What a thing...

What a thing...to be a parent.
What a thing...to be a kid.

We make you, create you, first in our minds, then here you are, little bits of us.
We think of you, day in and day out.
We wonder what you are wondering about.
We wonder who and how you will turn out.

We worry, we worry some more, and the older you get, the more worries that come.
We worry about the things we are doing wrong.
We worry about the things you will remember and the things you will forget.
We worry about what you are worried about, we worry for you, about you, we worry.

We embrace it all...and there is so much to embrace with parenting.
All of the changes and all of the time, and the days, and sports, and lessons, and friends, and personality changes, and we embrace it all.
We embrace the baby that wakes us up, and the toddler that keeps us moving, and the three-year-old that won't stop crying.
We embrace the child that starts to make decisions and the pre-teen that is coming into her own.
We embrace the past and where we are and what is to come.

What a thing...to be a parent.

You are made and given these people that tell you how much they love you.
You are made to think that we know what we are doing.
You are made to think that if you have a question, we have the answer.
Here's a secret you won't believe until you do this one day...no one has a clue and we're all just making it up.

You are given these people that tell you how much they love you.
They work to show you, they make sacrifices for you that you don't even realize.
You hopefully are made to feel safe, in their home, in their arms.

You are given these people and told they are your family, your forever and ever.
And the truth is, you get to decide if that too is different. Oh, how I do hope I am your forever and always, how I do hope that you will always think of the love and time we have shared. How I do hope you will continue some of the foundations we have set, how I do hope you build off of it, not have to tear it down to start over.
Oh, I do hope.

You trust. You trust us with your entire life. You trust that you are most important, you trust that we always have your back, you trust that we are there for you, will always be there for you, and you trust that we will always make the right decision for you. You trust with all your heart that we are yours.

What a thing...to be a kid.

Sometimes at night, I stay up thinking of adult you. What you will be doing, what could possibly hurt you.

What a thing...to be a parent.

Sometimes at night, you crawl into bed wanting to feel safe, knowing you are with us.

What a thing...to be a kid.

Sometimes during the day, I think of you sitting at school, being you in this place I've never seen you interact, but where you are you outside of me.

What a thing...to be a parent.

Sometimes during the day, you reach out to me and send me messages, hoping to grab my attention, knowing you are my most important thing and knowing I am always right there.

What a thing...to be a kid.

What a thing...to be a real family.


Comfort and joy

It's going to look like candles lit.
Baths on cold winter and fall nights.
Outdoor showers during the summer.
Using my dipping pool with a cool glass of wine.
And using our outdoor fire pits.

It's going to look like friends in my home.
It's going to look like so many family movie nights
and comedy standups that make me laugh so hard it hurts.
It's going to be a more intentional and organized home - cleaner, more balanced.

It's going to look like walks and yoga and finding a way to come back to my breath at night.
Sunday mornings in my robe and slippers.
Cozy clothes all of the time (because that's my new normal).

It's going to look like warm coffee and tea, all year round.
It's going to be less worrying, or a healthy amount of worry because who am I kidding.
It's going to be about opening myself back up, finding love in the world again.
It's going to be being there for those that I love.

It's going to be Sunday night dinners and grateful hearts.
It's going to be vacations with those that make me smile too hard.
It's going to be dancing more with my kids.

It's going to look like a lot of reading and reading dates and snuggles on the couch together.
It's going to be a lot of sports and running around to get them to their games.
It's going to be watching them be incredible teammates and friends.

It's going to be naps and second sleeps.
It's going to be smiling and feeling the joy in my bones.

It's going to look the same and different.
It's going to look sweet and sour.
It's going to look cozy and uncomfortable.
It's going to have joy and some heartache.
It's going to be another year that we take it day by day.
Another year that we walk slow.
Another year that we talk instead of scream.
Another year that we listen instead of talk.
Another year that we shut out the noise instead of welcoming it into our home.
Another year of quiet and loud.
Another year.

Lovies, all I ask is for some comfort and joy.


Dear 2021

You started with such hope, such promise.
You started with my letter to Joe, my promise to love, my promise to myself.
We had so much planned for you. We were all getting vaccinated, we knew vaccines for the kids were soon to come.
We had a trip of a lifetime planned, 2 solid weeks in Hawaii. We were going to spend the summer being stupid happy, drunk with happiness. We were going to surround ourselves with friends, we were going to have experiences, the kids were beaming, Anna couldn't stop chattering about all that was to come.

