Friday, October 17, 2014

If you don't scrub that kitchen floor...

Five Chores I Loathe

It's not a secret that I am not exactly the Queen of Domesticity. I am more like the Queen of Just Leave the Goddamn Dishes Until Tomorrow. Keeping up with the housework is a constant struggle for me. It Just. Never. Ends!!! I have a hard time believing that doing the dishes once doesn't mean that they are done for all time.

So, I have always been messy, but I met my match in PJ. PJ can destroy a room in 12 seconds, and as the phrase goes, it's like shoveling shit against the tide to try and keep up. But being a gown up means that it's my responsibility to clean the things, lest we end up on Hoarders or on the news.

My housekeeping skills, while not perfect, have improved exponentially, but there are a few chores that I have to grit my teeth through every single time.

1. Unloading the dishwasher: I don't know why I hate this so much, but I haaaaaaaaaaate it! I will happily load the dishwasher, and I have even been known to wash dishes by hand to avoid unloading a full dishwasher. I know it's kind of a weird chore to hate, but I hate it.

2. Organizing the pantry: I am horrible with this one. I am of the type who will take out the peanut butter and then just throw it back in on any shelf. I mean, if I can shut the door, it's good, right? Our shelves have started out organized and neat, but it only takes me a day to turn it back into chaos.

3. Throwing away mail/paperwork: I don't hate this, but I'm terrible at keeping up with it. Mail piles up in the blink of an eye, and PJ's school art projects are everywhere. When I finally get tired of it, I do a mass toss of anything irrelevant. I am trying to get better at tossing the junk as it comes, and I stopped buying magazines for the same reason. This one is a work in progress.

4. Putting laundry away: It's the same as the dishwasher- I will gather dirty clothes, run the laundry, and fold it, but for some reason, I balk at putting it away. PJ's clothes and drawers are always kept perfect, but I can be lazy about putting away my own clothes.

5. Taking out the recycling: I forget this one all. the. time. I don't know why, because I never forget to take the trash out! It's just the recycling that gets past me for some reason. Thankfully, I am on top of making sure anything that goes in the bucket is rinsed/crushed/ripped so it doesn't get stinky or overflow!

It's an evolving thing, my metamorphosis into domesticity. A slowly evolving one, being that I am 37, have been married 6 years, and still don't have the hang of it. But one that is coming along nonetheless. I am hoping that by the time we buy our first home I will have mastered it, but in the meantime, does anyone want to empty my dishwasher?


Thursday, October 16, 2014

...and that's the way it is.

Updates: {things on thursday...}

....School update: School is in full swing and is truly going much better than I expected. I thought the transition to full-day school would create a lot of chaos as PJ got used to the new demands on him, but it has been a relatively smooth change. There are a few things I would tweak where his program is concerned (extra staff support in the afternoon, better communication from OT) but, on the whole, I think this is going to be a great year for PJ.

...Therapy update: After a slow, frustrating start, we are finally in a great place where PJ's ABA therapy is concerned. Getting to this place involved a lot of angry phone calls and a fired therapist, but now we have a fantastic team in place to work with PJ. Something I have discovered is that securing much-needed care and therapies for a child with Autism can be a huge, shouty, head-bangingly frustrating pain in the ass. And, to be honest, we have it good compared to other families. It was worth it to push for this therapy, but I can't help but with it wasn't always some kind of fight to get it.

...Hair update: My hair is horrible. It's in terrible shape, way too long and snarly. I have been trolling Pinterest for haircuts that I think I can pull off- all that's left is to make an actual appointment with a stylist and get it done. I don't know why I let it get this bad. It just perpetuates that hate spiral where I look in the mirror, hate what I see, and then hate myself for not doing anything about it. It's a useless feeling and also one that is easily remedied by simply making the time to get it done.

