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Showing posts from August, 2014

On being away from home and turning sixteen: a letter to my son

Dear Josh,

I missed your sixteenth birthday.  I'm sure you recall - or maybe it wasn't so bad because you spent the whole day with your friend watching movies.  Godzilla and Guardians of the Galaxy, you've said.  It's no surprise to me that Godzilla was your favorite of the two.  That atomic green monster holds a special place in your heart.

It was very difficult for me to be away from you when you crossed this threshold in your life.  I remember turning sixteen, being sixteen, and wondering when I would feel like I was actually sixteen.  When I was sixteen, I went and found my first job, I started driving myself around, and I pretty much felt like I was in the wrong skin.  I'm only now, at 37, beginning to feel in the right skin.  Or at least comfortable with the skin I'm in.  But you - well, you don't seem to have a problem being you.  I can't explain how very happy that makes me feel, how very reassured.  Because it can be really hard not to like you…

Dear Carly (on your 9th birthday),

I can't remember what it is like to turn nine years old.  From watching you turn nine, it must have been difficult because it seems like everything is either really, really greator really, really bad.  Some days I think I might get whiplash from the mood swings (and you're not a teenager yet!).   But overall, I think nine must also be really wonderful.  You seem to be full of joy, even moments after being full of woe.  It's as if the joy just pushes the other stuff out.  It practically oozes from your pores.  More than that, on the days you choose to be happy, the whole world sings with you.  People are infected by it, drawn in to your sweet smile and shining eyes.  Attracted like bugs to a light.  You shine, dear little diva, so brightly sometimes it's blinding.

We just spent three weeks together in California, and I must have complained too much about your behavior because your dad believes we are oil and water right now.  I'd prefer to see us as oil and vinegar …