We settled into January and felt so cozy.
Cole was back in school full time, Cory too.
Anna and I had this amazing groove. I brought her to school two days a week, she worked with me at home three days a week. Pearl never ever left her side. We took breaks to walk her or run to get a bagel downtown. We really made the absolute best out of her virtual learning.

We were so happy with the pace of our life. And the "hardest" part was picking up Cole by 3 and waiting in that forever line to bring him home. That was the most frustrating part of my whole day. It really felt good.

Come spring, we were still on top of our game, nothing sinister around the corner. My business was flourishing, I was really busy but able to keep up. I was adding more and more services, I had plans and strong partners to turn to and ask questions of. I was loving my work, so happy I found this, thrilled I had made the move.

We all were really just walking slowly and again, stupidly happy. The only thought of concern was holding out hope for our trip, that COVID would allow us to go. But, even that felt so shallow to "worry" about. Postponing a trip was nothing. We would figure it out.

We saw friends all of the time, we were each other's everything, life was feeling quite wonderful.

And then, out of nowhere, things started to break down. And fast. So, 2021, I could list all of the ways you turned on us. How the light quickly went to darkness, but would good would that do? And, a lot of the stories I have to share are not mine to tell. So, I will say this...

By the time I arrived in Hawaii, I was a mess. I was crying and feeling regret and guilt leading up to the trip and on my first day, I woke up to devasting news that would change a life that I love forever and always. I spent the first three days feeling so heavy and really screaming at myself to just be here.
Be here, in Hawaii...but I couldn't.
If there was anywhere to breathe, it was here, but I couldn't.
If there was anywhere to feel your breath, it was here, but I couldn't.
I tried...
to remember this is their only time here,
our only time here, but I couldn't.

The day that we came home, the hits kept coming. More and more people that I loved and cared for were being taken down. I couldn't keep up. I was putting things on my busy calendar and thinking, maybe I'll be able to be there, most likely not. I kept having to explain myself...canceling meetings, canceling with prospective clients and staff, canceling my appointments. I wasn't sleeping, or I was too much. It all just ran into each other and it was a lot at once.

Ok, so 2021, you brought on a shit storm and you brought it quickly and made sure to keep it flowing, but here's some of the amazing that it was able to do...

Just us four.
We leaned hard on each other. But like really hard. Like my husband having to pick me up in a hospital parking lot unable to breathe from how hard I was crying hard. But he was crying too, and still carried me home and put me to bed. And my kiddos, we did so much crying and hugging together. And I think they got it, that we are important to each other. But, they also had a lot of crying to do and a lot of questions that I didn't have answers to. And my 12 year old stepped into the role of compassion and my son stepped into the role of innocence and we hugged each other all of the time.

My extended family.
It's no secret that our relationship has been complicated. Heavy. Filled with stress. I have done so.much.healing. Throughout the years, I have put a lot behind me but never forgotten. So I always knew that I wasn't completely done. This year brought the complications and memories back up, made me scream them out loud, made me say things to them I never thought I would, and made me put them to bed. And you know what, we're in a different place now. Oh, we're still very much us with undertones of "don't start that conversation" and "don't start...I'm serious, don't" but in a much different place. For the first time ever, actual priorities are priorities. Things that are supposed to matter do, and things that don't, they still do too, but in a different way. I cannot explain it, but it's different now. At the end of this all, we can say that we've said all we've needed to say, we've been honest, we've been loving and we were there for each other. That is an accomplishment so we're going to be ok.

My marriage.
It's also no secret that Coach is the absolute love of my life. I think about him and us all of the time. I think about our start, I think about where we are and I think about where we're headed. It's also no secret that we have been trapped in an eternal fog. A fog that lifts and crashes back down for years. A fog that was at its thickest and then cleared and then got mucky again and then, this year, had a breakthrough. And my house is different. We scream less. I'm less worried. We find a different way. We finally started listening to each other and when we hit a road that asked us which direction we're going in, we answered...I'll follow you anywhere. The kids are happier. Dinner together is different. Talks are different. Our daughter shares so so much and just talks about nothing until it is something. My son is just himself and we're all very happy with that. We look at how much joy he brings, even if it comes with a storm of tornadoes.

