Monday, July 8, 2013

I survived "The Talk" with my pre-teen!

A few days ago as our family walked through Busch Gardens theme park, my 10-year-old son casually asked me, “Mom, what’s the difference between sex and pregnancy?”
 
~GULP~

I had always said I would have “The Talk” with my kids when they turned 10—double digits—because that’s about when the hormones begin and when they start hearing about it from their friends.

Sure enough, it turns out my son recently spent the night at a friend’s house, and that friend told him some half-information about sex based on “stuff he learned in a class at school” and probably some stuff he learned on the Internet as well.

I wasn’t prepared to have The Talk in a busy theme park, so I told my son we’d talk about it later that night. Then later that night I told him I was tired and we’d talk about it tomorrow. The next day slipped away from me too, and at bedtime when he asked to talk I said, “Tomorrow for sure.” His obvious interest in the topic was making him itchy because the next morning he asked if he could Face Time me at work to have The Talk to be sure I didn’t forget. I laughed, “I will not be having that talk in my work office, but I PROMISE we’ll have it tonight.”

At home after work, I prepped dinner, put it in the oven, set the timer for 50 minutes and told my son to meet me in the bedroom to talk privately (away from his 8-year-old sister). 
I’m not saying the way I had The Talk was the best or the worst. It was just my way. I probably told him more than I had to at his age, but knowing that he’d already learned some things from friends, I wanted to tell him everything before someone else did. In case you’re not there yet and want some guidelines, here’s what we covered. NOTE: I have purposefully misspelled several words in this blog entry so that protective Internet filters don’t block or label it as p0rn0graph1c, as has happened with some of my previous posts that used “inappropriate” words. 

1.     START WITH QUESTIONS.
I started by asking him if he had any questions before I began. He stared at me blankly so I said, “You have questions, but you’re too embarrassed to ask them?” He nodded yes. ~sigh~ He’s really going to make me say everything out loud. 


2.     ANATOMY FIRST.
I started with body parts and functions I supposed he didn’t know already: ovaries and eggs, scr0tum vs. seamen vs. spurm, ejacu1ation and wet dreams.


3.     THE HOW OF S3X.
I explained (using proper terminology) how Tab A goes into Slot B and how ejacu1ation during this process can lead to egg and spurm meeting and creating a baby, thus answering his original question:  sex is the act, pregnancy can be the result. I also explained menstruation here.


4.     THE DANGERS OF S3X.
Like any good mom, I jumped right from how to do it to why you shouldn’t. I mentioned myriad STDs (and their symptoms) by name, starting with the grossest I could think of—genital warts—and finishing with AIDS, which, I explained, when left untreated can lead to death. I offered to show him images on the Internet. He declined. I was grateful to be spared the trauma of looking at chlamydia online with my son. 


5.     PROTECTED S3X.
Before he was terrified forever, I explained that s3x can be safe with the use of a cond0m. He cocked his head to the side and looked confused, which told me that was one word his “knowledgeable” friend had not shared with him. I likened it to wearing a rubber glove on your hand to protect skin-to-skin contact with the aforementioned diseases. I explained that you can’t trust people who tell you they are STD-free, and to be truly safe you should both be tested at the doctor before you move forward together.

Here is where I also mentioned how un-fun it would be to be a teen dad, no matter what MTV says. 

ME: “Imagine all your buddies join the high school football team but you can’t be because you have to come right home after school to feed and change the baby. Imagine you cannot go to college because you can’t afford it because the baby takes up all your money from your job at Starbucks and besides, you have no one to watch the baby while you’re in class. Not fun, dude, not fun. You don’t even remember to feed your dog every day.” He got the message.

6.     EMOTIONS OF S3X. I stressed that even protected s3x should only be shared between two people who really love each other and are considering marriage because of the strong emotions tied to this act that may change the way he—or his partner—may feel after it has happened. 

7.     KEEP A TIGHT LIP. When he finally does have intercourse, I advised that he should not share that information with any of his friends as it is a private matter. Doing so would be very disrespectful to the girl he was with. I told him that very soon boys in his class will start talking about what they’ve done with specific girls and how rude (and probably false) that kind of talk is.

8.     NO MEANS NO. Though it was probably way too soon to broach this subject, I felt it necessary to be very clear about the definition of rape. I explained that when he was ready to be intimate with a girl, no matter how far down the road they were together, “the girl always has the right to stop it at any time for any reason and you must respect this and stop immediately.”

