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Notes to Kids

Monday, November 7, 2011

6:00PM - What should I do?

Dear daughter:
I am your mother but I am also your friend. You and I talk about everything ... or so I thought. You tell me how your day went, I listen and I ask questions. I am always intererested in your life. Sometimes you let me read your journal, your e-mail, your texts and we are friends on Facebook.
Today I read the note you were going to give to your boyfriend. You didn't ask me to read it, didn't give me a copy and I really can't explain why I decided to do it. You didn't hide it, it was right there in plain sight. Did you want me to read it?
I am shocked. I had no idea things like that were going on with you two. I know you just turned fifteen and he is sixteen and the whole raging hormones thing is going on but I felt like someone hit me in the chest with a sledgehammer.
I have high hopes for you, I respect you and I want you to respect yourself enough that you won't let your boyfriend talk you into going any further than you two have already gone.
Please don't do something that you will regret.
I wish I could talk to you about this but I don't know how to bring it up. I don't want you to be angry with me for reading the note, don't want you to feel like I don't trust you and that you can't trust me. I want to tell you that I've been there and done that and I wish that I hadn't because it's not love, it's lust that makes you both feel like that. Going further will only hurt you. He's already hurt you and if you two get back together and you give in to his desire for sex he will hurt you more once he gets it and then leaves you again.
Please, please listen to me. I love you and don't know what to do.

Current mood: anxious

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Dear Kiddo,
This is the week I am finally potty training you.
I know you can do it, despite what people, including me, have said in the past!
SO! I have stickers, candies, chips, soda, apple juice, cupcakes, and cheese to bribe you. I have movies, games, songs, puppets, and two week old kittens for us to play with.
We are going to do this kiddo.
Autism or not, we are going to potty train you before your sixth birthday.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Dearest Daughter,

I see it is far past time I introduced you to one of the guiding principals of parenting. That principal is "Wait A (insert expletive if desired) Minute."

You see me unloading the dishwasher. You see me reloading the dishwasher, trying to puzzle things in for maximum load. You've seen me do this several times. You know it takes a little while.

You are a very helpful daughter, and I love you very much. You want to help, and I am grateful. You're trying to make dinner: thank you, sweetheart.

But could you just WAFM until there's actually room to work? And/or until the chicken you want to cut up, bread, and fry has thawed enough so that you (or I) can actually cut it up? And maybe give me some time to wash the pan you want to use?

I love you very much, and if you don't learn to wait you're going to get the Death Voice. And you've had a difficult day, with more ahead, and I really hate using the Death Voice. A few minutes and I won't have to and you won't have to hear it.

Love you, Mouseling

That lady who's way behind on the housework because of working nights.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Dear Little Girl:
You crawled in bed with me this morning for some snuggle time, and as I kissed your beautiful little face and played with your fluffy fly away hair, and as we talked about your tiny new tooth coming in, (I wish I knew where you put the baby one you lost last week), I reflected about how different it was for us this time last year. This time last year I was nervous and frustrated about the upcoming open heart surgery you were to have, counting off the things I needed to do before we left, things I wanted to do, praying, pacing, etc.
You however, were serene this time last year. You played contentedly in the peds surgery room, not worried that the surgery was pushed back 4 hours from its original start time and then pushed back two more hours because someone in the ICU had a cardiac emergency that required your fabulous surgeon's attention. You didn't seem to care that you hadn't eaten or had any water since the night before. You were quiet and calm; I think you knew that we were taking you here to make you better. When they were finally ready for you and when the nurse came to get you, you awed and amazed everyone by quietly taking her hand and walking down the hall to the OR with her, away from your Daddy and I. Even while I was scared and worried about the surgery and praying for the outcome I thought I could only dream of, (the repair of your mitral valve and not a replacement), I still was in awe of you as you so trustingly walked away with the nurse to a room that, once you woke up, would leave you several days of pain and discomfort.
And now, a year later with a fully repaired mitral valve, (my prayers and those of all others who love you were answered), just look at you now. You still have the almost miniature doll-like face, but you've grown 3 or 4 inches, have gained 8 pounds, are talking up a storm and continuing to wow your cardiologist with the constant decreasing size of your left ventricle and the calmness which you approach any doctor visit.
I try to tell you often, even though I'm not sure you quite understand, but I'll put it here for public knowledge. I am so glad you are my little girl! I think you're an angel from Heaven, but then maybe Mommy is biased, I don't know. Whatever the case, thank you for choosing me as your mother. I am honored to be so and hope and pray I do the best job as a mother, since you deserve nothing less.

All my everlasting love,
your proud Mommy!