My body.
This year has come with some significant changes. My body has had some significant changes. From a workout that is doing more for my spirit than my waist, to the start and end and start again of PT, to minor surgery that is driving me nutty, to stress making me forget things...this body is changing. But, I am proud of myself for slowly, painfully, in my own tormented way, changing with it. There are so many things about myself I do not recognize anymore and I, of all people, am getting there. This is a breakthrough for my mind, my image, my thoughts. I will never ever be the type of woman that is all in on herself, but this has been a huge change.

My squad became each other's lifeline.
Friendships changed.
My life looks different.
My heart is different.
Some parts are healed, some parts are broken.
Sometimes it feels this joy and release, sometimes it feels such sorrow and weight.
My trust is shaken but my ability to love in the way I do has been heightened.
My house is quieter, but maybe we all could use some shh...
I sleep when I'm tired...but sleep hard and fast.
My puppy and I walk and walk, we have a really good rhythm.

It's all very different because of you 2021. I do not think 2022 will be a fresh new start, I think it will come with its challenges and changes too. I think it will come with more complications, more mourning, maybe healing, more joy...but I also think that this is the life of a 40 something. The changes we all go through, the heartache, the role reversals, the pain, the joy, your children age, your parents' age, you age.

So when I say goodbye to you 2021, I won't be filled with the same promise and hope for 2022. I won't welcome it as I did you. I've aged and I'm different now. I'll accept the new year, live my life, feel my feelings, love how I love, create what I want to forever keep, remove what hurts, keep going. It's all different now.



"So flaws can be good too?"
"They're the best part."


The way wood has bumps and scratches.
The way cooper patinas.
The way dishes have chips.
Flaws can be good too.

The way a house creeks.
The way walls can have finger prints.
The way rugs can have stains.
Flaws can be good too.

The way I can be so stubborn.
The way you are so absent-minded.
The way we can be hard on each other.
Flaws can be good too.

The way anxiety can push a person to keep working.
The way anxiety can push a person to rest.
The way anxiety can push a person to be both.
Flaws can be good too.

The way people can be childish.
The way people can be dependent.
The way people can be impatient.
Flaws can be good too.

The way a woman's body looks after birth.
The scars and marks and healing she needs to go through.
The way it feels like it's hers but also feels so foreign.
Flaws can be good too.

The way I can be so judgemental.
The way you can be so forgiving and understanding.
The way we're both right and wrong.
Flaws can be good too.

The way my face is aging in front of my very eyes.
The way our bodies are changing.
The way aches and pains just are.
Flaws can be good too.

The way love stories write their final chapter.
The way love can also hurt.
The way love means you hold that person inside forever.
Flaws can be good too.

Actually, "they're the best part".


Where our story begins

There is something so beautiful about the beginning of a love story. Something so sweet, so pure. You can't stop smiling, your heart rushes, something happens in your toes. You can't get enough and you can't picture anything different. And no matter what happens to your story, holding on to that feeling is just so important. In fact, I once read that you can tell if couples in therapy have a fighting chance by the way they talk about the start of them. If they fumble through the story and giggle and remember the joy or if it's all about how it all went wrong and feel as though it started with contempt.

I am so lucky to have so many gorgeous love stories and more for me than you, I want to share them. I wanted to honor them and I wanted to remind you that happy endings look so different. There is no need to mention names, those who know already know. Some are people, or pets, or places/cities. But the who is something I will keep just for me.

When I first met you, I was 14 years old and still desperately trying to figure out how to get through this part of my life. I had my goals and my life planned out, but I was too young to be this angry. You kind of got it, you understood, and you validated how awful this was. You made me a teen with crushes and late-night talks. With an obsession with the phone, notes being passed, talks about boys, first kisses. You made me young and happy.

When I first met you, I was dating someone else and you came on strong. You wrote me letters, poems, you wrote about me. You read my writing and you were amazed that we shared this secret language that we shared with no one. You made me feel so special, so seen. You were my first young love. You made me feel like me and okay with that.

When I first met you, it was way later than I should have. Everyone else had done visits and tours of their choices and made an informed decision. I saw you through brochures because I wasn't allowed to see you in person. But when I did, when I did, it was everything I wanted. From the moment I laid eyes on you, you felt like a warm blanket, ready to take care of me. You were gorgeous, absolutely stunning.