...Marriage update: Marriage...it's a lot of work. I am not one to surrender to my emotions or feelings on a whim. I am more likely to feel a feel and then SHUT THAT SHIT DOWN. That's not at all healthy or productive, but sometimes it's just too scary or real or challenging to face the feels. Then, just like with the hair, I am twirling down the hate spiral, dizzy and angry. And although I can identify the problem, I have no idea how to fix it. My strategy right now isn't helping me and it isn't helping Pete, so I need to work on that shit. I have always joked that the reason I blog is because I hope that, someday, the person with all of the answers will read my blog and fix my life. That person is welcome to show up any time now.

...Writing update: My great friend Mary Beth connected me with a group of writers that meet monthly to share, create, and learn how to further develop our skills. Hosted at the gorgeous home of a local writer named Debbie, it was a chance to sit at a table with some amazing writers and flex my wordy muscles. It was the first time that I felt like I, perhaps, might be a writer myself. Plus, there was coffee! Being able to attend this group is a small gift that full-day school has given my schedule, and I am looking forward to continued meetings.

...Fruit fly update: Fruit flies are assholes.

So. How you doin'?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Let it go, let it go...

Did you guys see my guest post over at The Northeast Bloggers Network this week? Stop by and check it out! And keep stopping in- there's a new featured post every day!

Halloween is coming up fast, and PJ still does not have a costume.

Choosing a costume for PJ has been one of my favorite parts of parenting. Even though PJ is a little young for Halloween, and still does not connect with the idea of choosing a costume and playing pretend, I love the theatrics and creative spirit of Halloween.

When we celebrated PJ's first Halloween, he was not even a year old. He hadn't taken his first steps and wasn't allowed to eat the few pieces of candy he gathered- he didn't have any teeth yet! In fact, I am pretty sure he fells asleep in his stroller, resplendent in his costume as spaghetti and meatballs. The idea, stolen from a parenting magazine, consumed my evenings in the two weeks before Trick or Treating was upon us. I sewed a little muslin romper and stitched thick, white yarn that resembled spaghetti strands. I am a terrible sewer, but there was something about making my sons first Halloween costume with my own (horrible at sewing) hands that made me feel like a good mom.

Since then, he's been Super Grover, Thomas the Train, and a dinosaur. I made all of his costumes with love...and, more often than not, swear words. This year, I am trying to let go of the expectations I have given myself on Proper Halloween Parenting. I was shooting for handmade, Pinterest-worthy costumes that would only be accentuated by PJ's astounding cuteness. This year, we are all busy, and I think that PJ has outgrown my skill (or, lack of skill) with a needle and thread. Even though, deep down, I feel a little like a failure, PJ and I will sit down in front of the computer (a store would overwhelm him, I think) and pick a costume.

We have it narrowed down to a few choices: any character from Toy Story, Wreck-It Ralph, or Despicable Me (think Gru, not minion). Those are the three Halloween-worthy costume choices that he is the most into, so we're going with that. It will come to our house in a box and the only hand-crafting I will do is to tie a few strings or adjust a mask. All I am going to do is pay for it.

Letting go of this task feels so strange. I know it isn't a big deal for normal mothers, but I set the bar high for myself early and would force myself to clear it no matter how hard it was. Last year, it involved wresting with yards of soft, orange felt and a sewing machine to make a dinosaur costume (that came out pretty well save for a tail whose size I grossly underestimated). I was channeling all of my worth as a mother into that costume. Ridiculous, right?

So, this year, it's store-bought costumes and a more realistic tool to measure my worth as a mother. But, I'm not using housework because...no.

That's just begging for failure.

Monday, October 13, 2014

It's you and me in the summertime...

Fall is finally upon us, and I could not be happier! The trees are starting to give over to the explosion of color they will become, the nights are chilly, and my Uggs are out. It's my favorite time of year, and I am thrilled it is upon us!

With Fall here and school in full swing, summer seems like a thousand years ago. We quickly fell in to our new routine and the lazy, hot days of summer are replaced with morning alarms, school clothes, and new television shows.

