with Lynne and Leslie
Category Archives: babies

So much to say, so little blogging: Some thoughts while I’ve been away

by SweetMidlife
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How many times do you watch a kid’s movie before it burrows UNTO YOUR SOUL?

 

It’s Leslie! And it’s been a minute – several of them, really – since I’ve written here. I was up to a lot, including finalizing the adoption of my son, Brooks, who is almost three years old and more than almost awesome. He is all the way awesome. And super loud.

In that time, with all that stuff going on, there’s a lot I’ve been thinking about, some stuff that directly relates to motherhood (I’ve been raising him since he was six months old, but it’s just been official now.) Some of it is serious, some of it is stupid and some of it involves the proper number of times a day a child should eat macaroni and cheese.

– Is it wrong to tell your kid “We are not watching any more ‘Dora Into The City’ today because Mommy doesn’t like it and it’s making her angry?”

– How much mac and cheese will warp your kid and turn their blood into actual Velveeta cheese sauce?

– I realized this morning as I packed the kid into the stroller to walk him to daycare that we were out of lunch food so I walked past the CVS and put a Campbell’s soup cup, one of those plastic cups of peaches (but in real juice!) and a yogurt in his lunch bag. Not one thing was either homemade or even wrapped lovingly in a plastic bag by me. Am I a bad person?

– “Bad Moms” was actually funny but annoying because every one of these moms was upper middle class or at least well-off, where they could blow off their part-time jobs or stay at home or at least get drunk in the middle of the day and not once was one of their complaints “If I change my life at all I can’t pay my bills.” Because I know very few moms who don’t worry about that.

– Are you gonna watch “Dancing With The Stars” even if it means endorsing Ryan Locthe’s stupid butt? (I am! Because of Vanilla Ice and Babyface.”

– Does the cancellation of “I Am Cait” set back the transgender movement or just mean Caitlyn Jenner needs to be nice to Kris Jenner so she can get back on “Keeping Up With The Kardashians?”

– How much sleep do you need before you can’t function? Asking for a friend.


Five good things about having to take a sick day. Really. They do exist.

by SweetMidlife
The view from my sick day couch.

The view from my sick day couch.

Leslie here, on the second day of a gross sinus situation that will not go away. This is also the second day that I am working from home, because I don’t want to spread my germs around and because my office prefers that I don’t, either. Still, stuff gotta get done, so I’m sitting on the couch working in my messy living room (We’re moving soon so I’ve started packing and sorting to the point that my toddler actually pointed to a pile of DVDs on the floor and said “Clean up, Mommy.” I offended a toddler with my messiness. That’s bad.)

As slow as I’m moving, I’ve found some hidden blessings in this less-than-healthy period. Because I’m a Girl Scout like that.

1) Having to slow down: I don’t do slow well, which might be one of the reasons colds eventually get worse and kick me onto my butt because I don’t stop to take care of myself. But when you’re achy and tired and can barely move because your body just won’t do that, you’re forced to take that nap you needed. I tell my toddler all the time that when he’s 35 he’s going to wish he could get all that nap time back.

2) Cuddle time: When we took Toddler to his two-year check up, they gave us a list of traits and milestones for this age range, one of which said “Do not expect sharing.” That could sometimes be the name of Toddler’s autobiography, honestly, but yesterday he saw me on the couch looking sad, brought me a bottle of water from the kitchen, said “Lie down, Mommy” and then climbed into my arms, patting me on the arm like a puppy. It was sweet seeing how concerned and attentive he was, and that he took a break from his usual favorite hobby  Grabbing random things and yelling “MINE!!!” and running away.

3) Couch time: I have a lovely leather couch and I like lying on it with a big blanket and being kind of inert.

4) Having to eat and drink healthy: I don’t drink enough water, and I know that this would help keep me healthier on non-sick days. But when I am sick I feel so parched my throat is desert-like, so I’m guzzling the stuff and remember how good it feels. I then remind myself to do that when I’m well. Maybe I’ll remember this time.

5) Catching up on TV: I swear I’m working (HEY BOSSES I’M REALLY WORKING!) but from my couch in my running shorts. So it’s been a good time to catch up with TV I needed to catch up on like “Jane The Virgin” and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “Major Crimes,” Since I can’t really move very much, I have no choice but to sit and watch. Sitting good.