When I first met you all, we were crazy young, a little nervous, but so so happy. We were all trying to figure out what this important part of our lives was going to look like but one thing was for sure, we were going to take care of each other, be there for each other, we created a home, a framily. Years and years and years later, we have been through heartache, heart breaks, first adult loves, weddings, babies, raising kids, taking care of aging parents. We have held on to what we created.

When I first met you, I met my heart, my forever person. Your background was so similar to mine and you understood me in a way most couldn't. Your family was so loving, so caring, so there and supportive and that's exactly what you became. What you have given me is my forever and ever family. Watching our kids become who we were, what we still are, is the highlight of life. Loving your husband in the way that I love you, knowing you love mine as deeply and meaningfully. You fill me full, you are my one week a year and you so beautifully know and accept me. You so lovingly appreciate how crazy the four of us are, and you teach me...you fill me full.

When I first met you, it was my very first night of college and we stayed up all night talking. We sat on a wall and talked the night away about where we came from, what brought us here, our families. Our stories were so different. Within months, you became my first college boyfriend. You made me laugh, you made me have fun, you made me dance, you loved music as much as I did. You let me be with my girls, and you made me happy.

When I first met you, I was taking a class that I needed to check off my list. What I found was an amazing love of the subject, a deep sense that I needed to learn more and more and that I could not get enough of you. What I found was the beginning of my love of education, no longer my have to, but my actual love and desire.

When I first met you, you were seven and you changed everything about me. You and your family had me believe in a loving home filled with laughter and healthy fights and warmth. You gave me a future to believe in and a career that would change my entire life.

When I first met you, you were the funny guy downstairs. We bonded over our love of Pearl Jam and our friendship drove us both mad and crazy. It still does to this day. You make me laugh and think differently. You opened my eyes to the world, you were protective, you were inspiring, you were a real and amazing friend.

When I first met you, we were playing a game at one of your house parties. You leaned over and kissed me and took me by such surprise, but that kiss sparked something, years of something. You had a way of taking care of me, even though I was trying to scream that I didn't need to be taken care of. You had a way of making me feel special, even though I felt like I didn't deserve it. Ultimately, you were what helped me realize what I did deserve and what I needed to be looking for.

When I first met you, you were in a little ball in a cage waiting for your family to find you. As soon as we laid eyes on each other, we were locked in. The day I brought you home, you sat next to me like my little co-captain in this life. And you held that role, most times taking the lead but just a nudge, but always always being there. You became my reason, my heart, my family. You brought dad to us, you made him fall in love with us. You were soft and gentle and cute and smelled so good. We took such good care of each other. And for all of the years of love and moves and changes and life events, I have no regrets. I know I loved you as hard as I possibly could and I know you knew how much that was. You were my reason.

When I first met you, I was renting a movie, your smile immediately drew me in. I met my family, and I was home. All that we have created together is remarkable. Our decades together have meant something. Our future is still so unknown, but solid. Even through our darkest and hardest of times, you keep us...you keep us. I want to thank you for never ever giving up, for listening, for moving in the directions we needed to move. I want to thank you for your undying support, a real true partner. I want to thank you for picking up what I have needed to drop. I want to thank you for knowing how important my work is to me, but also bringing life back to us and them. I want to thank you for falling in love with puppy kisses and being patient with my mothering. I want to thank you for insisitng I become a mother, something I love so much. I want to thank you for loving me and growing with me.

When I first met you, it was different. Two little lines told me you were coming and in that instant, our connection began. I can't explain it, but when I placed my hand on my belly, you whispered that you were a girl. Months later you told me your birthday and months and months later, you were here. A person. Half me, half dad. You made us walk into parenthood so gently and lovingly. You were so easy, so easy to care for, so easy to love, nothing was ever hard those first three years. You slept, you ate, you got sick, you got better. You cried, you were serious, you laughed, you danced, you fell in love with puppy kisses. You were the daughter I was always afraid of, but exactly what I never knew I always needed.