Current mood: thankful

Friday, January 11, 2008


Dear Kid,

Today I met another kid who reminded me of you. A lot, and in good ways. Like you did a few years ago, this person was wandering far from home, having an adventure in a big city. The fact that *this* is his version of "big city" is rather cute. He was not dressed for the weather, in spite of it being January in Flyover Territory. Does that sound familiar? He wasn't sure where he was going, but he wasn't afraid to ask bus drivers and total strangers. He wasn't shy about complimenting babies, being teased a little, and telling people his name. Remember when you were 14 and used to dig holes in your hoodie sleeves for your thumbs to stick through, and holes in your pants knees that showed the layer underneath? Yeah, him too.

It was hard to not get off the bus and walk him to where he was going, just to be sure he got there OK. He shook my hand and said, "I hope I can meet you again." I just said, "See you around!" And I will, when I see you, or someone like you.

I'm going to go listen to "RENT" now. It'll be "Voice Mail #1" and I'll sing it perfectly. You're not here to sing your part, but that's OK.

"That was a very loud beep
I don't even know if this is working
Mark - Mark - are you there
Are you screening your calls -
It's mom
We wanted to call and say we love you..."

Kiddo, you've been having Adventures In Stress lately. You're right, being a grown-up IS hard. I won't be jumping in to save you from everything, because I never did. You're getting by, and you've got friends who are making sure you keep on doing fine. Still, a parent worries. I think it's built in, but I'm going to call my dad and see what he thinks.


Current mood: sentimental

Thursday, December 14, 2006

8:01PM - Dear Baby Girl,

Dear Baby Girl,
Christmas ornaments are not for human consumption. Not the foot that broke off the frog, not the googly eye that fell off the penguin. Christmas ornaments are not for human consumption.
Your nanny, who found said googly eye in your diaper this morning

Sunday, December 3, 2006

5:35PM - Dear Baby Girl

Dear Baby Girl,
Cat food is not for human consumption. Cat food is not for human consumption. Cat food is not for human consumption.
Your disgusted nanny

Sunday, May 14, 2006

1:50PM - sweetheart

Darling Drama Queen:
I'm sorry things have been so hard between us over the past few weeks. I do want respect from you and I do want a nicer attitude from you. I am trying very hard to be patient and to work with you on being better by being the best I can be. I'm not perfect, but I'm trying. You've got a long way to go, but you're trying.
With all that said, I love you so very much.
I cannot believe how beautiful and big you are, not my tiny snuggly baby anymore, but still as beautiful and lovely as the day you were born.
You're cute, funny, nonjudgmental, not prejudice, tolerant of others. I love your sweet voice when you belt out those awful rock songs you like. I love hearing you sing them. I love your shrieks of delight when you get a school project done or when something funny happens on TV, and your screams of terror when you see a bug.
You're such a complex, complicated, delightful, irritating, loveable, sweet, gorgeous, stubborn and magnificent girl.
Thank you for letting me be your mom.
Thank you for these eleven and a half years, for all the good times, and even for the few bad times. It's because of you that I'm the good mother that I am, to you and your little sister. Thank you for showing me that I could be a mother. Thank you for coming into my life.
I will always always always love you.

Current mood: calm

Saturday, May 13, 2006


Since I figure most of you are going to be able to spend time with your mothers or children tomorrow, or are going to spend time on the phone with those same mothers or children, I'll say it now.

Happy Mother's Day.

Thank you for the love you share and demonstrate to the people you have brought into your family through bonds of marriage or friendship or adoption. Thank you for the wiped faces, the cleaned-up messes, the long talks when it's a struggle to stay awake or to stay calm. Thank you for your influences on your children, your emulations of your parents, and your strength of personal character to blend the love of others into something uniquely your own. Thank you for the patience, the rules, the advice.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

2:08PM - To my 11-day-old daughter.

I just found this in my diaper bag; she is 4.5 weeks now and recovering nicely.

To my dearest Lucy,
I write this from a rocking chair next to your tiny bed in the ICU at Children's Hospital. Today we learned you had a heart condition. You were very sick and you had an operation to correct the problem.
Today, I have seen you go from being a very sick newborn to being a pink and recovering baby. You have tubes and wires everywhere--so many that it is overwhelming--but you are OK and are on the road to health.
I cannot wait to hold you in my arms again, my Lucy girl--to breathe in your sweet scent, feel your arm clinging to my shoulder, nurse you again.
Lucy, though you weren't a planned addition to our family, you were and are most wanted. You are so very precious to us. The thought of losing you now--when I am only just getting to know you--shook me to my core, and reminded me of what is truly important to me. You and your brothers and sisters are the most important people in my life (Daddy too). I am grateful and blessed to be your mother, and thrilled that you found a way to come and be my daughter through so many obstacles. Thank you for your strength and perseverance through your illness and recovery.
Thank you for staying.
I love you,

ETA: Pictures of Lucy's stay in the ICU

Current mood: grateful

Saturday, March 25, 2006

12:21AM - For future reference in your life of crime...

