Stumbling through blogland, I came across THIS I copied and clicked and pasted and added a personal touch, though the letter is beautifully written and as far as I'm concerned, needs no editing at all. For the record, I don't think I've EVER contacted a congressperson. Not even to ask that raw milk or marijuana be legalized. Also for the record, I don't think ALL guns should be illegal. I wish I had someone to shoot me a deer every fall and fill my freezer with venison for the winter. But automatic weapons designed specifically to kill a lot of people in just a few seconds? That shit is totally unnecessary. And yes, guns don't kill people well they kinda do, people kill people. But still... Please, if you are so moved, write to your congresspeople. And pass the letter on. Please. Thank you.
I heard about The Tragedy while at work yesterday. I received a text from Sister Halona, concerned about a childhood friend and blogger whom she thought had kids in the Newtown elementary school. And yes, it was true. Our friend has children who attend that school. And who are thankfully "ok". Whatever that means. Aaack. This woman, who we grew up with, whose children attend that elementary school, is the SOLE reason I blog. Seriously. It's all her fault. And I am forever grateful for my introduction to blogland. I am grateful for her. Today, I have read all the blogs, all the comments, all the news feeds, and Obama's statement. And still I have no answers. My shoulders have been hunched up around my ears all day. Yes, I think automatic weapons should be theoretically unattainable illegal. Unless you're hunting deer or rabbit, I don't really think you need a gun. I know in other parts of the country, folks pack a handgun the way we here in the Northeast pack an iPhone. Whatever. It's a big country. And I don't claim to understand even a fraction of it. And yes, I think there should be more supportive care, safety nets, safeguards and treatment for those afflicted by mental illness. It all hits so close to home... It's so easy to lay blame. What was really going on in that home??? Why did the kindergarten teacher have automatic weapons??? blah blah blah The truth is i hate to say it perhaps any of it all of it could happen to us. We are not immune. We try to lay blame because we are human and have a need to understand and explain. But maybe we are looking to justify and distance ourselves it could never happen here NEVER to us never to OURS. Even in death my heart hurts for that boy and his mother, his father and brother. And of course all the others in Newtown. And the country. And yes, today I was extra patient, extra sweet, extra thankful. There but for the grace of god go I...
I was invited by Dana, The Kitchen Witch, to guest post at her place. How exciting is that?!? And since she is the author of the funniest holiday post ever, I take her invitation as a ginormous compliment. She's also a gracious hostess, allowing me to pull an old favorite from my bloggy archives. So come visit me at Kitch's. I think you'll like it there. The food is yummy.
My birthday was a few weeks ago. I'm not a fan of birthday celebrations cause I'm a buzz kill. OK, that's not entirely accurate. I like other people's birthdays. I don't need like to have my birthday acknowledged in any significant way, and I don't need more stuff. I don't like that much direct attention. When I was 6 and my 1st grade class sang Happy Birthday to me I cried from embarrassment. I guess the fact that I had to plan my Sweet Sixteen entirely on my own because those were my mom's Obsessed with The Church and Holy Spirit Years kinda sealed the deal on not expecting too much from anyone on my birthday. Until the Bruce Years. When the kids were younger, they would TORTURE me in the days approaching my birthday. But that's mostly because their dad would get them all excited and plan shit and it would be a secret and a big surprise. It was exhausting. Almost as bad as Mother's Day. I am an ungrateful bitch. This year my birthday fell during my New and Improved Boobs recuperation time off. I had been home for a week and there had been no mention of my advancing age, or excited questions about what I wanted to do on the big day. That morning I woke up in a quandary. Do I tell them? Do I not tell them? What if I tell them and they forgot and then they feel badly? What if I don't tell them and at some point like Thanksgiving or Christmas they realize my birthday had come and gone? Would they feel awful? I decided it was best to tell them. So I did. There was so much preamble I scared the hell out of them. Ummm... you guys???....ummm... I have to tell you something.... I don't want you to feel bad... it's ok... I just thought I should tell you... cause dad might text you...I just don't want you to be upset... The color drained out of their faces. it's my birthday today Their faces light up with big smiles happy birthday mommy! Mia gives me a hug and Jack smiles some more. Ty was still asleep. Later, when he came downstairs dressed for school, I give him the same blah blah blah it's my birthday. He just looked at me and walked into the kitchen. ???? WTF??? then he left with his usual Bye Mom whatever
I spent a lot of the day thinking about my mom, thinking about being her firstborn and thinking about how I felt the day Jack was born and wondering how she felt when I was born.