So what are your good things about taking sick time?


Things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, on the way to the cheese…er, family dinner

by SweetMidlife

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So this is Thanksgiving, and what have you done? Well, if you’re me, Leslie, you’ve run/walked a half an hour, made (and eaten a lot of) a cauliflower gratin, taken out the trash, introduced a toddler to the joys of “The Wiz,” observed that Mariah Carey is still the queen of all she surveys and if you don’t agree she’ll just excommunicate you from her reality. It’s been a good day so far and it’s not nearly over. We’ve got more cooking, and dinner, and whatever’s on TV tonight that I’ll DVR and watch when I wake up after passing out in a food coma at 8.

You might know that this has not been the most awesome year around these parts. Actually, for me, it’s been pretty much the worst. But I’m still standing, yeah yeah yeah (Thanks Elton!) and I’ve gotta get this thing rocking, and am covered in gratitude for the people who have risen up to help me. Here are five random things I’m thankful for, just right now:

1) New running shoes, right out the box.

2) Overcast, windy days in November in Florida where you can run on Thanksgiving and counteract the fat to come.

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3) The Macy’s parade, and the many many kids who fly in from all over the country to get their 10 seconds of recognition. Never ever be too jaded to capture how important that is.

4) Toddler hugs, because in between the hugs, toddler crazy.

5) Knowing you guys are out there.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM THE SWEET MIDLIFE!


I am not a fat girl, or The Fitness Benefits of A Large Man Yelling At You

by SweetMidlife
leslie and victor

This is my friend. He loves me enough to yell when I am mean to me. This is a good friend.

 

“You have to cut that mess out!”

I am running up the steps of a fancy outdoor mall, on the ascent of my second of five trips up and back. And there is large, black-clad man standing at the top, his eyes wide, arms above his head in emphasis. He is serious. He is not playing.

And I’m not gonna lie – It freaks me out a little. But because Victor is my friend, and my trainer, and I am paying for him to make me run up and down the steps, I keep toward him, admittedly wobbly because we’ve been at this for a few minutes and stairs hurt, and because I know I need whatever is coming. I can’t even breath right now, so I can’t muster more than a half-nod and a huffed “OK.”

What Victor is mad at me about – and what I should be mad at me about –  is my self-deprecating tendency to call myself fat. Or old. Or something. And it is true that I am…more robust that I was when we met, back 25 pounds ago when I even thought I had weight to lose then, and that I am like ten years older, but isn’t that a gift to be. I do it because I keep remembering what I used to look like, what my knee used to feel like, how easy this used to be or at least how easy my self-deprecation tells me it used to be (NOTE: This was never ever easy, even when I was all relatively hot and stuff.)

I also admit, when the stairs are done and we are taking a nice recovery walk, that I do that as a way to say I’m fat first before anyone can say it first. I know it’s messed up.

So does Victor.

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME???”

Nope.

“THAT’S MESSED UP! STOP DOING THAT! YOU’RE A GODDESS! DON’T YOU EVER EVER LET SOMEBODY ELSE’S STANDARDS DO THAT TO YOU! ARE YOU CRAZY?”

Apparently, yeah. I’m not alone, either, the people – probably mostly women – who think they can motivate themselves to change by bullying themselves, not in a “Girl, you better do this” tough love way, but the way an actual bully who hates you and wishes you harm would do. Like you’re worthless. Like you suck.

I do not suck. I am worth being out here on these steps so early in the morning, watching my mother wheel my kid at a leisurely pace around the square in a non-sweaty fashion. Those people make me worth it. If I am not worth being healthy, being happy, why am I here? And what makes me think that if I find reasons to hate myself at this weight that I won’t find more reasons to keep slagging myself?

So I’m done. I don’t need to pretend that this body is my ideal because it ain’t. But I can tell myself that it is strong enough to get me up the steps, that it physically carries another human being to bed when he’s sleepy and kicky and weird, that it calms him when he is scared and cranky and ready to cause mischief. That it is worthy because it is mine.

Thanks Victor. I got it. And if I lose it, feel free to yell. I can take it.


The Sweet Midlife Guide to Traveling By Air With A Toddler

by SweetMidlife
Snacks. Binkies. Anything to get that toddler calm. But not whiskey on his gums like the old ladies have advised me, because I like not being in jail.