I tied this into the previous topic by saying that if he was 18 and ended up bragging about being with his 17-year-old girlfriend and her parents found out, they could press charges because she is a minor and he would go to jail as an adult AND be forced to be on a sexual offenders list for the rest of his life. 

9.     KEEP A TIGHT LIP 2. As I rounded out The Talk, I asked my son not to talk about this conversation with any of his friends. “If they have wrong information,” I told him, “you don’t correct them. Just keep quiet and know you know the truth. I don’t need the phone call from your friends’ parents that you were the s3x educator. That’s like telling your friends that Santa isn’t real. That’s not your job.”

10.  FAQs. Finally, he was ready to ask his questions—many of which I didn’t expect like:
     a.    How do you donate sperm?
     b.    What is a whore? Is that the same as a slut?
     c.     What is a hooker?
     d.    What does molest mean?
     e.    Can a man and man/woman and woman have sex? How? Can they have a baby? How?


I answered him, one question at a time, covering everything from surrogates to pimps to homosexual intercourse. I was spent. I finished by thanking him for being brave enough to ask me to talk to him in the first place. 

“You can always come to me with any questions, shady things you hear from friends, problems, fears, worries or whatever and I will listen, be honest with you and help you,” I reassured him. He gave me a hug and a smile and went on his way.

Considering I never got The Talk from my parents, I was pretty proud of myself though I'm still wondering if I left anything important out. Have you had The Talk with your kids? How did it go? Did you share anything different?

Friday, June 14, 2013

My Week as a "Lady of Leisure"

I dubbed Week 2 of my three-week break between jobs my Lady of Leisure week. As an employee of an elite private school (which my children also attended) I was greeted each morning by throngs of mothers who came in dressed in workout gear, $5 Starbucks ventes in hand to drop off their children. They looked happy and relaxed, ready to step back into their freshly Armour-All’d, six figure SUVs to start their day. But what did they do? I have always had a full time job (sometimes two), ever since I was a week out of college. I have never known this lifestyle of luxury. But this is what I imagine they do during the day:
  • Take a Pilates class or tennis lesson to work on an ass to keep husband proud
  • Get a post-workout massage or pedicure at the club spa
  • Head to Fresh Market (or Whole Foods or Trader Joes) for a fresh baguette and some $16 pomegranates to garnish tonight’s healthy homemade dinner
  • Take a leisurely shower at home, where no one storms in on you to ask if you can tie their shoe or put their hair in a ponytail (because that’s totally convenient while you’re in the shower)
  • Prep a delicious dinner so it’s ready to put in the oven when everyone is home
  • Write or read a blog post
  • Briskly say hello to the maid and offer her some ice water as you watch her change bed sheets, dust shelves, fold laundry and mop floors on your way out the door
  • Meet some friends for lunch at the hot, new outdoor café
  • Have at least one glass of wine at said lunch
  • Run a few errands during one of which you will buy yourself something special because you deserve it
  • Volunteer for an hour at fill-in-the-blank
  • Quietly read a magazine or a couple of chapters of an awesome book as you wait in car line to pick up children from school

I’m sure some of my SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) friends will laugh out loud at this list. Most of their days might be more hectic. But I would bet my house that they get to cross off at least ONE if not two of the things on this list each and every day, giving them time for self away from husband and children, even if brief.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t love my husband and children and love to spend time with them—I do. Immensely. But as any married, office-working adult (man or woman) will tell you, it is uncommon to have a moment of true alone time. Rare is the hour when you are simultaneously without spouse, children, co-workers, family or friends. I need those moments, as I assume everyone does.

Soooo… last week, while my husband was out of town on business, my children were in camps from 9am – 2pm and I was unemployed, I decided to assume this lifestyle. I would be a Lady of Leisure for one whole week. I was totally alone for five hours a day, free to do whatever I chose. I had recently earned some money from freelance work, so I had cash in hand to boot. My biggest hopes for the week were that I would exercise in a chi chi class, lose some weight, eat healthy, write some blogs, read books, catch up with friends, watch a TV series in its entirety, stay up late (because I have no job to get up for in the morning!), drink some summer cocktails and accomplish some Pinterest projects that have been on my to-do list since I started pinning last year.

Biggest challenge: how to stay up late watching Season 1 of House of Cards (recommended as a “must watch”), drink wine, and get up the next morning not too hungover to take a run or work out. But this was a challenge I was ready to accept. First world problems, right?

