open minds.

It’s my turn to join the conversation.

I had a gender-bending kid long before it was a national news story.

When Boy Hobbit was just a tot, he dearly loved to play dress-up.  He paraded around in his sisters’ tutus and sparkly shoes.  His favorite outfit of all was a rainbow-colored leopard leotard and shiny, red, Wizard of Oz, Dorothy shoes.

There were a couple of raised eyebrows from time to time, but I couldn’t have cared less.  He was pretending to be a princess or a ballerina or a chef or a police officer.

He wore those sparkly Dorothy shoes nearly every day until he fell equally in love with a pair of red crocs.

For Christmas that year, he asked Santa to bring him a tractor or a princess “because I love princesses.”  Yes, buddy, you do.

He eventually stopped wearing tutus and sparkles, but one of his favorite colors is still pink.

Do I worry about his gender identity or his sexual orientation?  Not even a tiny bit.

We have a second cross-dresser in our house.  Baby Hobbit has been wearing boy clothes for the better part of two years.  You see, she is over-the-moon crazy about Mickey Mouse.

You can’t buy girl clothes with Mickey Mouse….only Minnie.  So that little one has been wearing boy clothes since she first fell in love with Mickey.

I have railed against the sexism of Disney, and then I have shopped in the boy section for my daughter.  For the last two summers, she has worn a boy’s swim shirt and shorts at the pool.

It’s not unusual for her to wear a Mickey Mouse football shirt with a tutu or dress-up high heels.

My Boy Hobbit enjoys Sofia the First, and my girl Hobbits love Pokémon and Lego Ninjago.

On our family vacation a few weeks ago, Hobbits #1 and #2 were doing manicures and creating nail art for the little girls.  Between four families, there are fifteen kids…..that’s a lot of teeny, tiny fingers and toes.

It didn’t take long for the boys to get in line for American flags on their fingers and toes too.  They proudly showed off their nail art to every parent.

Not one parent reprimanded the boys or raised an eyebrow.  No one told them that nail polish is for girls.  The Hobbits that were giving the manicures didn’t shame the boys or mock them.  They simply made designs on little nails, boys and girls alike.

Do I think any of those boys will grow up to question their gender?  No.  Do I think they will grow up gay? No.

Of course, I can’t know that for sure, but there is one thing I do know without a doubt.

Each of those boys know that their parents love and accept them, regardless of which shade of polish they choose.




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I used to be a nice mom…..

I am pretty honest about the fact that I have never “belonged.”  I was the rebellious teen, the “backslidden” Christian, the fallen virgin.

The most difficult thing I have ever done is learning to love myself.  It is sometimes a painful process that forces me to face my insecurities.

I am discovering that my differences make me interesting.  My inability to fit in makes me uniquely me.  I am profoundly quirky, a beautiful renegade.  My style, my honesty, and my vulnerabilities are exactly what make me perfectly me.

I do not belong in a small-minded world.  I long for a world of tolerance, love, acceptance, and respect.  I am creating that world for myself.

The family within my 2,000 square feet is open, honest and loving.  I created that.

The friends and family that share our lives are accepting and kind.  I have chosen them.

I experience a fair share of raised eyebrows and sideways looks, some of them more subtle than others.  I dress too young for my age. I wear my tattoos proudly.  For the better part of a year, I had a bright blue faux-hawk, and now I am rocking platinum blonde.

When the receptionist started with, “that’s an interesting outfit,” I ignored it as a weird backhanded compliment.  When she continued with, “where in the world did you get that shirt?” I assumed she was clueless when choosing her words.

When she went on to say, “that explains it.  I wondered what was going on.  I thought it was some sort of mid-life crisis,”  I quickly checked in for my appointment.  And when she ended with, “you used to be such a nice mom,” her words barely registered.

As I waited for my appointment, I replayed the exchange.  I simply couldn’t believe the ignorance and judgment she had displayed.  I became angry that I should hear such ridiculous comments when simply checking in with a receptionist.

When I needed to return a few days later, I confronted her.  I had not been able to shake off her comments.  I couldn’t let it go.  I was nervous about a confrontation, but I was determined not to be a victim of her ridiculous character assessment. I needed to stand up for myself.

So I did.

I told her that her words were out of line.  She should have never let those thoughts pass her lips.  They were hurtful, insensitive, and incredibly ignorant.  I believe I actually used the word “bullshit”.

I was annoyed with myself when I showed too much of my vulnerability, telling her that I preferred the company of tattooed people who live outside the “normal” bounds of society over the company of small-minded people.