Snacks. Binkies. Anything to get that toddler calm. But not whiskey on his gums like the old ladies have advised me, because I like not being in jail.

Rule #1: DON’T EVER FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S HOLY DON’T YOU EVER DO IT.

Thanks! See you later!

…Oh, you’re still here. Wait, you’re serious? OK. We were only half serious about Rule #1, although we’d be lying if we said that this was ideal. Obviously, sometimes getting where you have to go involves getting on a plane, and sometimes, if you want to take your kid with you (or couldn’t talk anyone else into keeping them while you jet off to Whateverastan), you gotta go without a partner to help corral the wee one. You might be a single parent, as I now find myself, or just have to travel without your partner for at least some portion of your trip. Whatever the reason, this can be way, way stressful.

So stressful.

Toddlers are stressful when out of their element, overstimulated and way past nap time, even when you have help (See Lynne’s sad/funny story about her son, a plane trip and some poopy pants). So when you’re the only person there to carry, coordinate, wrangle and talk a crazed two-year-old down from a “NONONONOOOOO!!!” jag…let’s say this is not where vacation dreams begin.

I just got back from a similar trip mostly unscathed, and plan to do it again very soon. And I know I wouldn’t have made it back alive (or at least as sane as I claim to be) without following the below listed rules:

1) Do all your documentation, as much as possible, before you get to the airport. I cannot stress this enough. Check in online the minute you can. Print your boarding out, or download it onto your phone. Try to travel as light as you can, even trying to just do a carry-on if you can swing it with both of you, to save yourself from even having to stand in that Godforsaken line to check your bag. The less loose paper you have flying about stuffed in a nasty baby bag as you’re running through Security screaming “Where is your shoe? WHAT DID YOU DO WITH YOUR OTHER SHOE??” the better.

2) Try to figure out what you really need to bring, and what you can borrow or rent when you get there. This is smart anyway, but when you’re the only person who’s going to be dragging the stroller, car seat, luggage, baby bag AND the child (can’t forget him!), you’ll appreciate downsizing. This last weekend we were in NYC, and relied a lot on Uber, a company that, at least in that city,. provides car seats that are installed by trained drivers. So we didn’t need to bring our own. We did take the big stroller, but that can be rolled through the airport with all our stuff in the bottom basket for kind of a third hand, and checked for free at the gate.

3) Get help where you can. My mother has, lately, asked for gate passes on days she is not flying with us, so that she can physically help get us through security, carry stuff and stop Boy from climbing on the conveyor belt to make sure no one stole his stroller. (This happened. He’s paranoid. I told him no one wants his nasty cracker-dusted stroller. He did not believe me.) And this weekend, my sister is going to pick us up at the terminal and then drive us to the rental car facility, because I would never be able to get the stroller, car seat and actual bags on the shuttle by myself.

4) Bring the whole kit of wonders. Again, every toddler parent knows to be prepped with snacks, drinks, and whatnot, but when you are alone with that lovely ball of energy and crankiness, you must make sure that they’re…handled. Like Olivia Pope handles people, or at least like she did before she went public with the President, lost her mind and starting acting like a quivering chump. Distraction is key, so I came armed with snacks in tiny containers, those squeezy food packets he’s likely a little old for but which fill the belly with minimal mess, sippy cups, his favorite apps on my phone and extra binkies. At two we really wish he didn’t want binkies anymore, but they’re good for takeoff and landing to prevent the ear popping. And they keep him quiet. So quiet.

4b) Do not rely on wonders you cannot control. JetBlue has the FlyFi free WiFi and I figured that it would provide a chance for Boy to watch his favorite online videos, like that oddly hypnotic ChuChu TV with the little chubby animated children singing “Head Shoulders Knees and Toes.” But the FlyFi was a no-go on our last flight, and so the increasingly frantic tug on my arm and little demanding slurry voice going “Hesholkneetoes! HESHOLKNEETOESSSSS!” was met with a lot of “Umm, that’s not working right now.” Toddlers care not about your petty technical difficulties. They are the Tim Gunn of people. They demand you make that thing work. And if you can’t, you sing that song to them yourself in the lowfi version and hope it does the trick till the snacks arrive (It did.)