Here’s how it panned out, written a la Bridget Jones’s Diary.

SUNDAY
122.5 pounds;  hours exercised 0;  pedicures 2 (mine and my daughter's);  alcohol units 2; episodes of House of Cards watched 3;  Pinterest projects completed 2

BEST: Watching the excitement on my daughter as she sat in the big massage chair at the spa for her pedicure (her first). Everything on her face said, “My mom is so cool for taking me to me do this.” Loved that moment.

SECOND BEST: Completing two Pinterest projects in one day.
1) Shopping store-to-store to collect items for a Pinterest-inspired birthday present for a friends’ child--a “fort kit” made of a sheet set, some clamps, a head lamp, glow sticks and a bag to put it all in; the perfect summer bday gift for a 6-year-old boy.

2) Pinterest-inspired pork enchiladas in the crockpot topped with salsa verde, sour cream and jalepeños--complemented with half a bottle of Pino Grigio, ‘cause starting today I’m a Lady of Leisure. And nothing says classy like enchiladas and $13 Pino.

MONDAY
122 pounds (down .5 pounds thanks to a healthy poop, I think);  hours exercised 1.5;  alcohol units 1;  lunch with friend at chic outdoor cafe 1;  episodes of House of Cards 1;  Pinterest projects completed 0

BEST: Met with a dear friend for lunch at Bodega and had the most delicious pollo asado sandwich with jicama “fries” and a chelada (Corona + ¼ cup of fresh squeezed lime juice over ice in a salt-rimmed glass). From lunch I visited my local library to check out a bevy of books I intend to read over the next two weeks, including one in audio version to listen to in the car (Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton). Great memoir!

WORST: I woke up, ran 3 miles, dropped the kids at camp, then attended my first Above the Barre fitness class. This class is a combination of ballet (which I never took as a child) and Pilates (which I never took as an adult). The isometric movements in this class are difficult enough for any first time attendee—harder still after running a 5K. What was I thinking? I was thinking this: Surely after 2 hard workouts I will weigh less tomorrow. I would be sorely disappointed.

TUESDAY
122.5 pounds WTF?!;  hours exercised 0.5;  blogs written 1;  vintage shops visited 7;  lunch with friend at chic outdoor cafe 1;  alcohol units 8;  home spaces organized 2;  episodes of House of Cards 2

BEST: Central Avenue, a long stretch of restaurants and shops that has recently undergone a hip resurgence in this town, has been calling me for the past year. There are so many art studios, consignment shops, antique stores and tattoo parlors, all of which I’ve been dying to visit. Nothing thrills me like a bargain hunt. On this day I found two prizes:
1) A pair of vintage orange and blue Kinos sandals (go Gators!) for $16
2) A gorgeous, thick-textured vintage alligator skin clutch priced at $85 that I bargained down to $58 because I deserve it.


SECOND BEST: High on retail therapy, I ate lunch with a friend at Taco Bus: Corona, tacos and witty banter on a TUESDAY. Wheeee!

WORST: After dropping the kids at camp I headed straight to Starbucks for the writing-my-blog-on-a-Mac-while-drinking-a-latte experience I always dreamed about. Discovered that neither Starbucks coffee nor its patrons are my cup of chai tea. Moving on.

WEDNESDAY
121 pounds;  hours exercised 1;  alcohol units 0;  blogs written 0;  episodes of House of Cards 4 (damn this show is good!);  Pinterest projects completed 0 (Pinter-slacking once again!)

BEST: Back down on Central Avenue I shopped yet another artsy vintage store, bought some gifts for friends, family, and for myself, because I deserve it. Met with a tattoo artist to consult about a cover up tattoo I had planned the following week.

SECOND BEST: The instructor at today’s Above the Barre class sounded like the radio ladies in that SNL “Schweaty Balls” sketch. It was hard to take her seriously when she panted, “Now lift, and squeeze, and hold hold hold. And there we go.” Still a solid workout.

THURSDAY
Pounds unknown--decided not to give a shit today;  hours exercised 0;  hours worked 5.5;  alcohol units 1;  blogs written 1;  other blogs read and commented on 6;  episodes of House of Cards 3 (Season 1 done!)