Before summer ended, we spend a week in Ocean City, Maryland with our family. I was going through some of the pictures from the trip, thinking about how lucky PJ is to live so close to the ocean and how much fun it was to escape beach-side for a week. PJ absorbed all that the vacation had to offer.

Huge ocean waves...


Beach snuggles with Daddy...


Loading the cargo cars in the hotel room...
(and, whenever we took our eyes off of him, throwing things off the balcony)



Ski-Ball in the arcade, where everything reminded him of Wreck-It, Ralph...


Whirling boardwalk rides with big cousins...


Looking up at the lights of the giant ferris wheel...


...and out over the roller coaster...



...and a break for delicious Dumsers Ice Cream. 

We had a beautiful summer, full of adventure and fun, new things and old favorites. It was the last summer before my baby started full-day school, and it was a glorious one. Now we are well into Fall, and have ushered in all of the new that comes with it. The leaves are changing, and so are we, but it's nice to take a look back at the hot, now-gone summer. 






Welcome to Time for Mom, the best parenting link up around!

Time for  Mom is a place for mom bloggers to link up and connect with other mom bloggers!  You do not have to link up a post about parenting only, your post can be about anything as long as you're a mom!  We only ask that it is today's post or a recent one, and that you don't link up the same post each week.  Please remember to check out a few others in the hop!  It's no fun to link and run!



Please be sure to take a moment to follow your host and co-hosts in some way!

Rachel @ Can't Google Everything

Larisha @ We're Parents

Brie @ {...a breezy life}

Melissa @ Two Miracles




And if you didn't get enough of us on our blogs, check out our Time for Mom Superstars Pinterest Board!  Each week we will pin some of our favorites from the link up to the board!  Check it out and see who was pinned!





















We have each picked a blog post from last week to feature!  This may be a fun recipe or kids activity, or a post that really inspired us or that we related with.  Be sure to check them out if you didn't already last week!




Check these great post from last week out!

  • Tips for going to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

  • Halloween Shadow Puppets

  • Superhero Nesting Dolls

  • Trix Monster Treats



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    Tuesday, September 30, 2014

    Snow can wait...



    It's Tuesday- Time for Mom! Linkup with your favorite post and be sure to enter our very first 
    Time for Mom Giveaway! Hooray! 

    September has been...

    ...Busy! The school year started off rolling and we haven't stopped since! School, of course, takes up the bulk of PJ's time, but he also has therapy three days a week, soccer and cheer once a week. Thankfully, PJ had adjusted very, very well to the new demands placed on him. We didn't expect it to be as smooth as it has been and we are very very thankful!

    ...Lovely. The trees in the park are just starting to edge over towards crimson, and it has a euphoric effect on me every time I see it. Fall is my favorite time of year, and as the days become crisp and the trees become fiery the things I don't care much about during the summer (jeans, hot peppermint mocha coffee, socks) become tiny moments of pleasure in the fall. Allergies aside, fall is my favorite.

    ...Goal-Oriented. PJ has re-started speech therapy once a week and is receiving ABA therapy twice a week. This is in addition to his full day of school and in-school therapies. I go back and forth sometimes, wondering if it's all too much. Thankfully, PJ loves his therapists and for the most part, seems happy to "hang out and play" with them. The other day, PJ started crying and when I asked him what was wrong, he said "Oh, no! The boo boo hurts!" and pointed to what turned out to be a bug bite. This wouldn't be a groundbreaking statement in most homes with a four year old, but for us, it was a big deal.

    ...Messy. The exterior of the  large house that encases our apartment is being completely renovated. A huge Victorian, it sits right on the edge of a large park and has needed a bit of TLC for some time. When it's all over the house will look amazing, but until then it's a lot of noise, dust, using the fire escape while the stairs are being worked on, and chain-smoking dudes doing stuff with tools. Hopefully, by the time fall turns to winter, the dust will have settled and the place will look great!

