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Welcome to my little corner of the ether. This is where you will find information about my books and musings on life and love in New York City. To stay in the loop about all things ADR...

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We Do the Best We Can

right thing

{I am still technically on Spring Break from this place, working hard to finish my novel, though you'd never know it because I keep publishing posts. I decided that this is okay, that when I am moved to write something as I was yesterday and again this morning, I am permitted to do so as long as I don't spend a lot of time or worry too much about polish. I'm allowing myself 30 minutes. Apologies in advance if these words are less than perfect. Anyway, what does that mean?}

 

I'm sitting at Starbucks. I'm sitting next to a police officer. I can tell from her uniform that she's a traffic cop, but still. I want to turn to her and ask her how she's doing, what the vibe is here after everything in Boston. But I don't. I sit here with my coffee and headphones and stare into a screen. I write words. Will this help? Who knows.

This morning, Husband and I wrestled with something important, namely whether to tell Big Girl anything about yesterday's tragedy. Historically, our instinct has been to protect our babies and keep information like this away from them. But then Newtown happened and it was discussed - in deep detail - at school. Knowing this, we were conflicted. Ultimately, we decided to give her the bare minimum so she wouldn't be blindsided at school.

The thing is that she was with her sisters. They were all still in their PJs watching morning cartoons. She was nibbling on her peanut butter apples. I slid up next to her and whispered a few things. Do you know what an explosion is? I asked her. She said no which made me happy but also broke my heart. And then I said something really bumbling and vague about fire and a race and Boston and some people got hurt and it is all very sad, but that she is safe. My girl nodded as I said these woefully inarticulate things. I asked if she was okay and she said she was.

And I took the big girls to school. And normally we take the public bus, but today I hailed a cab. They asked why and I said today was just a cab day. In the taxi, I told a story. A very silly story that involved potty humor and candy and Big Girl in particular was doubled over in laughter. It was a silly ride. And we had a little time before school began and I bought them candy and not just candy but little gummy fried eggs which I decided was hysterical because it looks like breakfast even if it's pure sugar.

They are at school now. And as I walked home, I decided that even though I vowed to myself that I would put the book first, it would be okay, important even, for me to come here for a bit and ramble. Because, like so many of you, I am feeling this. I am feeling this as a person and as an American, but most profoundly, I am feeling this as a mom.

The first word that comes to mind is Unprepared. I realized long ago that there is no ready way to prepare for parenthood, that it's all about wading in the unexpected and following instincts. I know that being a parent is as much about surrender as it is love. I realize today more than ever that it is about doing our best.

Was it the right thing to tell my six-year-old about this unthinkable tragedy? I don't know. Is she processing the cryptic whispers from this morning as she begins her Kindergarten day? I don't know. What I do know is that I love her and her little sisters and I am doing the best I can. We all are.

She had her first soccer game this past Saturday. Her team is called the Silver Clouds and she was given her uniform, the Number 6. And then, as fate would have it, she lost her sixth tooth on Sunday night. She was elated about all of these sixes. How much more exciting can it get?

This morning, I will do my best to think of her goofy, toothless six-year-old smile and all of the good, pure things that pepper my days as a mom. This morning, I will drink my coffee and say thank you to the sun for shining so brightly on this day after. This morning, I will not worry too much about what I said or didn't say, how perfect I am at the job I am doing, the job so many of us are doing.

Unprepared, yes.

Thankful, more than ever.

{Post written between 9:20-9:51am.}

My friend Lindsey wrote a beautiful piece on her hometown of Boston. I encourage you to read it. And my HS classmate Moses Farrow set up a great Facebook page with Resources for Coping with Major Tragedies. Heartening to see such thoughtfulness come from such a terrible event.

How are you handling the tragedy with your little and not-so-little ones? Do you feel woefully unprepared for this aspect of life and parenthood? Have you read any particularly moving or thoughtful posts or articles on Boston that you'd be willing to share in the comments?

Do You Drink Too Much?

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