WORST: Today was the one day during this Lady of Leisure week that I was scheduled to work, consulting at my old job to train one of the girls who replaced me. This was not part of my original plan for the week, but my old boss and co-workers needed the assistance and I felt obliged to give up one of my days to help out.

BEST: I CAME HOME FROM WORK, AND MY KIDS LET ME NAP!!! I can’t remember the last time I slept for an hour on a weekday (or weekend, for that matter).

FRIDAY
122 pounds. Still. I give up. Maybe it's all the alcohol?;  hours exercised 1;  blogs written 0; alcohol units 3;  books finished 1 (In Spite of Everything: A Memoir by Susan Gregory Thomas—loved it!)

BEST: My children and I were invited by a friend to the local country club pool for dinner and a movie. Every Friday over the summer, this club puts up an inflatable movie screen by the pool and plays a family-friendly flick that the kids can watch in the water… while the parents sip their mojitos poolside, talk smack and watch the sun set over Tampa Bay. It definitely doesn’t suck, and I am definitely feeling like a Lady of Leisure, just in time for the realization that...

WORST: This was the last true day of my Lady of Leisure week.

* * *
I spent the Saturday doing a little more shopping for myself, spending a whopping $150 on several new summer outfits because—say it with me, friends—I deserve it.

I did get one more nap in (that’s two naps, two days in a row!). And I did have one last dinner out with a friend with whom I shared an entire bottle of Meomi Pino Noir (while my children were at a birthday party and a sleepover). Got home just in time for my husband to return from his business trip at 12:30 a.m. Sunday morning, the beginning of my final week off before my new job begins on June 17.

I am truly excited to start my new position, but much like Spring Break 1993, I will not soon forget the sights, sounds, smells and feelings of this Lady of Leisure week.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Best Invention of the 20th Century

Delightfully, while I am in between jobs, I have a three-week respite. It feels right to have this interval to allow me to breathe in the future as I exhale the past. I began this breather with a short family road trip to Savannah, Georgia, a darling city I visited with my mother about four years ago on one of our mother/daughter trips
 
There are plenty of places to stop as you drive into or out of Florida, and we took advantage of this on our way to Savannah, exploring St. Augustine on the way up and Micanopy on the way back.  
In 2015 St. Augustine will celebrate its 500th birthday. This city rich in pirate and Spaniard sagas began with Ponce de Leon's quest for the Fountain of Youth in 1513.  But my favorite site is more kitschy than historical. It’s the Alligator Farm, an attraction that has barely changed since I frequented it 30 years ago as a child. 

Me at the Alligator Farm in 1984:
My son at the Alligator Farm in 2013:

Just look at this albino gator! What a clutch or pair of boots he would make!
Sorry, lost myself there for a minute.

* * *
Like the Alligator Farm, Micanopy (where the 1991 flick DocHollywood was filmed) seems also to have been frozen in time. The soundtrack of Main Street is only the whisper of Spanish moss tangled and blowing in the limbs of centenarian oaks. Musty antique storefronts and white-bearded men rocking on porch chairs seem otherworldly to this Miami girl. Crazy, when you consider Micanopy is only a five hour drive from Miami.

And when it comes to Savannah, despite the charm and history,

the architecture,
 

the food,

AND drinks (vodka and sweet tea? yes, please!),
 
the hospitality,
 
and the ghost stories, the thing that enthralled me most on our trip came from this century:  the power of our almighty GPS.
I can remember traveling by car when my parents moved us from Richmond, Virginia, to Miami, Florida, in 1984. Most of our long rides in our even longer pale yellow Pontiac involved arguments at a heightened pitch over wrong turns and missed exits, easy scapegoats for my parents’ failing marriage.
Once we settled in Miami, most of my pre-teen and teenage life revolved around summer road trips up and down Florida’s East coast via I-95 as my parents drove me (and sometimes my brother) to visit my grandmother in Palm Coast. These summer getaways with my grandparents were freedom personified because my grandmother, like me, loved road trips, drove with a lead foot, and wasn’t afraid to go anywhere alone.
I saw most of the state of Florida from the front seat of my grandmother’s bronze Buick, and later her gold Chrysler (my grandparents only bought American cars). No matter our end destination, our first stop was always the local AAA to get a highlighted map with exact directions to our destination:  St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, Orlando or Silver Springs, to name a few. It was my job then to navigate these maps, decipher detours and sit on high alert for exit signs. I took my job very seriously.
Fast forward to last week as our family of four breezily walked the Squares in Savannah. I would type the address of our destination into my iPhone—no starting address needed, just a tap on Current Location—and we followed the blinking blue blip that represented us in real time as we walked or drove our path. British-accented voice reminders audibly instructed us where to turn and when so that when we were driving I never even had to look up from my Real Simple magazine to tell my husband where to go next. No straining to see street signs. No screaming. No arguing about “No, I’m pretty sure it’s this way.” So civilized, see? Look how happy we were! Gettin' cuddly and crackin' jokes.