    ...A new start. PJ has begun full-day school and I have begun the arduous task of trying to figure out where I belong as a stay-at-home-mom who only needs to mother a few hours a day. It's a weird place, but there's something about September that is kind of a default New Years Day. I guess it's the whole back-to-school thing. But if PJ can be brave and find his way as he navigates his new school day, I can be brave and navigate this new page in my book.




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    Welcome to Time for Mom, the best parenting link up around!

    Time for  Mom is a place for mom bloggers to link up and connect with other mom bloggers!  You do not have to link up a post about parenting only, your post can be about anything as long as you're a mom!  We only ask that it is today's post or a recent one, and that you don't link up the same post each week.  Please remember to check out a few others in the hop!  It's no fun to link and run!



    Please be sure to take a moment to follow your host and co-hosts in some way!

    Rachel @ Can't Google Everything

    Larisha @ We're Parents

    Brie @ {...a breezy life}

    Melissa @ Two Miracles




    And if you didn't get enough of us on our blogs, check out our Time for Mom Superstars Pinterest Board!  Each week we will pin some of our favorites from the link up to the board!  Check it out and see who was pinned!



















    We have each picked a blog post from last week to feature!  This may be a fun recipe or kids activity, or a post that really inspired us or that we related with.  Be sure to check them out if you didn't already last week!



    Pumpkin Spice Latte Sugar Scrub by On a Wing and a Prayer // Cooking with a Toddler by Styles by Jess // 7 Reasons to Get Excited About Fall by Mommy Entourage // Pumpkin Book Decoration by The Crunchy Mom Next Door

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    Thursday, September 18, 2014

    Just a little bit...

    This is a late contribution to the Time for Mom linkup! 
    That said, it's not too last for you to check out some of the great submissions from this week! When you're done here, just keep scrolling down for tons of great posts!

    We are in our second week of school and things are moving along at full speed! 

    I am still feeling a little sad when I drop PJ off for such a long day at school, but thankfully, I've been busy with errands and writing and volunteering at PJ's school book fair. It is still such a strange feeling to have so much time on my hands, and it will take getting used to. In the meantime, I am thankful to have things to fill the time and some ways to be productive. 

    Monday night was Back-to-School night. Pete and I were eager to visit PJ's classroom, catch up with staff we know and introduce ourselves to some of the new staff working with PJ. PJ is lucky enough to be part of an amazing school community, and we are very happy with the curriculum that PJ will follow this year. There will be many challenges as he works on things such as handwriting skills (as you can see from the picture, his handwriting looks like Sanskrit needs a little work), but we honestly believe that this will be a big year for PJ. He is a very hard worker and is surrounded by supportive, knowledgeable teachers and staff. I'll share more about his curriculum and therapies as the school year goes on. 

    By the way, the picture at the bottom left of the collage is PJ passed out in the car on the way into Philly for speech therapy. He asked for french fries when we passed a McDonald's and since he had a great report from school, I indulged him, but the poor guy only ate three or four fries before he fell sound asleep. The longer school days (along with three days of after-school therapy, cheer practice, and soccer) are wiping him out. I am so proud of how well he has handled the new demands on him so far! 

    Another perk of back-to-school is shopping for school clothes! I took advantage of some free tine yesterday morning to stop by the outlets, and thanks to some gift cards and some amazing sales, I was able to wrack up a full fall/winter wardrobe for my stylish little dude! Someone once told me that shopping for little boys was not as fun as shopping for little girls. 


    I have found that spending money on clothes for PJ is both fun and easy! I could have easily spent four times what I did. With PJ being as active as he is, we need clothes that will move well and hold up. GAP jeans and sweatsuits are our favorite. I love Carters for tees and pajamas and The Children's Place for pants and button down shirts. And, of course, there is Target, blessed be its name. PJ has been able to pass on most of his clothes after he has outgrown them, which is another positive for some of our favorite stores. 

