This here is my minivan, Bertha. Ain’t she purdy?
She looks like a Bertha, right? If she were a person I imagine she’d be in her mid 60’s with big fluffy grayish white hair that curls away from her face. She’d be chubby wear cardigans and comfortable brown shoes. Sometimes she’d be a little grouchy when her gout was acting up but mostly she’d be cheerful.
She looks great in this picture – but don’t be fooled. I got lucky with that lighting. Really Bertha is pretty beat up. First there’s this rusty scrape that goes allllll the way down the right side of the car from when that guard rail came from out of nowhere. Honestly, I haven’t even washed her since then because it’s like, what’s the point?
Then there are various dents and bumps and scrapes from throwing my kayak on top and having kids who like to play frisbee and wiffle ball in the driveway.
There is a spot on the windshield that never gets clean because even though the wipers work and the washer fluid is full, the washer fluid sprays all areas of the windshield except for the section right in front of my face.
The automatic door on the right doesn’t obey the automatic door button and doesn’t lock automatically either. And no, it wasn’t because of the guard rail incident; it was broken before then.
The automatic door on the left works most of the time. Except for when it doesn’t. But it works well enough so that when you push the button, you walk away expecting it to close without checking it. And then you come out of karate an hour and a half later to find a gang of raccoons helping themselves to month old french fries. Ok, that last part may have been a little bit of an exaggeration.
The air conditioner doesn’t work. Well, it does work kind of. It blows cold air out of all the vents except the ones on the driver. Those blow burning hot air.
If it rained overnight I can’t steer for a few blocks.
The brakes squeak, well not the braks, but the break pedal. When I push it down it makes a faint, high pitched, “wheep,” like a sad little guinea pig.
It’s hard to explain the noise she makes when she’s idling, but it doesn’t sound good. It sounds like she’s tired, she’s struggling.
And so we are getting ready to say goodbye. And I am surprised that I’m feeling kind of sad about it. I thought I’d be ready to kick her to the curb and get a new, sleek van with a camera to help me back up and maybe some of that satellite radio and maybe even a DVD player built in for long trips!
But, as I think about getting rid of this van, I think about all the time she’s been with our family.
All the times I drove around with one, or two, or three crying babies trying to lull them to sleep. The time when the girls were 3 and everything was hard and cooking dinner seemed like an impossible task so we scrapped it and hopped in Bertha to go out for ice cream. The time we got stuck in traffic on a bridge for 2 hours and I cried in the backseat along with the kids. The time we brought our cat home and she made cute little squeaking sounds the whole way home. The time the car overheated and we pulled over in front of my 6th grade crush’s house to wait for Daddy to come rescue us. All the trips to the doctors office, the sing-a-longs, the fights and the giggles, the chit chats, the prayers for passing ambulances, the everyday conversations.
When I started this post, I thought I’d end up at fake sentimentality. I thought I’d make a few jokes about how “important” a minivan is to a stay at home mom. But now that I’m here at the end of the post, I’m a little embarrassed to say that the fake sentimentality has turned real. And now I’m not really sure where to go with this. I wanted to end on a funny note but now I’m feeling a little melancholy. So much of our life is tied to that van.
So I guess I’ll just end by saying, “Thanks Bertha.”
Recently I had the privilege of babysitting my niece and nephew who are just awesome kids. First, they are 12 and 7 so they are easy to take care of. That might be my favorite part. Also, they are smart and funny and kind and polite and goofy and put up with me always trying to give them cuddles even though they are clearly too old for that sort of thing.
So, it was gearing up to be a good day. The only thing wrong with them is that one of them is allergic to my cat. It’s their only flaw really. So off to the supermarket we went to pick up some allergy medicine. I won’t name which one here because, what is this, a free commercial? But in case the company wants to get in touch with me and sponsor this post for some dough that would probably be okay with me. So, allergy companies, I’ll give you a hint as to which one it is – it rhymes with flertec.
Sorry about that tangent there. So we go to the grocery store and easily grab the flertec (I say easily because they are such awesome kids and so well behaved! They stayed with me and didn’t roughhouse or fight or get lost in the store or anything!)
We hop in the car and as we are getting buckled and ready to roll I happen to look over and see that the woman in the car next to me is crying. Like fat tears streaming down her face, nose running crying.