Some scholars will pontificate that the most significant invention of the 20th century is birth control. Or the remote control. Or even the iPad (which I still manage to live without).  I, however, would argue that the most valuable invention—or, at least, the one that has stopped the most arguments and saved the most relationships—is the GPS.
Our trip was such a pleasure and required far less advance planning, guessing and second-guessing. Google maps allowed us to focus completely on the road ahead of us, the sites around us and on each other.
Getting to our destinations with ease allowed us extra time to wander unplanned, the true joy of travel, if you ask me (those unexpected locations and restaurants you just “find”). 

What a blessing, the GPS. Now if they could just invent a GPS that tells you which is the correct direction to take at each of life’s personal and professional turning points. Then again, sometimes it's the wrong turns that get you where you never knew you wanted to be, but were meant to be.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Importance of Working Happy

On Mother's Day last month I woke up to a delicious breakfast cooked by my children. I received a litany of hand-drawn cards with ego-boosting thoughts like, "You're the biggest star," and "I love you the greenest." I received poems written at school about my expert mothering skills, and a gift from my husband that I am so excited about:  an Olloclip that allows me to take fish-eye, wide-angle and macro-lens photos with my iPhone. I cannot wait to use it!

But my BEST mother's day gift came from my mother a little over two months ago.

About 10 weeks ago I made a huge life decision to quit my job as a school administrator at the private school my children attend, and accepted an amazing opportunity at another local private school. Accepting this new position meant moving my children to this new school this fall, forcing them to leave the school they love and the only friends they've ever known.

I battled this decision, losing weeks of sleep weighing pros and cons (both known and supposed) of accepting or declining this offer. In the end, I decided to follow the instructions of flight attendants everywhere and put on my own oxygen mask first. I am a much better mom and wife when I am happy. And I needed this change to be happy. 

The day I told my children they would not be returning to their school they both--as expected--cried, "NO! We can't do this!" and both their tears and mine began flowing from the shock of hearing it out loud. But after about 40 minutes of questions, tears and more questions, they began to accept this was really happening, and that it would mean great things and a new adventure for us all. We went to the beach as a family that day, the sun and the waves soothing us all. By day's end my children were smiling again, laughing, jumping and photobombing each other, as happy, healthy children should.

 
  
My daughter even made me this sign, which still sits on our refrigerator today:


My children are amazing and resilient, and I couldn't have asked for a better end to the tumult I had been putting myself through for weeks.  

Many people would have turned to their mother for guidance and encouragement during such emotionally scary times. I, however, am not typically one of those people. I rarely call on my mother for guidance or encouragement because our relationship has been rocky for as long as I can remember. We have hurt each other and let each other down multiple times over the years. As a result, emotional walls that were built up, torn down and built up again creating massive scar tissue tattooed with the word PRIDE. 

The fear of hurt and disappointment keeps me quiet. I deal with big issues on my own, and when she asks, "How are you doing?" I assume this question is insincere and--like a despondent teenager--answer, "Fine," and change the subject.

But this time, I didn't stay quiet. I shared my concerns and my thoughts about this huge decision, asking her to listen and virtually rub my back and tell me I could handle this and I was going to be OK, as mothers should do. I ignored the scar tissue because, as of late, I have seen growth and a true desire for change in us (both my mother and myself), and I decided it was time to reach out and open up to her again. My mom has been inviting me on mother/daughter trips for the past six years, and though it has taken a while, the most recent trips have brought real breakthroughs for our relationship.

A few days after confiding in her, she did exactly what I would have wanted a mother to do:  She supported and encouraged me through words and a thoughtful surprise. She let me know she was there for me and that she was lauding my success and happiness.

After opening up to her several weeks ago, I came home to find a package waiting for me. It was a book called Choose the Life You Want: 101 Ways to Create Your Own Road to Happiness. The book was inscribed, "Good luck on the new road you've chosen, Love, Mom." A card with the book said, "I'm so proud of you for making the choices that will make you happy!" 