    Check out a few of my favorites from my shopping trip: 

    Boy Genius and Ladies Man long-sleeve tee, Red twill pants: Carters; Varisty Jacket- Cherokee at Target; Denim Utility Jeans- Children's Place; Rock Paper Scissors long-sleeve tee; Land's End





    Welcome to Time for Mom, the best parenting link up around!

    Time for  Mom is a place for mom bloggers to link up and connect with other mom bloggers!  You do not have to link up a post about parenting only, your post can be about anything as long as you're a mom!  We only ask that it is today's post or a recent one, and that you don't link up the same post each week.  Please remember to check out a few others in the hop!  It's no fun to link and run!



    Please be sure to take a moment to follow your host and co-hosts in some way!

    Rachel @ Can't Google Everything

    Larisha @ We're Parents

    Brie @ {...a breezy life}

    Melissa @ Two Miracles




    And if you didn't get enough of us on our blogs, check out our Time for Mom Superstars Pinterest Board!  Each week we will pin some of our favorites from the link up to the board!  Check it out and see who was pinned!



















    We have each picked a blog post from last week to feature!  This may be a fun recipe or kids activity, or a post that really inspired us or that we related with.  Be sure to check them out if you didn't already last week!




    20 Stay at Home Date Ideas by Lou Lou Girls // Family Office Space by Diapered Daze and Knights // DIY Giant Bubbles by Krystal's Kitsch // Meal Planning Tips by Baby Doodah




    Please add our button to your page to help spread the word about Time for Mom!


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    Thanks for linking up!  By linking up with us you are opting in to our weekly email reminder for this hop and giving us permission to use an image from your blog if chosen for our weekly featured posts.  We will always link back to your post when we use your image when we feature you!





    Thursday, September 11, 2014

    There's still so much to learn...

    {things on thursday}

    Oh. So much emotion this past week. Tons of happy, lots of surprised, a buttload of disgust and a bit of sadness. I have been feeling all of the feels, and when I have Emotional Congestion like that, it sometimes makes it hard to sit down and write.

    PJ had his first day of school last week. It was a day I had been dreading all summer, because this year PJ will be at school for a full day, five day schedule. Pete's reaction was much different- he was so excited to see PJ hit this big-boy milestone, and anticipating a great year for him. I feel all of those things, too, so strongly. But...this means that my days home with my baby are done. PJ will be in full-day school, five days a week, until he graduates high school. PJ has big-kid stuff to do without me, and that's very, very hard. I have loved our days together, loved our snuggly mornings and daily adventures. This feels like the start of something huge for PJ and for the first time, he will do it without me.

    That said, this first week has been something of a success! This was surprising to me because at the least, I was expecting some tantrums and hyperactivity as PJ adjusted to his new schedule. But, on the contrary, he's had a fantastic week, with great behavior at home and excellent therapy sessions! His behavior has been a little unfocused (the kid is exhausted), but not volatile at all. It's a bit of a blessing, and a bit of a gift. I had been worried that the precious handful of hours that I have with my baby would be spent trying to rein in his unsettled little body. We may still hit that phase but for now, that kid is showing us all! I am so proud of him!

    One thing that hasn't changed? Trying to get this kid to sit still for a picture. Good. Lord.





    So weird. But handsome.














    There is so much in store for my best guy, so many new ways to blossom and grow and meet new challenges. This is a big year for him and we are so excited to see all that it has to offer! Here's to a great school year!

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

    See you in September...

    {stream of consciousness}

    It's been a little while for the blog and I. August slipped through my fingers in the blink of an eye, and now we're in September, with school starting in just two days. Backpacks and lunch boxes and folders and pencils have all been purchased, back-to-school outfits are ready to go. All that's left is a haircut for PJ (pray for me) and a gathering of my emotions as I prepare to send my baby to full-time school.