I wanted to be invincible and badass, but my softer side was just under the surface of my bravado.

She began to sweat and I fed off her fear.  With wide eyes, she tried to apologize and tell me that she had not meant anything by her comments.

“I should never have to face ignorance and judgment when I come to a place of business,” I said.

I did not hug it out like she wanted.  I wouldn’t let her off that easily.  I wanted her to be uncomfortable with the consequences of her words.

I was proud of myself, but I also thought I was going to cry on my way home.  I didn’t understand my conflicting emotions, until Hubby summed it up in a text message.

“You stood up for yourself… where for years you were judged and just took it.  You have never really stood up for yourself face to face with someone.  You should cry!  Good for you!”

In that moment, that one silly woman represented every face that has ever looked at me with judgment.  Her words were the ones that had cut me from some of my earliest memories.  She was the embodiment of every person who claimed to love me, yet judged me the harshest of all.

And I stood up to her.  I refused to accept her criticism, in spite of my fear.

Even the most “badass” among us is afraid.

Don’t be afraid of your vulnerability.  Show your fears.  Wear your scars.  Every time that you do, you give power and courage to each of us who have ever felt alone or afraid.

You are beautiful.  You are loved.  You are worthy.

We all are.


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Go Big, Go Bald….

I was wrong.  I was really, really wrong.

My Hobbit never had a single doubt about shaving her head.  She never flinched, never wavered, and has still not stopped smiling!

Her anxiety didn’t sideline her.  She didn’t worry about what people would say or how she would look.  As a matter of fact, she is in love with her fuzzy scalp!

I am kind of in love with it too.  She is remarkably beautiful.  Her eyes dance.  Her smile lights up her face.  She rubs her head because it is so soft and prickly all at the same time.

She says she wouldn’t mind keeping her hair like this.  I tell her it looks pretty badass.  Of course, I whisper the word “badass” because she and I both know that word is not appropriate.  But we also know that it is absolutely true. And that being a badass is something to be proud of.

She is no longer afraid.

I struggle to reconcile the young woman before me with the lost and frightened little girl who needed the help of her younger sister to make it onto the bus every day last year.  It is excruciating to remember the nights that Hubby and I sat awake, knowing that the hallucinations would overtake her before we could asleep.

Her shoulders are no longer stooped.  Her eyes shine with confidence rather than fear.

She is not afraid to make big decisions.  She is not afraid to take chances.  She is not afraid.

Shaving her hair was not just an act of solidarity for kids with cancer.  Shaving her hair allowed her to be free.  When her hair fell to the floor, so did her worries, her inhibitions, her fears, and her past.

She grew that day.  She left baggage behind, and she began to stand taller than ever.  She became even stronger and more beautiful than she has ever been.

People gave us words of praise and affirmation for our parenting after she shaved her head.  I didn’t feel deserving.  This Hobbit teaches me how to parent a child who is more insightful than I am.  She teaches me how to live with someone who feels deeply and has endless empathy and compassion.

Sometimes, I don’t feel like I even parent her.  I simply do my best to empower her.  I cheer her on.  I watch her learning to walk and then beginning to fly.  I am privileged to be a witness to her journey.

She will never walk the easy path, but she is going to have one hell of a  beautiful life!

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Bald is beautiful…

Hobbit #2 is raising money for pediatric cancer research. She is participating in an event where she will shave her hair in solidarity with children who lose their hair to cancer treatment.  She will be completely bald at this time tomorrow.

The Hobbit originally set her fundraising goal at $500.  She really just hoped to raise enough for a free tee shirt.  When donations began to come in, we raised her goal to a scary $1,500.  Now, she has brought in over $3,000 and donations are still coming in.  People have responded with astonishing generosity.

My 11-year-old child is the top fundraiser of 160 people participating in her event.

I could not be more proud.  And I could not be more nervous for her.

This Hobbit is one of the strongest human beings I know.  She is true to herself.  She is not afraid to be different.  She is not afraid to take risks.  She feels deeply and stands strong for her beliefs.

She said to me, “Mom, I don’t know how to explain it, but I feel like I have a calling in my life.  I feel compelled to do this.”

How can she be so wise at such a tender, young age?  Her challenges in life have taken her to a place where she has learned to deeply know herself.  When she shows insight like that, I believe her.  I am amazed by her self-awareness.  I carry her words within my heart.

I worry that the reality of being bald will be shocking compared to the idea of it.