Dear red-headed menace:

Until such time as your handwriting gets better -- i.e., less distinctive -- you may want to reconsider sending nasty anonymous letters to people through your elementary school's inter-class mail system. Catharsis be damned -- it will come back to haunt you in the end. It took Ms. K all of about, what, 3 seconds to recognize your unique (i.e., half -legible) scrawl?

As lovely a woman as your principal is, and as much as I usually enjoy talking to her, both she and I have much better things to do than sit around and speculate just why you are turning into a delinquent.


Your mother, the ex-lawyer, who takes a really dim view of crap like this.

Friday, January 13, 2006


You know I have no idea of what to do with you now. You’re thirteen and I can’t get you to listen to me to save your life. I remember how I was towards my mom when I was thirteen – I was the same way but my circumstances were different. You have more than I ever dreamed of when I was your age. You don’t lack for anything, if you want it I’ll do everything to get it for you, yes I’ve spoiled you.
I’ve given you everything but an appreciation for the consequences of your actions – or in your case – lack of action.
For the last four years of school you have flunked every class but phys ed. For the last four years despite my warnings that you would be held back you have done nothing to improve your grades. For the last three years, the school has let you progress to the next grade over my objections. I know you aren’t stupid. For heaven’s sake you get ‘A’s on the few assignments you do turn in, that proves you aren’t an idiot.
I’ve grounded you, taken away your computer, TV, CD player, and game system. I’ve spanked you, lectured you and forced you to copy pages and pages out of the encyclopedia and nothing seems to make a dent in your slacker shell.
I don’t know what will happen to you when you are finally out on your own. With your grades even the community college won’t accept you and I can’t imagine any place that will hire you when you have an attitude like this and you look the way you do.
I’ve never tried to make you dress or wear your hair the way I want, you’ve always had the freedom to be your own person – was that the wrong thing to do?
I can’t imagine why you won’t wash or brush your hair, why you persist in wearing shirts with stains and holes all over them. I buy you new clothes and within a day there a gaping tears in them which you profess to have no idea how they got there.
I know I always told you that what you think of yourself matters more than what others think but there are limits to this and you are intelligent enough to realize that.
You can’t seem to understand why I want you dress in something clean and whole when we go out somewhere together. You scream and stomp and insist that what you are wearing is clean even though I can see stains on it from across the room. What do people think when they see us and I am dressed in clean, nice clothes and you look like you’ve been dragged through marine boot camp obstacle course?
I only want more for you than I had when I was growing up, I want for you to be happy and safe and loved but you won’t listen to anything I say, you just nod and I can tell by the look in your eyes that you haven’t heard a word I’ve said.
I love you, and those aren’t just words – I mean it.

Poor little thing…you get the brunt of my screaming and yelling when your sister takes off and bless your little heart – you stay. You don’t say anything, just pick up the mess we made while we argued. I try not to keep doing this but your big sister just makes me crazy and I don’t know what to do. I’m not setting a very good example for you am I?
You and your sister fight just like I do with her. We all need to learn a new and healthier way to deal with our anger and frustration. You try so hard to be everything I want for Ri to be and you succeed where she fails and yet I fail to praise you. What’s going on behind those grey eyes of yours? Will you hate me someday? Do you hate me right now? I’m trying so hard to reach your sister that I forget about you. The squeaky wheel gets the grease and you’re the quietest one of us. I love you baby bug, I hope you know that.

Current mood: contemplative

Thursday, November 24, 2005

5:00PM - Knock it off!

Dear Kid,

Cut that out already!

You have some bad habits and self-destructive behaviors, as do we all. I just don't have to like it. You know it's bad for you, you've said as much. I cannot run your life, and don't want to. You are a young adult sampling the world in all its richness. I just wish you would not drink so deeply of the poisoned cups.

You're worrying me. Please please please, be finished with that, soon.


Saturday, October 22, 2005

9:43AM - To the sixth grade Romeo...

Dear Son,

I am sorry your hot date to the sixth grade dance didn't work out so well. Even though you didn't inform me until the day before about changes to your schedule *ahem*.