    I can't talk about school yet {too emotional}, but I can certainly relish the beautiful month August gave us. With PJ in extended school year, our summer vacation doesn't really begin until August; a beautiful month of sleeping in, lax bedtime routines, old favorites and new adventures. PJ splashed in our neighborhood pool and stood up on a surfboard as he rode the waves. We dug holes on the familiar beach at Ocean City, NJ and dug similar holes for the first time on the beaches of Ocean City, MD. PJ saw his first 3D movie, rode his first ferris wheel, and battled sea criminals on a pirate ship. Pete and I even managed to sneak in a few nights out to dine with great friends on a beautiful evening and take in a show with friends who are family.

    Technically, there are 20 days left of summer, just enough to squeeze in one or two more day trips to the beach, make a few more trips to the playground after dinner to take advantage of longer days, even as the sun goes down earlier each day. We can enjoy Cabana Water Ice and there's still time to get that library card. It's back to school, but summer still has some life in her yet. September is weird that way.

    This week, school starts and soccer practice begins, and the week after, we start cheer leading! There are exciting new changes for PJ at school and a chance for Pete and I rewrite some of our mistakes and have a new fall together. Fall is my favorite season, but always, especially since I became a mother, it's a little hard to let go of summer.




     





    Welcome to Time for Mom, the best parenting link up around!

    Time for  Mom is a place for mom bloggers to link up and connect with other mom bloggers!  You do not have to link up a post about parenting only, your post can be about anything as long as you're a mom!  We only ask that it is today's post or a recent one, and that you don't link up the same post each week.  Please remember to check out a few others in the hop!  It's no fun to link and run!



    Please be sure to take a moment to follow your host and co-hosts in some way!

    Rachel @ Can't Google Everything

    Larisha @ We're Parents

    Brie @ {...a breezy life}

    Melissa @ Two Miracles




    And if you didn't get enough of us on our blogs, check out our Time for Mom Superstars Pinterest Board!  Each week we will pin some of our favorites from the link up to the board!  Check it out and see who was pinned!



















    We have each picked a blog post from last week to feature!  This may be a fun recipe or kids activity, or a post that really inspired us or that we related with.  Be sure to check them out if you didn't already last week!







    6 Ways to Look & Feel More Refreshed by The Grass Skirt // How to Host a Sprinkle by Well Dressed Peanuts // Preserving Your Summer Memories by From Wine to Whine // Through My Child's Eyes Challenge by Mama Teaches





    Please add our button to your page to help spread the word about Time for Mom!


    Time for Mom



    Thanks for linking up!  By linking up with us you are opting in to our weekly email reminder for this hop and giving us permission to use an image from your blog if chosen for our weekly featured posts.  We will always link back to your post when we use your image when we feature you!





    Monday, August 18, 2014

    It's poetry in motion!

    It's a lazy Monday here after a spectacular weekend! Our time was filled with adventure and love and beauty and joy and I can't wait to share it with all of you!

    For now, it's time to announce the winners of the

    BACK-TO-SCHOOL
    PRIZE PACK GIVEAWAY!!! 
    featuring tickets to the Liberty Science Center, a $40 Visa Gift Card, 
    and some fun back-to-school essentials! 
    with our friends Momma Lew's Blog, Wine in Mom,

    {drum-roll please...}

    ROCHELL RAND-SIDELL- COME ON DOWN!!!  

    Actually, you can stay where you are- the prize will come to you! I have just always wanted to say that! CONGRATS!!!!! Please e-mail me at abreezylife@gmail.com with your mailing information and your package will be on it's way!

    Joelle Franzo Daddino- You are the runner-up winner of a four pack of tickets to the Liberty Science Center!  Please also send me an e-mail (at abreezylife@gmail.com) with your mailing information.

    HUGE THANKS to the Liberty Science Center for providing the tickets, and to the bloggers who participated in the giveaway! Biggest thanks to everyone who entered! If we have just met, I hope this is the start of a beautiful friendship!