So, I poke my niece, “Do you see that? Is that woman crying?” Niece confirms. So I ask my niece what to do since she is like 12 now and pretty much an adult. And also because I have no idea what to do. She looks at me like, What are you asking me for? You’re the adult here. (12 year olds can convey a lot just with a look).
So, here we are sitting in the car and I can’t go because I don’t know if I should get out of my car and see if she is okay or just respect her privacy (and avoid all awkwardness) and drive away.
I start rapid fire questions at my perfect niece and nephew:
- Would you want someone to approach you if you were crying in your car alone?
- Do you think we are on a hidden camera show?
- What would Jesus do?
- If I drive away, am I leaving because I don’t want to deal with an awkward situation or am I leaving because I think it’s the right thing to do?
- What if I go over and ask if she is okay and she really does need to talk and then we are all stuck in the parking lot?
- What if I go over and she’s just embarrassed that someone saw her crying?
- Do you see any cameras anywhere?
- Cause I mean, this has to be a hidden camera show, right?
All the while I’m hoping the woman will finish her cry, dry her eyes, and head into the grocery store. Or notice that we keep looking over at her and stop. But she keeps sobbing, head in hands. It’s so sad.
My niece and nephew look at me blankly, clearly not having the same internal struggle as I am. I’m pretty sure they both want to beat it the heck out of there, take the flertec, go back to my house and eat all the junk food I just bought for them. But because they are so awesome they don’t say anything of the sort.
I think if I were on my own in this situation, I would have driven away and maybe felt bad about it later. But because I had kids with me, both of which are my godchildren by the way, I felt obligated to reach out to this woman and be a good example to my niece and nephew. To do something uncomfortable because it was the right thing to do.
I made the children aware of my decision.
“Kids, I’m going to go ask if she is ok.”
Blank stares. Followed by longing glances towards the frozen pizza rolls.
“Ok, I’m really going to do it.”
I’m thinking, “Boy am I really going to do this? Wouldn’t it be easier to walk away?” But I take a deep breath, hold my door handle firmly and pop the door open.
And I am greeted with music, blaringly loud music coming from the car with the crying lady.
“Hello from the other side. I must have tried a thousand times…”
Relief washed over me. I sat back down in my seat, buckled up and put the van in reverse. We were going home.
My niece looked at me like I was crazy. After all that discussion and I wasn’t even going to go over there?
“It’s okay guys,” I said “she was just listening to Adele.”
We had a less than stellar appearance at Mass this week.
We got there late. We left early. We hung out in the narthex.
Half of the kids were coughing up a lung. Will was totally zoned out. He wasn’t with us at all; he was somewhere in Pokemon land. The girls kept asking for cough drops. We tried the sacristy, but no luck.
We tried to pay attention again. But then Zoe’s ear hurt. And didn’t feel better unless I held her. I was wearing boots with a heel, so I couldn’t hold her that long. So we walked around the narthex to distract her. We took a look in the lost and found drawer and at the books and fliers in our information room. We discovered that our cousin is on the poster advertising the local catholic high school. We saw that some people had blacked out teeth and eyes on the pictures of the seminarians.
Then we tried to pay attention again. But Zoe’s ear hurt again. And Vivian wanted to check again for cough drops. And Eva felt soooo tired she needed to be held too. And not even the Our Father could snap Will out of Pokemon land.
Bill looked at me, our coats and belongings scattered all over the dusty, salt covered marble floor. Eva was like a wet dishtowel, limply hanging over his shoulder. “What are we doing,” he whispered.
And he was right. We were a mess. None of us were paying attention. Two of the kids were clearly too sick to even be there.
“He’s right. We should just go already,” I thought. But instead I said. “We’re here and we’re going to get communion.”
“And then we’ll go,” he whispered, his shoulder sagging slightly under Eva’s dead weight.
And so we did. We got communion. And left right after.
But I chose not to feel guilty about it. I told God, “This is what we can give you this week.” And I offered it up. My small, flawed offering.
Maybe next week will be better. Like two weeks ago when we got there on time. And by on time I mean during the gathering song. That’s about as on time as it get for this family. And the hymn was one of my favorites, “Christ Before Me.” When I walked into our beautiful church, it was like the song and the congregation were reaching out to greet me. I felt like it was saying, “Welcome Home Anne.” It was a beautiful moment and it took my breath away. It was a great way to start mass.