5) Get there early. But not too early. Most airlines suggest being at the airport two to three hours before you leave. For us at the moment, this isn’t always possible considering nap time and the boy’s tendency to wake up at the most inopportune times. If we fly really early, he usually runs around the terminal before crashing on the plane (Crash good.) But sometimes we can be there too long, and he’s tired in the airport but awake and cranky trapped on a plane. It ain’t good. So know your kid, try to get them to get a good night’s sleep and hope they run it all out before you get on the plane.


Bookroo sends your kid a monthly literary gift

by SweetMidlife
This is gonna be fun!

This is gonna be fun!

Leslie here! As a writer, and a very early lover of books who with Lynne tortured our Granddaddy into reading “Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?” over and over, it’s important to me that the toddler I live with become a tiny bookworm as well. Story time is a big deal here and now we have an ingenious way to make sure that the shelf is never bare: a service called Bookroo, a kid’s book subscription service. (Disclosure: We signed up for the service and are receiving a discounted fee.)

I was excited about it from the beginning because I’m fan of subscription services, including a clothing service that sends new stuff to my house each month. Even though I pay for it, and know that it’s coming, it’s nice to get a wrapped thing in the mail. The Boy doesn’t have a calendar, doesn’t pay for anything and thinks everything is for him, so when the Bookroo box came to the house with his name on it, I pointed out the label even though he can’t read.

He can, however, open wrapping paper, and that was a whole other adventure (we like adventure – note the above tiny hand excitedly reaching for that delicious rippy stuff.

bookroo22

Once we got all the paper off, we settled into our books for the month, “Hush Little Polar Bear,” by Jeff Mack, “Duck and Goose, 1-2-3” by Tad Hills and “The Pout-Pout Fish” by Deborah Diesen.” Toddler is at the point where he likes the concept of turning the pages, but lacks the patience to sit there and hit every page, so these board books are perfect for him – colorful, tactile and easy to hold.
So far, Toddler kind of read through “Hush Hush Little Polar Bear” once and then moved onto “Duck and Goose” which I thought was adorable. He’s really big on counting right now – sometimes the numbers are even in order! – so being able to point to them on the page was huge. He also knows what a duck looks like, so that was exciting.
But our favorite was “The Pout-Pout Fish,” not only because it’s gorgeous and introduces a lot of colorful sea creatures, all of which Toddler wanted to touch and “Ooh” over, but because the story is so darned charming. The aforementioned fish believes that he’s destined to be pouty and sad, even though the other creatures try to get him to smile. Eventually, Pouty meets someone who turns his frown upside down. It’s a nice reminder that we can always find something to smile about.
I plan to keep the service, which starts at $17.95 a month but you can get a discount of $4 off your order by following this link!

The binky and the damage done: Flying with a toddler

by SweetMidlife
Sigh.

Sigh.

My sister is the expert in toddler observation and research, but as the kid who lives with us edges – makes that throws himself headlong- towards his second birthday, I identify more and more with her stories about Alex. I got to see him, and our little one, together in loud, nutty action two weekends ago when we traveled to Maryland for my husband’s college reunion weekend. The visit itself was amazing – if not a little messy, ear-shattering and yelly – but it was the getting there that made me want to buy a Winnebago or a Partridge Family bus and do all of our future travel that way until the kid’s, like, 12 and old enough to carry his own suitcase.

The above photo was taken on the first of our two flights back from Baltimore, to our stopover in Atlanta (that turned out to be more like a run-through.) We were already stressed from the logistics involved with traveling with someone who has more paraphernalia than the rest of us, but can’t carry it or logically understand what a stopover is, or why he can’t stand up in his seat when the seatbelt light is on. We found out that on our second leg, from Atlanta to West Palm Beach, we were seated in three different rows, which would have been disastrous, because in the overtired missed-nap moments, I don’t always love sitting next to my own toddler, let alone the toddler of someone who’s not in shouting distance to handle their business. Nobody wants that.

My husband had tried to handle it at the counter in Baltimore, but they couldn’t help, so he called the customer service number and was told they were looking into it. So we were nervous about that, and about the fact that we had a very, very short window to make our connection in Atlanta, where we often find that we land in Concourse A and our connection is in Concourse Z. (There is no Concourse Z. It just feels that way.) I sat with Toddler while my husband sat directly in front of me, next to a very nice lady who he accidentally knocked some water onto. She was lovely about it and said “Well, it’s water. Water doesn’t stain.”