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

    Tell me your troubles and doubts...

    (it's a Time for Mom linkup)

    A Letter to My Son {stream of consciousness} 

    Dear PJ,

    By the time you are old enough to read and understand this letter, you will likely be well aware of your Mommy's love of celebrity gossip. You may have agreed to watch an award show with me, or had to sit through Extra while we get ready for bedtime. I'm not embarrassed about it. Everybody has flaws, your Mommy more so than most.

    With that out of the way, you will understand why Mommy was so sad to hear about the passing of Robin Williams today. The news that he had taken his own life was very hard to hear.  Just a few nights ago, we curled up on the couch together to watch "Aladdin", one of the few works by Mr. Williams that wouldn't be over your head being that you are four. You smiled and laughed as the Genie zipped around the screen, and I was so happy to share the joy of make-believe with you.

    Sometimes, though, the people who are the most capable of bringing you a make-believe that you can believe in have the hardest time with reality. I see a little bit of the showman in you, PJ. You love to make people happy, to make them smile and cheer, and I wonder if there isn't a bit of artist, a bit of the ability to bring some make-believe, in you.

    I saw a quote by Ernest Hemingway today. It was posted by another writer that I admire, and it summed things up perfectly:

    "The best people posses a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, 
    the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice.
     Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, 
    sometimes destroyed."

    Risk-taking and bravery and truthful-ness and a capacity for giving are all qualities I hope you have, PJ. They are qualities to be envious of and come through in the shiniest of souls. Those qualities reap the most reward, but can also leave you the most vulnerable to hurt, disappointment, and failure. It's easy to tell you to not be afraid of those things, but deep down we all know better. The higher the climb, the harder the fall. 

    It's okay to feel those things, to feel your victories and failures right down into your soul. You learn something from both experiences, and you will have victories and failures as you go through life. Learn from them, and recover from them. This won't be easy. When the lows hurt you, it can seem logical to find the quickest way out. 

    I can tell you that I love you, that Daddy loves you, that your friends and family all love you and believe in you. I can tell you that I would climb down into the dark with you and help bring you out. But that's not enough. You need to know your value and worth, and know how much the world would lose without you. If you ever find yourself feeling like there is just no way to go on, I just need to you reach as deep down into your heart as possible for that last thread, the one that will remind you of all of the highs you would miss. Grab that thread and hold on. You don't even have to know what to do- it will be enough to ask for help. If you can't come to me, go to someone you can trust. I can't promise that it won't take a few tries to get it right, to find the person with the right directions. But, hold on. You'll get there. 

    Despite all of this, despite all of the risks, I hope that you will be brave. You have so much to share with the world, and I can already see how happy it makes you doing so. People will know you are amazing, and people will think you are horrible. It's how life goes for everyone. But the people who put themselves out there are subject to the most backlash, the harshest criticism, and you have to be strong inside to face that. And for the times when you're just not strong enough, lean on the people who love you. We'll hold you up. 

    People who act, who write, who paint and sing and dance change the world in a way that is very gray. It's not something that can be clearly drawn, like a doctor who saves a life or a police offer who protects us. The changes an artists makes are measured in inspiration, in emotion, and can be subject to vicious, relentless criticism. Be ready for it if that's the path you choose. Be ready, but don't bow to it. And when you're the strong one, offer grace to the ones who aren't. 

    And if someday, no matter what path you choose, your sadness is more than just reaction to criticism, deeper than a failure, or impossible to overcome; if something is really, truly wrong and you can't put your finger one it, just hang on. It can be helped and you can get there. Dig deep. 

    You are only four, and this a lesson for well beyond your few years. I promise to do my best, along with Daddy and all of the people who love you, to help you know your worth along the way. We are always here for you. 

    Also, you should totally sleep until at least 8am tomorrow. 

    I love you, Sweet Pea. 

    Love, Mommy






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