And we’ll bring our family home again next Sunday.
Warning-this post is not for those with a weak stomach since I delve into my feelings on the stomach bug. Be warned-it is a descriptive and bodily fluids heavy post.
photo credit – pixabay.com/en/users/jarmoluk-143740
A new milestone – a new puking milestone – has occurred in my world.
I was pretty convinced that by the time my children made it to kindergarten, we would have exhausted the world of milestones. All the big ones anyway: first tooth, first step, first word, first day of school.
But there are tons of unexpected and less celebrated firsts along the way. And my new favorite, by far, is the first time they make it to the toilet during our yearly stomach flu.
Vomit is my kryptonite, people. I will do anything for my kids and very little grosses me out. I never really minded changing diapers (I mean I did, but…). I’m not afraid to nurse my little ones around most illnesses and have no problem putting my lips on their burning foreheads to gauge their temperatures.
But puke, no. Just no. I literally can’t even.
It’s so unexpected. It goes everywhere. It looks gross coming out. And then more comes out. Oh, and the stench, dear Lord, that stench!
I think I must have a heightened sense of smell because I can always still smell it! Even after the room has been disinfected and the carpets have been steam cleaned. That’s why we had to move out of our last house. Because on really humid days, I could still catch a whiff of the epic hot dog barf of 2013 rising from the carpet fibers.
The stomach bug in our house normally goes something like this:
Child has belly ache and asks to sleep in our room. The quickest way for me to get back to sleep is to say yes, so yes. Child sits up and violently empties stomach contents all over bed. Child gets up out of bed, runs in circles, spews on floor and into basket of clean laundry. Child walks around making sure to distribute drops of puke throughout bedroom.
Cut to me, scrubbing, nose on carpet, inhaling deeply, “Can’t you smell that, Bill? I can still smell it.” At this point my husband, who is standing in the doorway looking at me like I’m crazy, (clearly) heads downstairs to sleep on the couch.
And then I catch it. Of course I do, I just had my nose in the carpet! But before that is the anxiety of, “I wonder if I’m going to get it? I wonder when I’ll get it? I hope I don’t get it,” which is torture in itself.
But this year was different. First of all, I got it first. Which wasn’t fun, but it did eliminate the panicky worry about if and when I would succumb. But getting it first delegated me to the role of Head Cleaner Upper, since I was immune. I steeled myself for the job.
But to my amazement Victim Number One made it to the toilet. I mean, wow! One flush and a quick once over with the Lysol wipes and I was done? Victim Number Two didn’t even puke, because when one kid gets the stomach flu I pretty much starve my kids out and the foods I do give are easy on the stomach (read no meat, no fruit loops). And Victim Number Three, well, lets just say Victim Number Three is my new favorite. Victim Number Three announced a belly ache, was put on the couch and given the bucket and without any moaning or running around or anything, just leaned over and used the bucket. Done. I didn’t even know what happened until it was over.
Can I really even be this lucky? This could be a new era for my family!
I really hope so. But we still have one unaffected. The germs could be brewing in Victim Number Four’s belly as we speak. And who knows where that puke will land.
Yesterday afternoon Vivian came running up from the basement and breathlessly told me that she saw a bug. “Ok honey,” I said, grabbing the paper towels, “show me where you saw it.” She didn’t want to go. She made me carry her and squeezed me tighter and tighter as we got closer to the couch where she saw the “bug.”
It was nowhere to be seen.
“What did it look like honey?”
“Well, it had four legs and a hump for a body.”
“What you are describing here sounds kind of like a mouse so let’s get the hell out of here,” is what I would have said if I really wanted to skeeve an already slightly skeeved little girl.
And maybe it isn’t a mouse. But Vivian and I decided to go back upstairs while the other girls stayed in the basement to straighten up.
Not two minutes later, Eva screamed, like shrieked, and came running upstairs cry-screaming, “A mouse!”
Please note: the above picture is of a cute mouse. Our mouse was not cute; it looked more like a killer really.
At which point I could no longer contain my horror and screamed at the top of my lungs, “Get the cat, get the cat,” while the girls followed my lead and screamed and ran in circles.
I found the cat and threw her down the stairs and started for the safety of higher ground. Like when we were kids and we could only walk on furniture because the ground was lava, but in this case I was sure every step would result in my bare foot landing on a furry ball of ick.