I thought about being the last one to see her body after she died. I thought about being outside the hospital room, watching the nurse prepare her body for the morgue. I thought about how I insisted to the resident that ALL her tissues be sampled for autopsy, not just the ones Dr NewGuy had requested because I didn't think he'd find the answers he was expecting.
I thought about how I had looked at her body, departed of life and breath and soul, appearing so empty and I remembered thinking I grew in that body I came out of that body that body gave me life. And now that body is dead.
In that moment it was so clear. So real. I came out of her body.
So my birthday night I made dinner which the kids must have actually liked because we all sat down and ate together. After dinner we hung out and talked and laughed which was unusual, not because we don't have a good time together we have a raucous time together but because we are usually going in 4 different directions.
I started cleaning up and something about the way the kids were darting in and out of the room made me think are they planning something? Which I quickly dismissed because, I dunno, why would they do that for me? They're kids wrapped up in their own dramas and they know I don't really care about my birthday anyway.
Mia asks me to brush out her hair. But she wants me to come upstairs with her to get the brush cause she's spooked to go up there alone. Ty says there's a brush in the downstairs bathroom. I tell Mia to get the brush. Both Jack and Mia look at him like he had 2 heads. She says it's not the right one it hurts too much my hair's too knotty i need the one upstairs.
I remember I need to advance the laundry so I agree to go up with Mia to get the brush. I decide to throw another load in. I pick up a pair of Ty's jeans and pull his cell phone out of his pocket.
The brand new cell phone I had bought 2 weeks before.
The brand new cell phone I had bought 2 weeks before that he kept forgetting to charge.
The brand new cell phone I had bought 2 weeks before that he kept forgetting to charge that I ended up charging because Goddammit Ty the ONLY reason you have a cell phone is so that I can reach you.
The brand new cell phone that somehow disappeared one week after I bought it and one day after I plugged it in to charge it. The phone that he swore he hadn't moved off the table i didn't touch it mom it was charging and now it's gone i have no idea someone took it
Seriously Ty??? You think someone took it???
So there is the cell phone that's been missing for a week in the pocket of his jeans that are in the hamper that by some miracle I noticed before I threw it in the washer.
The Universe is Abundant but boy was I pissed.
Goddammit Ty...Ty???... Ty...??? ANSWER ME!!! why the fuck isn't he ANSWERING me???
My kids always answer me.
I tear out of the bathroom, cell phone in hand, bellowing his name. I must have looked like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Mia cuts me off at the top of the stairs and blocks my way i'll get him mommy
Dammit Mia mind your business!!!... TY!!!
I get halfway down the stairs and Mia body checks me.
Mia are you kidding me??? Mind your own business and get out of my way!!!
I make it into the living room and Ty comes running at me looking like a Dear caught in the headlights of a Mother's Wrath. Musta been all my yelling. Goddamitt Ty I found your cell phone it was in your pants pocket in the laundry basket this whole time.
The look of relief that crossed his face was priceless. He teared up a little and threw his arms around me thank you mommy i love you mommy. Then with his arm still around me he led me back to the dining room.
And yes the lights were off and the candles were lit and the kids were beaming Happy Birthday Mom!
look I made you this, and I made you this, open this first, I asked Jessica to bake a special cake for you this one is your real present you can go with mia or jordana or shannon or whoever you want. its a gift certificate for 2 pedicures
I burst into tears. Like sobbing tears. Like I'm gonna fall down tears. Like I need to loose my shit tears.
It was just SO fucking sweet and SO unexpected. It was the most amazing and awesome birthday ever. The kids were so proud they had pulled it off and smiled at me and let me cry and I looked each of them and cried harder oh my god you guys are so awesome i love you SO MUCH you guys are the best! And then they laughed at me. Mia facebooked from her phone omg we just surprised my mom for her birthday and she's crying like a baby! and within a few minutes I'm getting texts from friends and family hosing me for being such a weenie. I warned Jack and Mia that they feigned surprise lied straight to my face just a little too well that morning. And that I was like what??? when Ty didn't say happy birthday even after I reminded him. mom...oh my god mom... for 4 days jack was up in my face saying if you say ANYTHING AT ALL about mom's birthday I'm gonna kick your ass. Which is why he didn't say happy birthday. It really was the best birthday ever.