So, the cheerleader who agreed to meet you at the dance turned you down and refused the toy snake you so kindly offered to give her? Well, I guess it's never too early to learn that lesson. There are a couple of problems there; first...a cheerleader? That hardly ever bodes well. Second, a first not-really-date is far too early in the relationship to be offering tokens of affection, however seasonally appropriate.

Meanwhile, the girl who took part of your shift at the haunted house seems to be eyeing you. Trust your mother; she is a much better prospect. Give her the toy snake, and forget the cheerleader.



Saturday, October 8, 2005


Dear Miss Cosmotologist,

Thank you for finding my sewing scissors.  I have hidden all our other scissors from you and now I can't find any of them.  My sewing scissors are NOT to be used to cut your cousin's hair.  That's why I hid them all in the first place.  Your lack of control has warranted many a freakish hairdo for yourself,  your barbies, and the already neurotic cat.  You are six and that does not qualify you as a hairdresser.  Don't be surprised if you aunt is a bit snippy (pun-intended) with you the next time you meet.  I don't care if said cousin wanted you to cut her hair...it's still wrong. 

Monday, September 26, 2005

8:25PM - Hey, drummer boy....

Let's see...

During the past two years we have...

Had the police show up on our doorstep when you practiced for six hours the first weekend you had the drum set.

Been forced into city-sponsored mediation about your drumming.

Been woken by you practicing (admittedly on your practice pad, but still) at 6:30 on a Saturday morning before a big competition.

Been informed that we needed to haul you and your cymbals halfway to hell and back because the cymbals with the set provided by the church where you were doing the gig were "crap". Twice.

Been made physically ill by you and your two thrash metal wanna be buddies jamming in the living room.

Had our lives disrupted for hours when your brothers couldn't do homework and I couldn't read, mainly because -- as good as you can be -- drumming really does make it hard to concentrate.

So those complaints about the redhead taking up the trumpet? Are falling on deaf ears. Completely.

Payback can be such a bitch sometimes.

Oh, in case you're interested.... I have earplugs.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Dear munchkin,

I'm sorry I scare you sometimes by talking to you about some of the crazy evil nasty shit some kids and grownups do, but I think it's important we work on finding a liveable line between randomly running the streets like I used to do as a kid and deadbolting our doors & drawing the shades to keep the teenager selling donut tickets out of the yard out of sheer paranoia.

I want you to know how much of an effort it is for me to let you out of the house sometimes, to let you go to school with 1,ooo kids in it and to let you ride with my father who I know does not always make you ride in the backseat and is probably a little lax about the seatbelt, and to let you ride your bike with the neighbor kid. (But I don't want you to know about the effort part until you're older, because dammit, I don't want to take away your childhood. You deserve one.) I know I'm a little neurotic, and I do believe that I've managed that ok and that we aren't living our lives in fear. Those thoughts go through my head and I deal with them, and we live our lives, but I don't guess I'm doing you any favors at seven, when a total stranger in a convenience store tells me you look like Jon Benet, by trying to pretend that everybody in the world is nice and sweet and only wants to give you presents because you're pretty and kind and creative and generous and can do that really cool cat imitation.

But you really are nice and sweet and pretty and creative and kind and strong and funny and athletic and awesome and smart and generous and that cat imitation is really, really awesome. And people really *do* like to give you presents, and it's statistically unlikely that they all have Ulterior Motives. And I don't want you to grow up gun-shy of people with genuine compliments, either, because you deserve them.

I don't know if I should go beyond talking about the secrets you should never keep, and the lost puppies you should never help a stranger find, to talk about people that break into houses and kidnap 8-year-olds and leave them to die in dumpsters. I'm pretty sure I shouldn't tell you about just how badly someone who told you to keep a Big Secret under the threat of hurting me or anyone else in your family would regret the day they first drew breath on this planet. And baby, it doesn't have anything to do with mommy knowing Kung Fu, even though you made me laugh when you said that. It has everything to do with the fact that I am full of a sick, cynical, and murderous rage sometimes, when I get these what-ifs stuck in my head, and I don't want you to catch it, or to see it, and I don't really want to let it out.

Baby, I don't even know how to tell you that sometimes the crazy evil nasty shitty people are people in your own damn family, or the families of your friends.

I don't know how to tell you how ashamed I am that one of my subconscious mantras when I look at you is "don't grow up don't grow up don't grow up."

Munchkin, you can climb to the top of the rockwall if you want, next time you have free day at the gym, as long as you wear a harness. I promise I will shut up and let you do some fun shit even though it makes my heart jump out of my chest. Just please, please, please, don't grow up so damn fast, and don't get ruined by my bullshit.


your momma

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