But you know what does stain? Diet Coke! And it was that caramel-colored fluid that our kid, bored and trying to get my husband’s attention, hit dead-on with the above pink binky which we gave him to suck on to lessen the popping in his ears upon take-off and landing. He threw it backwards overhand and nailed the cup, which spilled all over the lady next to Scott. She was not happy. Scott and I were mortified and both offered to buy her a drink and pay for her drycleaning. She calmed down and smiled and said “No problem. I know what it’s like.”

I think part of our mortification is not wanting to be those parents, the ones that let their kids run up and down the aisle and knock into the flight attendants, who don’t comfort them when they freak out, who let them kick the seat in front of them (On or first leg to Baltimore, at 6:50 in the stupid morning, we turned Toddler’s car seat, which he was sitting in, around to face the back of his own chair, because he was kicking the back of the seat in front of him. The dude sitting in that seat was very appreciative.) Kids are humans, and cannot be expected to always sit quietly and be invisible. People don’t expect adults to do that, so the side eye I get when my kid sometimes even speaks on a plane is unfair. But I don’t want to raise a jerk. I will not raise a jerk. He knew he was being naughty, and when the binky was removed and only handed back upon landing so his little ears wouldn’t pop, he knew why.

I’m not sure when we’re going to fly again, but whenever that is, maybe he’ll be a little older and a little more…chill. And not knock over people’s drinks. I must add that the gate agent at our Atlanta gate, which was actually in the same concourse, not only didn’t make our kid sit alone, but put us all in the same row. Of course, we sat in the wrong row and didn’t realize it until someone came looking for their seats, but they were all cool about it and just sat in front of us. They might have been through this before too.

 


No-fly zone: Five road trips I want to take this year. Where are you motoring?

by SweetMidlife

custard shop naples

Leslie here…and please pause while I sing a bit of “Sister Christian,” because very few people my age have, since 1984, said the word “motoring” and then not sung “What’s your price for flight? In finding Mr. Right! It’ll be all right…to-niiiight.” Old. Rocking. Not sorry.

OK, now that that’s over, I’m all filled with wanderlust after a ridiculously relaxing trip to Maryland with my husband and the kid who lives with us. It’s the first time we’d been to our home state in more than a year, and the wee one’s second set of round-trip flights. (A blog discussing the indignities and pleasantries of plane travel with a toddler is coming soon, but it’s been a heavy day, so I wanna be on the positive tip today, as we olds would say.) It was great to see everyone, we were super chill and the boy had a good time. But after the running through the airport, fighting to sit together and trying to explain to a 20 month-old why he couldn’t climb over me and run up and down the aisle past the beverage cart like a crazy boy, I turned to my husband and said, “Didn’t you want to do a bunch of road trips this year?”

We live in Florida, a very big state with some places we’ve made favorites, some I haven’t visited in ages and a few I’ve never made the acquaintance of but really need to. I’ll bet there are some cool places within decent driving distance of you, so your list is probably different. What’s your top five place to be motoring…and not take a flight? (I am sorry. You’re singing that now.)

1) Naples: We love the Gulf Coast, because it’s quieter and the beaches on the Gulf of Mexico have a different vibe than those out here on the Atlantic. Naples is a particular favorite, because it’s got several of my favorite things – really nice hotels with room service, an excellent downtown with great shops (see above) and eats up and down Fifth Avenue, and beautiful beaches. It’s a historic, elegant place with some quirks.

2) The Keys: There is no place called Kokomo in the Florida Keys, no matter what the Beach Boys say, but there are some incredible islands, shameless sunsets, cool hotels of every type from dive to divine, breathtaking bridges and lots of places to get lost. Key West was a favorite as a single girl, in bed and breakfasts and in a swanky Sheraton Suites on the beach, and now as a married chick (our honeymoon cruise stopped there, and we turned the end of the Ragnar Relay, which I ran three years ago, into a mini-vacation, staying in a little guest house with a clothing-optional pool. I told my husband that the fit runners would not be in the pool, only like old German tourists. And I was right.) We haven’t been back since the kid has been with us, but we’re in talks for my husband’s big milestone birthday this fall (I would also love to check out Key Largo, where I only stopped for an afternoon when my grandparents were staying there. I’d love to do the glass bottom boat.