This week I was a psychiatrist. It was a hard week. The 20 year old I've seen since she was 8 who has anxiety and body pains and always thinks she has cancer. And I'm the only person she'll see or talk to. Her mom says she's gonna keep coming to you until she's 26 because you're the only one she trusts and you always make her feel better. sigh The 10 year old who is really funny looking and has hearing loss and is legally blind and was tested for Downs Syndrome at birth because he was a funny looking newborn. This 10 yr old is one of 6 kids whose mom is funny looking too. They moved early this year to a new school district and now mom is being told he's way below grade level and they suspect he has learning disabilities and is socially atypical and all sorts of other stuff. Mom's mom is schizophrenic and her father is a drug addict and probably bipolar so she was raised by her grandmother who did not "believe" in psychiatric illness and certainly not psychiatric drugs. This badass survivor mom who is herself on multiple meds broke down and cried i think its my fault he's just like i was when i was a kid he's just like me i don't want him to be like me i did this to him i gave it to him aack The 18 year old who's family I've known for 5 years and looks like they should be featured in Martha Stewart. She battles depression and anxiety which was a very hard pill for her tightly-wound-perfect-looking-truly-doing-her-best mom to swallow. She got drunk for the first time Thanksgiving night and was raped by a "friend". And I was the first person she told. She had no one else to talk to. She's afraid her father will ship her off somewhere because she got drunk. She says her mom just can't handle it. She says her sister was raped by her boyfriend's stepfather, but if she talks to her sister her mom is sure to find out. She feels so alone. I tested her and treated her and gave her some phone numbers. I told her to come back to see me next week. my stomach hurts sigh On our lunch break, Dr. C. who's retiring and has only 14 more days of seeing patients she's counting down, is trying to track down a premie who has a lot of issues and has fallen off our radar. After many phone calls and many voice mails and disconnected numbers she turns and looks at me and says it's really serious what we do... i mean it's important... it's serious... She says it like it's a revelation. Like it's just now hitting her after 26 years of practice. Yeah. It is really serious. You can't think too much about it. Otherwise you can't do it. She looked at me as though she'd been sucker-punched. Yeah. You can't think about it. Last night I worked with Dr. O, a pediatrician from Nigeria who teaches public health at Columbia and works with us on weekends to keep up his clinical skills. I was about to debrief to him cause that's what we do when patient shit is just too much to bear. We share the stories and it makes it easier to deal. Then I remembered the stories he's told about living and working in places where his wife and mother-in-law couldn't leave the house because outside their front door rape was used as a weapon of war. As much as I've seen over 15 years, he's probably seen worse. I decided not to share. There but for the grace of god go I All I could think was thank god for my kids. Thank god for my life. Not that we don't have our issues and not that we are immune to the super shitty shit life has to offer, but I think hope that when life hands them their shit serving they can come talk to me about it. And for now we are safe and warm and have food to eat. We are privileged. And hopefully it will stay that way.
As I write this I'm rubbing my eyes with both fists.
Ty gets worried mom what's wrong?
nothing honey my eyes have been itchy i saw a lot of kids with pinkeye this week i hope i didnt catch it.
mom, do you get pinkeye from farts?
no mom really it's a thing you get pinkeye if someone farts on your pillow and then you sleep on it.
well ty maybe if you pooped and wiped your butt with your hand instead of toilet paper then stuck your finger in your eye you might get pinkeye but no, pinkeye is not from farts. and why would someone fart on your pillow???
seriously mom it's true you can google it.
And he did
Thank God and The Universe for levity. Thank God for Ty.