When I first met you, well, it was love at first sight. They put your little head up to me and we gave each other our first "little guy" kiss, something we do to this very day. You looked at me differently, like I was your world...your moon...your stars. I just could not believe the way my heart felt. But today I realize that my heart was feeling what your heart feels. Because your heart is something that dreams are made of. You have such a loving and caring and affectionate soul. Your heart is always on he outside of your body...always. You feel very deeply, you love so naturally. You are a good friend, sibling, son, student. All there is to know is that you will be loved in this world and the world needs to change to accept your love. You do not need to change to meet the world, your love will be the change this world needs.

When I first met you, I was a mom in the thick of it and so lonely. I was in the middle of my marriage fog and desperate for family. I asked for you, and you showed up. My heart was insatntly connected to yours and your family. My soul was full. You were exatly what I needed at exactly the time I needed you. We raised our babies together. We struggled together. You walked me through years of heartache and change. You helped me to see my husband's side of the story. We watched our boys go from parellel play to actual best buds. We saw how complete opposites they were, we laughed at all of the ways they need each other, but drive each other nutty. I fell for you, you taught me so much. You made me a better mom and person and you helped me see balance so differently.

When I first met you, all I saw was a picture and turned to dad and said, this is her, this is our girl. We have to go and get her. There was a lot of back and forth but the day came that we finally got to take you home. You were a bundle of floopy skin and so shaken. Strangers opened up a car door and I turned to our littles and said, she's here, this is our new girl. You instantly warmed to us and we started on our lover of love adventures. A puppy that wants love, and smooches, and caring for more than food or potty breaks. A puppy that is my running and walking buddy, but also my snuggles and fireplace lover. A puppy that loves a nap and a tasty snack but hates the rain or being wet and dirty. A puppy that loves to run looks so natural doing so, a puppy that lives for us, shakes her cooley at us with excitment for just being home. The ray of light we all needed at exactly the right time we needed it. Our perfect, precious ray of light and love. A reminder that time heals and love moves on.

The beginning of a love story is so precious, so wonderful, so caring. It feels so right, exactly what you needed when you needed it. No matter how the story ends, what new chapter you write, just hold on to the feeling of love that you were a part of. Thank the universe for bringing it to you, making you feel that way, that special, that needed right back. Thank them for their part in it. Because love stories come and go. But knowing all of our hearts, we never let the love die.



"Once it's recorded, you'll have it forever".

I've written for a very long time, never calling myself a writer because that feels like a heavy title that I do not live up to. But, I write. What once started as a way for me to get down what I was feeling, and needed to get out without saying it out loud, has turned into this, a way to record you. A way to remember. A way to keep what we shared forever.

Because there is so much that we have shared. So much we have already gone through. So much that we've already done. So much that I know I will forever remember, but will you? And for some crazy reason, I want you to know. I want you to know how wonderful and difficult it all was. I want you to know that it was a decision I did not take lightly but made me feel so much lighter. I want you to know that it was crazy hard. I want you to know that it made all of our relationships different, especially the one I shared with your dad. I want you to know that what was once the easiest relationship of my life turned into the hardest, but I would do it all over again. I would. And that means something, you meant something, this time together definitely meant something.

I want you to know that I really really liked being a mom, and I never ever thought I would. I want you to know that I really really liked being your mom. I want you to know that we tried, each and every day. I want you to know how often we failed and tried again. Tried and tried and tried again.

I want you to really know the good. I want you to remember the traditions. I want you to know that traditions are important and I want you to have some with your families. I want you to remember how special they were to us. I want you to remember how much they built our foundation. I want you to know that we loved you.

I want you to know that every day, "adults and parents grieve". They are grieving the old you that was yesterday and accepting the new you of today. Every day, you are changing before their eyes and for those that are noticing, it's really something. Magical, yes. Wonderful, sure. Exciting, of course. Sad and mournful, also true. And so, every day "adults and parents grieve."

So I record it all. I want to remember, I want you to remember, I want to have it forever and always. What started as a way for me to get my feelings out, has continued to be me getting it all out, just in a way that captures who you were, how it felt, who you're quickly becoming, and how we're all doing.



There is this woman I follow whose best friend is going through her second divorce at the age of 35. All of her current feelings are around failure. How she failed herself, her family, her husbands. She is ending another relationship that should have lasted forever.

Littles, when something ends, we are taught that we have failed. I have always felt that way. I've let myself down, I've let those around me down, I'm giving up, and I don't give up.

