Family

My dear best friend, Thank you for the last seven years of friendship. Thank you for not (entirely) judging me throughout my awkward preteen years. Thank you for getting in to all sorts of trouble with me. Thank you for not letting me go through my family problems alone. Thank you for trusting the wrong people with me. I guess, overall, thank you for never turning your back on me. I've always been told not to trust everybody I meet, yet I always do so anyways ... and it always bites me in the back. However, when we became friends in sixth grade, I put all my faith in you. For whatever reason, we were bound to be there for each other. I will never regret being in the position I was in personally at the time, because if I wasn't there, I wouldn't have met you. Thank you for being...
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Dear Rap Music, I've been known to "throw my hands in the air and wave 'em like I just don't care." I used to hit up your shows and you could often "find me in the club, bottle full of bub," where, if your beat thumped enough and your hook looped just right, I could be enticed to "jump motherf*cker, jump motherf*cker jump." And while I've never really been "down with O.P.P.," I do "like big butts and I cannot lie..." And man, those days were the days. But now that I have two daughters, two centers of the Universe, these are not those days. I am breaking up with you, Rap Music, and it's not you, it's me. And it's also, kind of, you. It's your rampant misogyny, homie. It is an epidemic. Your unapologetic sexism is a scourge on an otherwise exceptional cultural phenomenon. A...
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Dear Son, When you came into this world, you brought a love into my heart that I had never before experienced. When you spoke your first word, when you walked your first steps, I was your biggest supporter and fan. With every developmental milestone you reached, I reveled in joy and celebration. You taught me the meaning of love -- true, unconditional love. Now you are older, and what an amazing person you've become! You have your own personality, your own thoughts and opinions, and your own sense of humor. You have your own interests, your own talents, and your own way of doing things. I celebrate your individuality and uniqueness and am so honored to be part of your life. As you continue to grow and become an adult, you will live your own life. You will have times of happiness...
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To My Very Best Friend, Saturday is your wedding day and I couldn't be happier for you as you embark on the next stage of your life with the man you love. As I sit and reminisce on our journey of friendship and all we have been through together, I am reminded of just how important you are to me; how much I love, respect and admire you. However, this friendship we share will inevitably change after this weekend; how could it not? But this does not sadden me, and I am thrilled to be standing next to you for the moment your future begins. Here are a few things I want you to remember Saturday, the day of your wedding: It is going to be a whirlwind of pictures, flowers, dresses, emotions, and most importantly, joy. Remember to take in it all in slowly, and breathe. Don't get lost in the...
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Dear Daddy, Nearly sixteen years ago, you suddenly and without warning died. I wasn't prepared at all. I should say, there've been many times that I felt like I wasn't. In hindsight though, many of the adult lessons I've learned and challenges I've faced on my own without parental guidance... are lessons that I would've been ill-equipped to learn if not for your sufficient foundation. You did prepare me, I now realize. A good amount of my positive attributes came from you, Keith Chisolm. Some of the negative ones too. You always told me, "You ain't shit if your word isn't." And it's true. What I miss most about you is how much bigger than life you were. You were one of the most mesmerizing conversationalists. I learned all my vocabulary from you. What I loved about you was that...
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Dear co-parenting partner in crime, When you first suggested moving across the street shortly after our divorce, I'll admit, I had my reservations. OK, I thought you were nuts. But not only was it the best thing for our now teenage son, it made both our lives so much easier. When you called a few years later to say the house behind me was available -- and that our son would now only need to walk some 15 steps between adjoining backyards -- I knew it was a brilliant move, even if it took a few days for me to consider. To be honest, most of that time was spent coming up with quips to use when people raised their eyebrows and asked questions. "Yes, there’s privacy," I'd tell them. "No, it's not some Big Love compound with Bill and his new wife." Like any divorced family, issues...
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Dear Co-parent, Perhaps you have our child, or children, every weekend. Maybe You even have them half the time, or even a little more than I. Regardless, you and I have gone to the law and for whatever reason, the law has used its formula, after pay-stubs have been submitted, costs of living most likely fudged on by both parties, hence making it equal, and an amount of child support has been determined, by the judge, not me, not my selfish money hungry ass, our judicial system. Had I been able to look into the future, when given the option, I would have simply attached your wages. Not to be a jerk, but to avoid having to ever write a letter such as this one. You see, when I agreed to trust that you would make the payments on your own, you were so kind and appreciative. As we...
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Dear Girlfriends With Children, You envy me at times. I don’t have to drag a lawn chair and a travel mug of chardonnay to 10 a.m. soccer games. I can sleep in on the weekends. I envy you at times, like when you come home from the movies and even though your kids and I had a great time playing Freeze Dance and building forts, nothing can ever match the shouts of joy when they see you. You always have a date for the zoo or the latest Pixar release. Now that you have kids and I don’t want kids, our paths are different. Some friendships stay, some stray for a while, some disappear into sticky pages of photo albums. Most likely, though, if we’re still actively friending into midlife, we’ve got something good. Here’s what I’d like you to know about being a Friend (with a capital F) to a...
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To my darling third child, It seems like only yesterday that you were born and yet it’s been almost a year. How did that happen? Your newborn cries and jerky motions have given way to babbling consonants and crawling and all I have to show for it is this lingering baby weight and a general sense of falling behind at everything. I started messing up with you even before the pee dried on the pregnancy test. All those prenatal yoga classes I took twice a week with your sister and brother? I only made three classes during my entire pregnancy with you. With you, I pretty much forgot I was pregnant until the 37th week when I started begging you to come out. I’m sorry for that. Especially since you obliged by arriving one week early. That was truly awesome. Sadly, there were...
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To My Daughter’s “Real” Mother, I remember the day that I met your daughter. She was bright-eyed and inquisitive, barely out of her toddler years, and I was scared of her. Or rather, not of her, but of what she was – my future stepdaughter, a mysterious child whom I hadn’t raised. I was out of my comfort zone that day, afraid that she would dismiss me with prejudice. I was comfortable in my role as mother to my own two rough-and-tumble sons, but she was new, different, and unknown, and I feared that I would somehow fail in our first meeting. Worrying proved to be unnecessary – she inserted herself seamlessly into the games my sons were playing, and the sounds of their laughter quickly filled the air. She regarded me with polite curiosity and excitedly chatted with me...
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