Posts tagged “daughters

Deciding Not to Lie About My Past

Posted on May 31, 2016

I made a promise to myself, and the girls prompted by the rapid approach of puberty. I vowed to be straightforward about whatever might come, not because I think talking about body changes or not fitting in are easy topics. I realize attempts to sanitize my past contradict my efforts to raise women who can speak for themselves and survive poor decisions. If I were to gloss over the parts of my life that I am ashamed of then there might come a moment when one of my girls would think they were fatally flawed, beyond what the teen years already have in store for them. Ashamed, that’s not even the right word, I just don’t think redacting things, whether they were of my own…

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Nothing Lost About This Girl

Posted on April 12, 2016

I saw something shared online today that made me laugh out loud. The title was Study Finds Every Style of Parenting Produces Disturbed, Miserable Adults and despite my optimistic heart, I know it has shades of truth. I’ve made a concerted effort to try and identify the areas I think I need to work on the most—calling myself stupid, being vocal about not liking how I look, and not thinking about the implication of something before I say it out loud. The truth is I have been doing a really great job. Yes, I still struggle. Yes, I still have an internal voice that could peel paint and melt ice. The thing is, striving to not perpetuate certain things for my daughters has allowed me to caretake…

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Not Like That

Posted on March 6, 2016

I was sitting in civics class my senior year of high school. My teacher said, “Amanda, looking hot as usual, I see.” I was mortified. I slunk out as soon as the bell rang. “See you tomorrow, Amanda,” he called drawing my name out long and slow. I held on to my backpack strap with one hand and wiped my other on the frayed edge of my cut off jeans to wipe away the feeling of his stare. Later I was told by an adult, “He’s entitled to say that. No harm.” Guess he didn’t mean it like that. Three months later I stood in a line for the bathroom at a party about four blocks from my house. I had not had anything…

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Small Steps to Big Things

Posted on February 17, 2016

I’ve been pretty open about the darkness I’ve experienced over the last 12 months. Looking back, there was never a moment when I thought, “Huh, I only write about shiny stuff here, I should explore the underbelly of parenting, marriage, and self-image.” It has felt right to put it out there. My gauge is how I feel when I lean back from the laptop and scan the letters staring back at me. Am I weeping? Do I feel relief or clarity? Every post is a walk or a run, I’m moving toward something and getting there can be smooth and feel effortless, other times it can feel like I should give up entirely. It doesn’t matter which way it goes down, when I hit…

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The Distance Up Close

Posted on September 14, 2015

The ground beneath me is moving in ways that surprise me. It’s like I have one contact in and one out; some things are in perfect focus while others force me to squint and rub my eye. The hardest thing is knowing when it’s meant to be blurry. Am I crying? Where is the bird’s eye view I’ve come to expect? I long to have my response be smooth and natural, but it’s more like a violent lurch and stumble. When I manage to back off I worry that it’s motivated more by fatigue and irritability than genuine awareness that I ought to give the girls space. Then when I stay close it nags at me that I’m creating an unnatural tether that keeps them from moving toward new things. The first day back to…

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