I have seen lesser things test her to her limits, and I worry that she will go back to a place of uncontrolled anxiety.

I am afraid of trusting her to make such a risky decision, and of possibly seeing her hurt.

But I am trusting that she is strong enough to handle it.  I want her to know that she should never be afraid to take chances and to make bold decisions.  I want her to learn that big decisions come with risk, but they can also come with great rewards.

I don’t want to send her the message that big decisions are too scary.  I don’t want her to play it safe in her life.  I want her…..I want all of my Hobbits… know that I will cheer them on when they do big things.

Sometimes, big decisions work out better, or worse, than you could have predicted.   But regardless of the outcome, you are stronger for having the courage to take chances.

I will cry tomorrow as the clippers begin to buzz.  I will cry for how brave my Hobbit is.  I will cry for how far she has come from where she was just one short year ago, when she battled demons that none of us could understand.  I will cry for her bravery in standing up to her anxiety and fighting back.

I will cry as I watch her take a step of independence.  I will cry because I know that I cannot always protect her.

Despite the tears, I will smile.  My heart will nearly burst from pride.  I will marvel at the support she will receive from her siblings.  I will cry tears of joy.

My Hobbit will know she is loved and that her family is with her every step of the way through her life.

My Hobbit is destined for great things in her life.  This is just the beginning.  I can’t wait to see what is waiting for her.





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Fifty Shades of Bullshit…

I read the Fifty Shades of Gray books.  All three of them.  They passed the time.

Mommies are busy and tired.  Why not spice things up?

I have one mediocre friend who claims she read the Fifty Shades books on maternity leave because she just had to know how the story ended.  Really, mommy?  The plot kept you reading?  Did I ever mention that Hubby had a subscription to Playboy when we were dating because “the articles were just so interesting”?

Mommies went to see the movie. Mommies went to the theater with girlfriends, and mommies will see the movie on DVD.  Whatever floats your boat, girl!  Get after it!

l will be honest.  I sat in the front row to see Magic Mike with my mediocre girlfriends.  And, yes, indeed, I will see the second one, probably all alone.  Because I really want to be in my own bed with naked Channing Tatum across the room.  Don’t judge!

But, back to Fifty Shades.  I don’t think I will see this movie.

I read that the Christian Gray actor visited sex shops and sex clubs to prepare for his role.  He said that he needed to shower before he could touch his wife and newborn baby.  He just felt so dirty.

Dude, what exactly were you doing in the name of “research”?  And what publicist told you to say that?

Here’s the deal.  Once upon a time, I tried just about anything in the bedroom.  (Okay, fine, it was last week, but whatever!) To see if I might like it, or to be able to say that, yes, indeed, I had “been there and done that.”  So what if I didn’t hate having my ass smacked while doing it in the front seat of my new car?  Who are you, Hollywood Pretty Boy, to judge how anybody gets their fun?  Who are you to say that my definition of pleasure is “dirty”?

Besides the lead actor being a Puritanical prick, I have problems with the entire premise of the story.

Here is a simplistic recap of the story line…..

Young, vulnerable, naïve female reporter gets a dream assignment to interview a wealthy, spoiled, narcissistic, bachelor business mogul.  He is damaged and sadistic.  She is horny and innocent.  They enter a consensual slave and master sexual relationship.  They have crazy kinky sex, but she sees a softer side to him as well.  They develop feelings for each other.  By the end of the book series, her love and innocence have allowed him to recover from his damaged past.  He finds sexual satisfaction in her love alone, and she finds her happily-ever-after.

Get the idea?

First of all, how many of us mommies feel young and innocent anymore?  I can’t speak for all of us, but I’m mostly just grown and cynical.  I have had enough experience to know that wealthy may be nice, but egotistical and spoiled are probably not going to change.

Horny is horny, and kinky sex is pretty fantastic.  But let’s not confuse it with love.  Sex brings all kinds of fabulous emotions, but true love is scraping the vomit out of your lover’s hair when they have the flu.  Yay!  Happily ever after.

Love is not necessarily healing.  More often, it means finding someone who will accept you as damaged and still choose to love you.

Now…you want me to do what??  Hey, right, that sounds like a great idea.  I have had your spawn sucking on my tits all day, and I couldn’t wait for you to get home, shove a plug in my ass, and remind me who is the boss.

On second thought, I have an even better idea.  How about you go load the dishwasher and get the screaming toddler out of time-out?  How about we try Fifty Shades of Housework?  Or Fifty Shades of Leave-Me-the-Fuck-Alone?