Ty is not my middle child's first name. It's actually his middle name. His first name is Godfukindammit. Like you know how in real life or sitcoms when a kid is in Big Trouble and mom yells the kid's first AND middle name in that ooooh boy... you are in so much trouble....get over here this minute voice? Well, when I'm pissed at Ty this is what you hear in my house Godfukindammit Ty what the fuck!?! that's just how it is in The Sanctuary Yesterday the kids were off for like the 7 millionth day in a row. Mia went to the sitter's, Jack went to work, and Ty hung out at home with a friend. It occurred to me before I left to remind him to CLEAN UP AFTER HIMSELF. But I didn't. I think maybe deep down I knew either way I'd come home to a disaster area regardless. And being an Eternal Optimist, I thought maybe I'll come home to a relatively clean house and be so pleasantly surprised and I will beam adoringly at my middle child and say thank you for cleaning up after yourself Ty i didn't even have to remind you you are awesome disclaimer #1: now I know you're thinking WTF??? the 12 yr old should automatically clean up after himself, shouldn't have to be reminded, and absolutely shouldnot be thanked and praised for meeting the minimal responsibilities of being part of a family. It's my own fault. I succumb to the it's just easier to do it myself i don't want to fight nag bitch and i do it better anyway thing. It's my version of the i feel guilty and like a bad parent because i work and i'm not home enough and your father and i are not together thing. It's just the way it is. I need to remind all of them like every night to clear their plates which get dumped in the sink instead of put in the dishwasher but at least Jack and Mia do it. And they say ok Mommy or sure Mom because they know they get off so easy with me when it comes to housework and chores and they know it's the right thing to do. But Ty can be a pain in the tush. He'll huff and puff and stomp and throw his body around. Sometimes he looks at me like I have 2 heads and I've asked him to... I don't know... drive the getaway car while I rob the Credit Union or eat a bowlful of raw eggs or something. Sometimes I get a why do I have to do it? Why can't Jack do it? That's when his first name is Areyoufukinkiddingme and his last name is Becuzisaidso. So last night I get home late from a brutal 12 hour day and the kitchen is a MESS. Like a we made pancakes for breakfast and frozen stuff for lunch and baked a cake and didn't put one damn thing away mess. Like a the box of Bisquick is wide open and the tops for the Pam and Wesson are... I don't know... not on the Pam and Wesson mess. And a the cellophane wrappers from the frozen lunch stuff are scattered around and most definitely not in the garbage mess. And the sink is overflowing with crap and the crap that doesn't fit into the overflowing sink is spread from one end of the counter to the other mess. Sometimes Ty's first name is Whathefuk. Whathefuk Ty the place is a mess down there. Blank stare... what??? Sometimes Ty's first name is Areyoukiddingme Areyoukiddingme Ty? There's crap everywhere. It was CLEAN when I left. More blank stares. We couldn't clean up cuz the dishwasher was full. Sometimes Ty's first name is Seriously Seriously Ty? That's when you empty the goddamfukin dishwasher and load the dirty shit up. Why should I have to clean up your crap after I worked my ass off all day? Still more blank stares. He just doesn't get it. Or maybe he's just a turd. I took a deep breath and calmed down. When I'm calm he's just Ty. Ty... tomorrow morning you're gonna clean up the kitchen before you go to school. Blank. Stare. Confusion. Before school Mom? Yes Honey. Before school. I'm not gonna look at that mess all day. So you'd better go to sleep now so you have time in the morning. OK mom. So this morning, the kitchen looked pretty much the same as last night. I didn't hear the usual bye mom when Ty left for school. Aaargh. I figured he'd either completely forgotten entirely possible or hit the snooze button and woke up late also entirely possible. oooooh im gonna kick his ass when he gets home. after I clean the kitchen. On closer inspection I saw that he had emptied the dishwasher and partially loaded it. But there was still half a sinkful of crap and the Wesson bottle and Pam can and Bisquick box were still sitting on the counter. Maybe to him that was cleaning up. Maybe he ran out of time. There will be an explanation later I'm sure. Sigh. I feel a lecture coming on. And more blank stares. Sooner or later we'll get it right. disclaimer #2: I'm cranky and tired and premenstrual and I love my Whathefukinfuk Ty to bits. Now it's time to clean the kitchen