But there is another way to look at it. And not just the typical "it takes two" but more about how the relationship could be celebrated for what it was. Cherished and loved, because it was what you needed and wanted. It came to you at the exact right moment and it started and lasted as long as it did for a reason. But it also ended for a reason and maybe it means something a little more than just failure.

Her friend reminded her that just because it is over does not mean the entire time together was not worth it, nor does it mean it did not matter. That just because it was meant to last "happily ever after" does not mean there were not moments of pure joy and love. She brought it all back to the chapters we write in our lives.

What if you two just got to the end of your chapter together and it's time to write a new chapter?
What if some people have more chapters to write than others?
What if you have more chapters to write but instead you decide to shut the book?

Her friend went on to talk about how we should look at all relationships like this, not just marriage. The end of a career, the end of a friendship, the end of a relationship, marriage, children growing up. Because endings are hard, they are sad, they create this feeling of regret. But instead, they could also mean something very different.

When I was thinking about leaving my 20-year career, the one that meant so much to me and defined me. The one that I was so good at, the one I worked hard for and made so many sacrifices for, it took me years to finally end it. And the reasons are endless, starting over is hard. Starting a new business is scary. I didn't believe that I could or should do this. I didn't believe in just myself or my ability. But I also felt like I was breaking up with my agency and that took me another five years to get there. Three of those five were so hard because I was already there in my heart. And each time I doubled down and tried to work harder at it, the angrier I was. The more I wanted to go, the heavier it all felt, every single thing that popped up felt like another burden, no longer a challenge, but a burden. I wanted to go and I was just too scared to admit that it was over. I was worried I was admitting that I had failed.

You will feel this way a hundred times in your life. The wonder of "what if I had stayed" will stay with you always and forever because when you love something or when you love someone, you never really let them go entirely. And instead of spending a lifetime wondering how you could have made it better, remember that this feeling means you loved with all you had, and that's more than okay. That's exactly how one should love, with all that they have.

But here is something you also need to remember. You know exactly what would happen if you had stayed, you were there, you know how it felt, you know why it was time. So celebrate the love, the closeness, the feeling. And when you are ready to walk away, it's not because you or they failed, your chapter came to an end.

If I continued to think that I was not ready to write my next chapter, I know exactly where I would be. If I continued to think that I wasn't ready to move on, I would still have that feeling of dread. I wouldn't have ever started this, I wouldn't have ever had taken a chance on myself. I wouldn't have found my balance, my way, I wouldn't be exactly where I need to be.

Endings are hard. They are painful. They are filled with regrets and what-ifs. They are lonely. They require you to be brave. They require you to be compassionate. They require you to not place blame. They require you to be gentle, with yourself as well as others. They require time. Time to mourn. Time to heal. Time to read through every single word written in your time together. Time to analyze. Time to learn. Time to put pen to paper and start a new chapter, whenever you are ready. Because some people have more chapters to write than others.


Why moms cry

Because we're tired.
Because we want to sleep.
Because we know we have to get up and start the day.

Because you're so small.
Because you're getting so big.

Because your heart is so big.
Because you are the best people I know.

Because I tell myself stories.
Because you tell me actual stories.

Because we're lost.
Because it's you who brings me back.
Because we're over and underwhelmed.
Because we have too much going on or not enough so all we do is think.

Because we are thinking about the day we met you, the day we brought you home, and all the days in between.
Because when you were an infant, I could not believe how magical you were.
Because when my daughter was three weeks old, she became a person so connected to me that my heart beat with hers.
Because when my son was born I understood love at first sight. This little man looked up at me like I was his world and he quickly became our heart.
Because I felt you move inside of me and hiccup and kick and fall asleep.
Because we're thinking about your firsts, your lasts.
Because I look at our puppy with such love and cannot believe how lucky we are to have been saved by two doggies.

Because fights hurt our feelings too.
Because we get bad news.
Because we learn of how different our lives will be.
Because we have to always be making really hard decisions.

Because life is simple and hard.
Because there is so much to be happy for, but also some really hard spots in life.
Because the TV show was really heartbreaking...I know, it's weird but true.
Because we can't believe or get over how beautiful you are.
Because we can trace your face to exactly who you always were.