The cat immediately came back upstairs through the cat door. Stupid cat. I picked her up again and decided to bravely venture a little further into the basement before tossing her in. And that’s when I saw it, the “bug” with four legs and a hump for a body a long tail and of course not a bug at all. This time the cat saw it too and went after it! Good cat. Sorry I called you stupid.
My next move, like any modern, self sufficient woman, was to hide in my bed under the covers and have my husband handle the problem.
But curiosity got the best of me and I bravely approached the basement as far as the top step, to check on the progress of mission, “Help Dumb Cat Kill Mouse.”
It wasn’t going well. Husband and son would flush out the mouse and cat would barely notice and stay poised, staring at a wall where the mouse obviously was not. To which I verbally abused my poor kitty saying, “You are the worst, the absolute worst. And you are the worst $90 I ever spent!”
Unfortunately we had to leave the cat to her own devices. I blocked off the cat door securely with a pillow and we headed out to do some errands to get ready for company that evening. Oh, and also to get mouse traps.
Our guests arrived and we let them know the unfortunate news about our newest house guest and our worthless cat and as we were trading stories about critters getting into houses, my cat busts through the pillow barrier with a dead mouse in her mouth, like it was no big deal, takes it over to her food bowl and drops it.
Ummmm ew! But also, yay! But mostly ew.
So I guess this post is for my cat. Who is now my hero. I feel the need to publicly apologize for all the the terrible things I said. So, I’m sorry Squeak. You are the best $90 I ever spent.
There she is. Resting after a long day of catching a mouse! My hero!
A Letter to My Kids’ Teachers:
Dear Mrs. Soanso and Mrs. Whasername,
December has been an incredibly busy month for our family.
Aside from regular Christmas preparations, other unexpected events have popped up, so we have not been able to give schoolwork the proper attention it deserves.
So teachers, I would like to formally apologize for the following:
- For late library books. In a more regular time of year, we always (sometimes) check to see what day it is and make sure we all have our library books in our backpacks.
- For not sending the test back in signed. Honestly, I can’t even look at the test yet. I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be great and then I’m going to beat myself up for not doing more flashcards and practicing more math facts which surely would have increased the score.
- For incomplete homework assignments for my kindergartners. Typically we are happy to do homework, but in December it’s either practice your letter sounds or go grocery shopping or run errands. I know how important letter sounds are, but my kids really do like to eat.
- For late absent notes. I apologize for not bringing these in the day after the absence. But, what with mopping up vomit and trying not to inhale too deeply so as I don’t also catch the bug, (which if I did, would cause the entire structure of the household to completely collapse – you think it’s bad now?) the note must have slipped my mind.
- For the kids not wearing sneakers on gym days. Again, in December, it’s all I can do to get them on the bus so as long as they aren’t naked, I don’t really care what they are wearing.
- And finally, for not completing December’s journal packet for the kindergartners. Although, when I received this, I do have to admit I laughed out loud. A journal. For kindergartners. Who can’t read or write yet. I just knew this wasn’t happening in December. Honestly, I’m not sure this will get done in January.
I’m just over here trying to make a magical Christmas!
Christmas x 4 kids + my suspected (probable) ADD + working = I’m not very good at December.
I hope to return to my normal self in January, where the kids will have their homework and be prepared for school around 80% of the time.
Until then dear teachers, bear with me.
Once Upon a Mom
Today my triplets are six years old.
I’m not even sure what I want to write about here. About how fast time flies? About their birth story? About the super-amazing pinterestastic party I threw them? About their beautiful souls and their unique personalities?
I guess what’s really hitting me today is this:
We were so nervous to tell people that we were having triplets. We hadn’t really digested the idea ourselves. We knew that we would need a lot of help from our families and we were worried about how that would impact their lives. When we told my parents, there was nothing but smiles and joy. My dad said, “Every child is a blessing from God.” (The same thing his mother told him when they sheepishly told her they were expecting their 4th child (me!) that they could ill afford). And while that statement didn’t take away all of our worry about having triplets, it was just so true, it made everything easier.
When my girls were growing in my belly, I could only think of them as a unit – triplets. And instead of concentrating on how much I was going to love them, I was so worried about how they would impact my family and if I was going to be able to be a good mom to them.
I am so happy God gave us these girls despite my doubts and selfishness.