leslie pool roof3) South Beach: Again, this is a place we’ve done much differently as married people and parents than when I was single (Remind me to never tell you about that.) The above photo is from the rooftop pool at the Riviera, a cool spot in a slightly quieter portion of SoBe, just west of Collins Avenue. We also did The James, which is a little more central, not far from the shops and stuff on Lincoln Road, and the Metropolitan by Como, a relaxing and purposely chill spot where they’re proud not to be a party spot. I do most of my partying dancing around my living room with a toddler singing Four Seasons songs, so I’m fine with that. These days, we stay in nice places and eat. And there’s plenty of that.

4) Seaside: It’s in the Panhandle, where my husband used to live, but where I’ve yet to go. It’s a bit of a schlep. But I would love to take a few days, where we can stop somewhere in between if the kiddie gets restless, because it’s supposed to be gorgeous, with little postcard houses that attracted Peter Weir when he made “The Truman Show.” It’s also between Destin and Panama City Beach, two places I’m excited to visit, although not at Spring Break.

5) St. Augustine: About ten years ago I did a road trip with my friend Rachel for part of a story where I was running in different places around the state. We stayed at the cutest Victorian B&B, did some cool walking tours, including that of the historic fort there, and met a guy dressed as an authentic Spanish soldier named Jeff, or as we called him, El Jeff-e. I’d love to walk the kiddo around the cobblestones and buy him a little soldier hat. I also wonder how old Jeff’s doing.

Where do you want to go?


Mom question: What won’t you eat after your kid?

by SweetMidlife
Would you eat this after your toddler? I did!

Would you eat this after your toddler? I did!

This is Leslie, and like my sister, and a lot of you, I live with a small person with no jobs, bad table manners and a demented joy in painting in his own food. Because he is developing his own palate, there are some things that he loves to eat over and over again, like bananas and yogurt, some things he likes most of the time, like small pieces of hamburger, greens and noodles, and stuff he turns on fickle-like, takes out of his mouth and drops on the floor like “How dare you even?”

A lot of the time, the food left over is not in a state where I’d ever consider eating it – Toddler is teething and he’s a drool monster, so sometimes his cups and plates and forks are a river of yuck. No yummy. But sometimes, as in the case of the above banana, or when he’s eating off my plate and there’s enough left that doesn’t have drool on it…well, I’m still hungry if he’s not.

So my question is…what can you not go for (no can do) when it comes to eating after your kids? Can you eat anything for love but you won’t do that? What is too gross for you?


Saying Yes Even When It’s Scary

by SweetMidlife

Lynne here! Today’s post was inspired by a blogging link-up (where bloggers share their favorite posts as a way to network and whatnot) called “That’s What She Said”. Every week, they give you a quote and ask you to write a piece inspired by it. This week, we are to write on this..

Pretty powerful, right?

I am very very loud. And I have been adventurous. But I am also an over-thinker. A mulling-over-thoughts-ad-nauseum person. I am not saying that you should leap off of cliffs without looking. That can literally kill you. But I have found that over the last several years, I tend to toss thoughts back and forth, over and over, until the indecision torments me. And that ain’t good either.

I got married at 39, and had my son at 41, so I spent the majority of my life thus far as single and not a mom. And I don’t know how you can be sure of something but also worry at the same time, but that’s me. And before my wedding, then 2 years later when my son was a newborn, I felt God tell me that He had this, and that He was going to give me everything that I needed to be a wife, then a mother. That didn’t mean that it would be easy, and that I wouldn’t have moments when I wanted to run away from everyone who lives with me, or that I wouldn’t have moments when all of it is hard, when the tantrums seem unending, and I can’t seem to remember to change the laundry and have to rerun the loads over and over, and I feel that all that I do is apologize for things that I have neglected, moments when I have dropped every ball I was trying to juggle. But in those moments, under all of the noise, I remember that God promise, because in those whispers He was telling me just what the brilliant Miss Fey said above: that if I said “yes”, we would fill in the blanks. Because for every doubt, there are a million moments that confirm that I am actually not doing a bad job. Dare I say it, I am actually doing a good job. Because we laugh, and we smile, and we eat, even if it is later than I thought it would be. We thrive. And that’s worth all of it.


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