Yup. I did. Breast Augmentation. The twins arrived Wednesday, November 7th. 275 ml of silicone goodness. Each. Way easier than a c-section. Recovery reminiscent of super engorgement and double mastitis, with a little bruising for good measure. I've always been a pretty low maintenance kind of girl. Very little make-up. Extraordinarily lazy when it comes to grooming hence the dreadlocks. Skinny on top and bigger on the bottom my whole life. Overall slim. And totally flat chested. I only wear wore a bra when absolutely necessary, much to my kids' chagrin. mom oh my god mom its so BAD you need to put on a BRA. Well, when you start out with tiny boobies, then spend from age 34 to 41 either pregnant or breast feeding for all but about 6 months, you're gonna be left with sad deflated little fried eggs on your chest. The boobitas had done their job well. My baby-making years were wonderful and had been the only years my innate dysthymia receded without pharmacologic assistance. It all started during the summer when a friend/friend of a friend decided to get liposuction. I think she's absolutely gorgeous but she was unhappy with this here and that there. I think she cares a lot more about how she looks than I do and I'm not saying that as a judgement it's just that I'm pretty much a freakin slob. So friend is very happy with her lipo results and one night BAM!!!... it suddenly occurs to me...I could have boobs... will wonders never cease Being a small very small breasted woman, I'd always made assumptions about what it means for a woman to get her boobs done. I pretty much chalked it up to low self esteem, not being ok with yourself, superficial attempts to fill an emotional void, not feeling attractive enough you know... all THAT stuff So here I am, contemplating breast augmentation. On one hand it was such a bizarre about face for me but on the other hand the idea sat really well. Still, it was so out of character, I told myself I'd sleep on it. I expected to wake up the next morning saying to myself self you are SO SILLY... boob job... hahahaha... Needless to say, the next day when I remembered BOOB JOB I still thought it was a GWATE idea. And just like that it was decided. And once it was decided, I found that I was more honest with myself. When I caught a glimpse of myself naked in the mirror, the decision allowed me to acknowledge that I didn't like the way my droopy boobs looked, and that they could be different and it was OK. Talk about self acceptance. I realized I hadn't been OK with not being OK with my body. How's that for a mindfuck? The internet is an amazing thing. I did a ton of research which for me is a few hours because I usually just fly by the seat of my pants. I looked at hundreds of before and after picts, checked out implant sizes, saline vs. silicone, even youtube diaries of women documenting their own boob job experiences. At the end of August I had a consult with a local plastic surgeon about whom I had heard good things. I knew he had done a couple of my moms (one young with one child, one older with 4) who at the time I thought were nuts to not be OK with their post baby boobs. While examining me he asks questions what size bra do you wear now? ummm... hmmm... I don't really know... I buy little girl bras at target... they're cheap what size bra did you wear before you had children? ummm... I didn't really wear a bra.... what was your biggest cup size when you were breast feeding? ummm... uhhh... I don't know... I wore a nursing bra for 7 years... I've gained 15 lbs in the past 3 years and none of it has gone to my boobs. I just want to look balanced. hmmm... you probably really needed to gain that weight Which is true. I was really skinny. And I feel much better with the extra weight. My butt cheeks and thighs are dimply but so what. My arms finally have some flesh on them and my back isn't all bony. I feel way more feminine. My face is softer and not drawn. I look kinda of normal instead of thin. And yoga keeps me strong and flexible so nothing jiggles too much. Well, being the awesome plastic surgeon he is, he looks at me and says I'm thinking silicone. 275. He hands me the implants and I tuck them into the bra they put on me because of course I wasn't wearing one and voile! I looked in the mirror and it was just perfect. Not too big at all, accentuated my nonexistent waist. Looked nice. And so I scheduled the surgery. Friends were very supportive. Sisters were...ummm... concerned. Which makes sense as we were all raised by the same mother. A mother woman who NEVER indulged herself, thought she was homely, and always wanted a nose job. Meanwhile, she was stunning in her own way, and had the high cheekbones and prominent nose of her Shawnee grandmother. I think there was a big part of our mother that never felt good enough. But that had nothing to do with her nose. So I got my new boobs and though still a tad uncomfortable, I am very happy with my new look. They're still a little firm and sore with occasional zinging pain. My nipples are now super round instead of loopy sleepy slanty eyed. I'm hoping those stupid hair follicles that have been sprouting 2 inch long hair are gone, but I guess it will be a few months before I know for sure. I still feel like me. I don't feel like I have a new lease on life, or now will find the perfect guy. I don't feel like Cinderella. I had already filled many of my emotional empty spaces, and certainly the empty spaces left are not gonna be filled by the boobs filling my new full B cups. I just like my new boobs.