We cry when we're alone.
But also in front of you.
Or as we go to sleep, or watching TV.
We cry in the shower or the car.
We cry on runs, especially those in the rain.
We cry as we say goodnight to you, or when we kiss you in your sleep.
When we least expect it, when we shouldn't be.

So yeah, moms cry...at least this one does. And I don't see that ending anytime soon.



Oh, this holiday. A holiday, like all holidays that makes you grin from cheek to cheek. A holiday that made you two bond. A holiday that you asked to be a team. A holiday, like all holidays, that you love.

You love the fun, the enjoyment, the traditions, the excitement. You love the candy (of course) and the laughing and the time with friends. You love a holiday and this one is no different. It is a holiday that brings out the kid in you. A holiday that makes childhood really shine.

From your very first where we were too sick and it was too rainy to go out. You were so small and still so excited and laughed and laughed as a six month old in a costume. To your second as a cute little flower, squeeling with excitement. To a ladybug, asking me if "Anna could go home now" because she was all pooped out. To all of the matching ones with you and Coley to all of the matching ones as a family. Your little cheeks so happy, you love a holiday.

Last year COVID threw us a curve ball but we found a way to laugh anyway. This year life, and I, threw you a curve ball and asked if you wanted to break all traditions and go out with just your friends. No family costume. No family trick or treating. Just you. You were torn, but you also were excited about the possiblity of the night. You came home gushing and hysterical. It was your night, just yours.

When we hinted at doing something with just Cole, you were so upset, you weren't fully ready to cut it all off. So, we found a way to pivot and compromise. We know this is the beginning of the end of it all, we know this was the start of a new way. As I craweled into your room, I looked at you, with the same cheecks as the six-month old on my couch, and I of course cried.

I cried for our losses, I cried for an end, I cried to your new, I cried because you're ready, I cried because I'm not. I cried because I felt a shift, I cried for Cole, I cried for me, I cried.

But then when you got home from a night out, I took it all in. The way you were, the way you could not stop talking, the way you wanted to talk, the way the night went, how happy you were. I'm not going to lie and say I'm perfectly ready and fine and elated. But I am happy for you. And I am proud of you.

One more example of you being ready and me having to pretend. You dipping a toe into a new place while still wanting to hold on to the old and me trying to hard to let you. You know how moms talk about there are nights they cry themselves to sleep because of their kids. Not because of something bad, but because they feel the growing up? You know how most moms don't talk about it? Well, I write about it. So, if you ever read this one day, know that leading up to your 12th Halloween, I spent the week crying myself to sleep. I dreamed of my babies and I remember that little 6 month old sitting on a green couch wearing a very yellow banana costume, giggling her head off. I remember the 2 and a half year old asking me to go home. I remember seven year old wearing a Rey costume to be "just like mom". I remember all the princess costumes and I remember Cole as a side kick.

I will also remember that for a few years it was just us three and for the first time, it was again, but for very different reasons.



When the world ends.

"I'm going to be there with you somehow, oh..."

When the world ends, I want to be sitting in a quiet room, with you.

When the world ends, I want to remember how much I loved them, with you.

When the world ends, I want my memories to keep me warm, I want you to keep me warm too.

When the world ends, I want to be surrounded by pictures, pictures of all of us, pictures of you and me, pictures of just us.

When the world ends, I want to cry, I want to cry with you.

When the world ends, I want to remember my why, you were always my why.

When the world ends, I want to know, not think, know I did this well and I did it right.

When the world ends, I want to be holding hands, with you.

When the world ends, I want to believe in us, in you.

When the world ends, I want to be right there, with you.

Watch it as the stars disappear to nothing
The day the world is over
We'll be lying in bed

When the world ends, I want to be in my favorite spot, my bed, and I want to be there with you.

When the world ends, I want the heaviest blankets on me, I want to feel their weight.

When the world ends, I want to be drinking something warm, I want to watch it all disappear from my window. I want you right next to me.

When the world ends, I do not need to collect my things, I want only to collect our memories.

When the world ends, I do not need to be surrounded by much, just you.

When the world ends, I want you to know that you were always my end game.

When the world ends, I want you to know that I loved you, you are the love of my life.

When the world ends, I want to know that I loved you as hard and as much as I could.

When the world ends, I want to gather up all of our time and bottle it for them.

When the world ends, I do not need much, just warmth, and you.

The love you got is surely
All the love that I would ever need

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