Because each one of them is a tremendous blessing from God. To me, to my family, to my extended family and to their friends. And not because they are triplets, but because they are Eva, Vivian, and Zoe.
When I was “in the weeds” when the triplets were babies, my sister encouraged me to look to the future. “I can just see them in a few years, laughing and running down the stairs on Christmas morning. A house full of children.” She was absolutely right. And it’s even better, because it’s not just a house full, it’s a house full of these specific children. Each one here for a reason. Each one specifically chosen by God to be on this earth at this time and given to me as a gift.
So, here I am in the future. The triplets are older and life is easier. But so much better than just easier. Here in the future, I am able to let go of my worry. I can see that their impact in my life, my family’s lives is only positive.
Every child is a blessing from God.
So today is a day to thank God for these blessings. A day to celebrate the life of Eva, the life of Vivian, and the life of Zoe.
Eva: meaning life or living one
Vivian: meaning alive or lively
Zoe: meaning life
I know you shouldn’t have a favorite when it comes to your kids, but I do. I can’t help it.
It’s Vivian’s front teeth. They are my favorite.
She lost one last night. And in true Vivian style it was very dramatic. There was some sock ice skating, a fall, a fat lip, a tooth knocked out, and blood everywhere, especially all over her brand new, sparkling white pillow case.
There was crying and bleeding and popsicles. It was very exciting. But now, no front tooth. I’m kind of bummed and I’m not sure why.
It’s not the last front tooth we have to lose here. Eva hasn’t lost any teeth yet, so I still have those adorably tiny chompers to look at.
And I’m not terribly sentimental. I mean, I didn’t even cry when the girls started kindergarten.
So I’m wondering why I’m feeling so emotional over this one.
I think maybe because she was the first of the triplets to get a tooth. The girls were 6 months old and on a semi regular schedule. Things were just starting to get a little easier, a little more manageable, a little more predictable. We were going to take the family out for the 4th of July, first to a fair in our town complete with Will’s first big wheel race (2nd place winner that year and the 4 years following! Go Will!) And then we were headed to a friend’s house for a party. The entire day, the girls were fussy. The outing proved to be more difficult than we anticipated. I really had no idea why we even took them out. But how many months can you just sit in your house watching babies grow?
Thankfully my mother in law was at the fair to help and we had friends who helped at the party. When we got home, I saw it. A little white friend poking out of Vivi’s gum. Her first tooth! No wonder she was so grouchy! Poor baby. Then the next day, Zoe got her first tooth. The very next day! No wonder SHE was grouchy too! (I don’t know what Eva’s excuse was; it was another few months before her first tooth).
I thought it was funny that Vivian had gotten her tooth first. She had done everything first at that point, the first to have her feeding tube taken out and eat a bottle on her own, the first to come home from the NICU, the first to roll over, the first to sit up. And she did it again. By one day. I always imagined she had a spidey sense that Zoe’s tooth was about to poke through so she willed her tooth out to beat her to it.
I guess that might be why I’m feeling sentimental and sad.
Or maybe it was just a really cute tooth.
The beginnings of the team!
I remember the day I realized my kids were a united front. I can see it so clearly, like it happened yesterday.
I think the girls were 3 ½ which would have made Will 7. And they got in trouble for doing something, but I’m not sure what. I was annoyed at them, but I can’t remember what I said.
Okay, so obviously I don’t remember exactly. In fact, based on my description it seems I barely remember at all. But it’s just the circumstances I can’t recall. What I do remember is the moment, their little huddle, their expressions. That I can see clearly.
I think I was angry about a mess they made. As I was growling at them about it, they started shuffling slowly towards each other. And as they moved closer together they started giving each other knowing looks, which I didn’t even know was possible for 3 and 7 year olds. Looks that said things like, Just keep quiet until she’s done, Don’t make any sudden movements, and Let’s just let her nag herself out. I could have sworn I spotted a nearly imperceptible preschooler eye roll.
And that was it. The moment I knew they were a united front. Against me.
Up until that point I felt like we were all a team. And I was the MVP, the star player. The team looked to me for everything. A hug and a kiss and a bandaid after a tumble. A snuggle and a story before bed. A game of hide and seek. A library book driven to school when it was forgotten. A clean up after an accident. Medicine when they were sick. Diaper changes. All their laundry washed and folded and washed and folded again. Dinners, well not just dinners, but all their food all the time. Baths and hairbrushing and teeth brushing and bed making and room cleaning. And milk! All the glasses of milk I’ve poured!