So I usually avoid commenting on current events, and maybe everyone's tired of this by now but all the hoopla about Petraeus just leaves me saying what the fuck??? He's a MAN!!! MEN CHEAT!!! So do WOMEN!!! OK. Enough with the exclamation points. I was bouncing around Blogland and came upon Mama D who had something to say about it. She's not alone in her opinion. Why is it that people expect men who are in positions of power to have more "moral fortitude" than men who are let's say... laborers? Or teachers, or doctors, or drug dealers, or garbage picker uppers? It seems to me that Powerful Men might be even more likely to stray, because as you know, it's all about the woolly mammoth. Not that Powerful Men are more vain, more selfish, or more likely to believe the rules do not apply, but if a man has the genetic make-up to become King of the World, wouldn't nature and evolution want that DNA to carry on? Survival of the Fittest and all that stuff? And women are attracted to power. It's just the way it is. It makes for stronger babies and more security and more woolly mammoth steaks and woolly mammoth blankets. Over at Denise in Margaritaville it's all about hormone induced fidelity today. The only thing oxytocin ever did for me was make my milk let down and my uterus contract. Which I guess are both things that would immediately deter me from having sex with other men. I'm thinking there are as many explanations for infidelity as there are colors in the big crayola box. And we are all assholes at least once in our lives. Humans have assholes. We also have whole souls that can manifest devotion, honesty, loyalty, respect, and love. This Huffington Post piece makes the most sense to me. I don't feel outrage on behalf of Mrs Petraeus. I can't claim to be glad or relieved that she's "furious" rather than stoically standing by her man. That shit is between the two of them. To quote my brother-in-law, no one on the outside can ever really know what holds a marriage together or breaks it apart. I think it's fucked up that the guy had to resign over it. Who I have sex with has absolutely no bearing on how I do my job. Just sayin' And my guess is Mrs. Petraeus will remain Mrs. Petraeus. I could be wrong.
I'm sitting here trying to write and it's not working out so well. I feel scattered and unclear and confused and a little loopy in my head. Dark. Cloudy. Is it a weird time? Is it weird out there? I feel like maybe it is. It seems like lots of ladies are On the Verge. Maybe the 4 day Breaking Bad Marathon wasn't such a good idea. Talk about dark. Jeez. I had to rinse my mouth out with 3 hours of Glee. Both Sister Halona and Yogini Shannon have said you should go back to blogging. Which is funny cause I've been thinking the same thing. Blogging/writing/storytelling helps me sort out the shit in my head. And there has been an abundance of shit. Not bad shit just life shit. Figuring things out shit. Being a grown up shit. Cleaning shit up shit. Making some changes shit. Just shit. And you know how when you're dealing with shit if you're not careful that shit will get everywhere? Well, I'm tired of trudging through it. I'm tired of wiping it off my sleeve and getting it in my hair. ok seriously-watch the damn video. I know it's long and you're all really busy but it will make you smile. Everyone I've sent it to has been blown away. And those are some hard to please bitches, yo
It's a new dawn. It's a new day. And I'm feelin good
I just wonder how long I can stand the awesomeness.
Mia's off with Yogini Shannon and Co. to the Outer Banks for the week. Jordana's in Minnesota visiting in-laws. Calgon Jon is leaving for Indiana. Jack and Ty are off with friends.
It's just me and the animals and James Taylor Pandora here in the Sanctuary.
I've thought of everything from 3 days of silent meditation and fasting to getting every partially completed project completed weeding cleaning waxing floors hanging curtains painting walls replacing doorknobs rewiring kitchen light switch
hmmm... what to do?
I just ate half the leftovers in the refrigerator. I'm on my 4th diet pepsi caffeine free. Dr Google said I could safely drink up to 21 cans of aspartame sweetened soda per day without concern of ill health effects.
In the Age of the Internet, one can justify absolutely anything.
It's better than 21oz of tequila a day. For sure.
We're having a flash flood warning. Thunderstorms for the next 12 hours. All the windows and doors are open and there's a lovely breeze tsunami blowing through the house.
Cool and refreshing.
I've been sweating all day. Now everything else is drenched too. Does all the rainwater on the floor in front of all the windows count as mopping the floor?
I think it does.
My words ramble and my thoughts ramble and my brain rambles.
There is some seriously Unbloggable Shit going down and it sure is taking its toll. All will be well though. I truly believe that.
But it's making me a tad rambly.
Regardless, I intend this to be a restorative week.
"it occurred to me that the only real sin you can commit as a mother is to deny your children's right to be who they are and what they want to be and that the only real sin you can commit against yourself is to deny who you truly are and prevent yourself from being who that is"