Let me tell you something, Christian Gray.  There is absolutely no leather riding crop that can turn me on like the scent of lemon Pine-Sol.

If you are willing to slog through the piles of laundry and help me load the dishwasher, I may be willing to try that blindfold in 5 years or so.  Or at least something a little more inspired than the lazy handjobs you’ve been getting lately.

How about Fifty Shades of Real Life?




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My moment….

Several years ago, I noticed that my oldest Hobbit’s hair on her legs was darkening.  I moaned to a friend that the future was coming, and I was sad, apprehensive, and excited.

My precious friend cut us each a giant piece of chocolate cake.  Because every mother knows that the hard things in life are easier when they are cushioned by chocolate, wine, or coffee.

We talked about what the future would hold as our children grew and how we hoped to parent them through their teenage years.

I had imagined that I would have lovely and progressive moments with my young teenagers, but it has not exactly turned out that way.  Hobbit #1 is very private.  Here is the link to my first post about parenting a daughter through the beginning of puberty.

Last night, I finally had my moment.  The warm and fuzzy mother-daughter moment that I had envisioned.

Hobbit #1 had asked me to teach her to shave her legs.  I purchased her a brand new razor and her own girly shaving cream.  Quite a difference from Dad’s old razor and the soap and water I started with as a girl.

We sat on the edge of the bathtub with our feet in the water, and began to shave our legs together.  I didn’t make a big deal out of it, and she told me at the end that it was much less embarrassing than she had imagined it would be.  High words of praise from that girl!

I couldn’t help myself, though.  Halfway through the process, I apologized for what I was about to say, and then told her how happy I was to be sharing this with her.  In her very pragmatic way, she answered, “I can’t believe you waited this long to say it.”

When we were all done, without a nick for either of us, I had to give her a hug and tell her what an awesome girl I think she is.  She humored me, of course.

As a mom, my first journey through puberty is not at all what I had expected.  There have not been very many warm and fuzzy moments.  But it is her journey, to navigate in her own way.

I am respecting her path, and I am just along for the ride.  So far, I would say she’s doing a damn fine job of making her way.




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The yellow ribbon….

As a little girl, I devoured every written word in front of me.  I read everything from nutrition labels on the cereal box to warning inserts about toxic shock syndrome.  If it had words, I was probably reading it.

I read the dictionary and cross-referenced words that I didn’t know.  I learned plenty of bad words that way.  Or proper words for bad things I already knew.  I suppose it was my antiquated version of Google and Wikipedia.

My first steamy romance novel was left in my bedroom after a family member visited.  I learned way more about sexual positions than I should have known when I found a sex how-to book in my mother’s closet.  Thankfully, that book taught me that I would not go blind or grow hair on my palms from masturbation like my brothers would.

My grandparents had shelves full of encyclopedias and old textbooks.  I loved to curl up in the corner, behind their old chairs, secluded and reading for long stretches of time.  One of my favorite books on those old bookshelves was a reading textbook from someone’s long-gone school days.

There was a particular story in that book that captured my imagination, and an animated dinner conversation brought the story to mind.  I promised the Hobbits that I would tell a bedtime story instead of our usual reading time.  With all of the Hobbits gathered around, I began the story….

Once upon a time, there was a little boy and a little girl who became best friends.  The little girl always wore a yellow ribbon tied around her neck.  The little boy asked, “Why do you always wear that yellow ribbon around your neck?”   She mysteriously replied that perhaps, someday, she would tell him the reason.

The story continues as the children grow up, fall in love, and eventually get married.  The question continues to be asked and unanswered, “why do you always wear the yellow ribbon around your neck?”

Finally, into old age, the woman is on her deathbed and reveals her secret.  She gives the boy permission to remove her yellow ribbon “and….. plop…. her head fell off!”

The Hobbits had a split second of shocked silence, and then dissolved into uncontrollable laughter. They repeated over and over through their giggles, “Plop!  Her head fell off!”

One example of why I am not that great at mothering.  That is no way to settle rowdy Hobbits into bed.  What was I thinking?  By the time they were tucked in, I just wanted to yell at them to be quiet.

But then, when the house was quiet, I was convinced that I am a rocking good mom.

Hopefully, they will not remember all of the nights that I hastily pushed them toward their beds, looking forward to the glass of wine or the bag of Oreo cookies waiting for me.

I hope someday, as adults, they will find themselves all gathered together, dissolving into laughter, before the most mischievous of them can even finish saying the word, “Plop!….”



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