I wasn’t the MVP after all. I was their coach. I drove them to the games. I booked their hotel rooms. I ordered their uniforms. And nagged them and told them what to do. A lot. Now don’t get me wrong, coaches are great. But they aren’t on the team!
I want to be on the team! I thought I was on the team! Remember that time when our bodies were basically one? Did that count? Was I on the team then?
As I watched them with their heads close together talking in hushed voices compwete with developmentawy appwopwiate speech impediments I felt happy for them. Look! I thought, they have each other!
Because really, I’m not meant to be a teammate. I am here to coach them. To teach them, to guide them, to encourage them, and to give them consequences when they make bad choices. You can’t do that when you are in the game. It’s got to come from the sidelines.
And so, did I feel a little left out? Sure. But as a coach I was proud of them. Proud in that moment that they recognized they had teammates there to support them.
This is going to be huge for them as they are growing up. Not only having siblings who get it and who can support them and comfort them, but to have someone to roll their eyes with when mom nags too much or whistles too loud.
And being on this team will bond them for life.
Because isn’t it nice when you run into someone who had a similar growing up experience? Your mom taught aerobics too? Your dad can go 2,000 miles away and still run into people he knows too? You kind of feel like you know them.
For siblings it’s the same, but magnified. My kids will grow up and move out (fingers crossed) and away (but not too far I hope!) and meet new people with different stories, different backgrounds. Some of those people will have parents similar to theirs but only their team will have all their experiences in common.
No matter where their lives lead them, and how different their own families may be, they will always remember their first team. Their memories will bring the team right back together. I imagine it will go something like this:
Hey, remember that one time Mom got so mad that we didn’t clean up our toys so she got a trash bag out and told us she was going to throw them away and one of us called her bluff and said, ‘Fine, I’ll help!’ and we started putting the toys in the garbage bag and then mom got so sad because she liked our toys so much she started crying a little and never ended up throwing them away?!
Ok, so maybe I do remember what happened that day.
I was chatting with a mom the other day. It started out as regular chit chat. How are your kids? Did you have a fun Halloween? Isn’t the weather mild? That sort of thing. But then, as small talk sometimes does, it abruptly turned a corner into something real.
And I found myself talking about my worries about my children. About my daughter who suddenly won’t sleep unless all the lights are on, who gets nervous when I leave the room.
Is this normal? Is it a phase? Should I wait and see what happens? Is there a parenting book that addresses this? What would you do?
I had no idea what she would say. In fact, I had no idea how we even got to this place. She is not a mom I talk with often, not someone I commiserate with. Her kids are older than mine, but I’ve never looked to her for guidance.
I waited for her response, her advice, her reassurance.
And this is what she said to me:
“Do you love your kids?”
“Do you tell them?”
“They’ll be fine.”
In less than a minute, she saw my anxiety, my tendency to hyperfocus on a behavior, to turn it into a problem, then try to control it. This anxiety and desire to control is like my security blanket. Well, not like a security blanket, because I never feel warm and cozy with these wrapped around me. More like a cane really. Something to grip until my knuckles turn white, something that holds me up, that helps me walk through the uneven stones of parenting.
Do you love your kids?
Do you tell them?
They’ll be fine.
In three sentences, she ripped the cane out of my hand and I felt myself fall to the ground. Into a pile of uncertainty.
“How do you know they’ll be fine,” I asked, looking up at her, shielding my eyes. The light of what she was saying was too much for me to take in all at once.
“I work with really messed up people.” (She works in mental health and I’m sure she used a more professional term but it escapes me). “They weren’t loved as kids. Their parents never told them. They have problems. Real problems.”
“Your kids will be fine. Just love them. Tell them that you love them.”
And I knew in that moment she was right.
It seemed so easy. Too easy. But I knew she was right.
I can’t control my daughter’s need to be in the room with me at all times. That’s her need. Her feeling. Her fear. But I can stop myself from making it into more than it is. From obsessing about it. From showering her with my anxiety.
I have no idea what is going to happen to my kids over the years. I can’t control how they will perform in school or sports, what fears they’ll have, how other people will treat them. I can’t stop them from experiencing pain, from suffering.
But I can love them. And I can tell them. And I can trust that they will be fine.