I was beyond elated to receive this gift, more so because of what it represented. She really listened to me when I spoke to her. She did not try to compare my situation to one of her own and "win" as the most stressed person. She heard me, and she knew I needed her approval. She was proud of me. She was there for me. Because I allowed her to be by opening up to her. Who'd have thunk it?

It's been a good year for our family so far. Full of surprises and turns I couldn't have seen coming, even as recently as six months ago. But here we all are, surviving, growing, changing together through good times and bad as families do. I feel so lucky to have all this support from my parents, husband and children about the choices I've made. I also feel so proud of myself for not settling or waiting for happiness, but for going out and actively finding and making my own.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

21 Questions to Ask Your Kids

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Long before blogging was a thing, I was “blogging” with pen and paper. I remember receiving my first diary as a gift when I was six years old. It was light blue with a Holly Hobby-esque girl on the front complete with a Little House on the Prairie bonnet. It had a lock and key, which made me feel safe in telling it all my darkest secrets, which included everything from my parents’ fighting and eventual divorce, to my undying devotion to Ricky Schroeder and Punky Brewster.

 

I still keep dairies today; only I call them journals now (more grown up, don’t you think?). And, of course I blog. My blogs are public, but my journals are just for me. I am compelled, however, to share a snippet from a recent addition to my kids’ journals, which involves their answers to a list of 21 questions I posed.

 

I asked them these questions one at a time in private so that their answers were true and not skewed by the other. The questions involved their perceptions of me, but I went a step further to ask them the same question about themselves when it applied to see how self-aware they are at the ripe ages of seven and ten. Their answers were funny and insightful, and I’d like to share only a few of them below. 

 

1.     What is something Mommy always says to you?

a.    L: Don’t put your feet on the couch!

b.    M: Walk your dog!

2.     What makes Mommy happy? (Then ask them “What makes you happy?”—ask them their own answer to each question where it works to do so.)

a.    L (his answer for himself): Oatmeal cream pies and homework passes.

b.    M (her answer for herself): When we spend time together.

3.     What makes Mommy sad?

a.    L: When her kids get hurt.

b.    M: When I lie.

4.     How does Mommy make you laugh?

5.     What was Mommy like as a child?

6.     How old is Mommy?

7.     How tall is Mommy?

8.     What is Mommy’s favorite thing to do?

9.     What does Mommy do when you’re not around?

a.    L: Work.

b.    M: She writes.

10.  If Mommy becomes famous, what will it be for?

a.    L: Helping and caring, or World’s Best Mom.

b.    M: Loving and caring and being a good mommy.

11.  What is Mommy really good at?

a.    L: Taking pictures.

b.    M: Snuggling.

12.  What is Mommy not very good at?

a.    L: Sleeping. (So true!)

b.    M: I don’t know. That’s hard. (That’s my girl! Ha!)

13.  What does Mommy do for her job?

14.  What is Mommy’s favorite food?

15.  What makes you proud of Mommy?

a.    L: You persevere on weekdays.

b.    M: When she accomplishes something.

16.  If Mommy were a cartoon character, who would she be?

17.  What do you and Mommy do together?

18.  How are you and Mommy the same?

19.  How are you and Mommy different?

20.  How do you know Mommy loves you?

21.  Where is Mommy’s favorite place to go?

 

This was a great experiment in perceptions. It turns out I am much harder on myself as a parent than my children are on me, as evidenced in question #10. Both kids gave virtually the same answer to that question even though they were asked in seclusion. As a mother you always wonder if the difficult things you do for your children come across as love. It was validating to know they do.

 

Also, I found out my children know me very, very well. They are observant like little New York Times reporters. In particular, my son’s answer to #15 blew me away. For a ten-year-old to say that he’s proud of his mother because “you persevere on weekdays” is just… profound.

 

I think most moms—no matter their profession, their responsibilities at work and at home or their personal stresses—persevere on weekdays. We just do what we can day in and day out to make the best decisions for our families and give them the best of ourselves while not losing who we are as individuals.

 

We persevere. We sacrifice. We balance it all like an elephant on a big red ball at the circus. I’m not sure most dads would be able to recognize and articulate that so accurately.

 

So here’s to you all you moms who persevere on weekdays! Ask your children these 21 questions and revel in their answers. Then come back and share some if you like!