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Lather, Rinse, Repeat

March 22, 2019 - Jen Zbozny
That tiny, helpless alien I gave birth to what seems like weeks ago turned eleven recently. When she was a small, helpless, animate bag of warm sand, I puzzled things endlessly. What time is bedtime? When does she need to eat? What is she going to say to me when and if she ever says anything? What do I do when she gets sick? How do I teach her to tell the truth, be a good person? When is bedtime again? What does she need and how do I figure it out because I'm new at this thing.

I'm intrigued to report that while she is no longer a helpless, animate, bag of warm sand, I still tend to have the same questions. At eleven, an 8 pm bedtime might be too early for her, but man she needs rest. At eleven, she is getting to an age where she might stop talking to me all together because teenagers are also aliens. As an infant when she got sick, it was scary because she COULDN'T tell me how she was feeling. At eleven when she says things like "one of my bones in my leg hurts" it's not an ibuprofen and popsicles solution. It might be a ploy to stay home from school. It might be some other thing I've yet to consider.

I guess, dear readers, what I'm saying is that the questions don't seem to change even when the child does. Some parts are easier because she's grown. Like eating. I don't have to actually spoon mouthfuls into her anymore, nor do I worry so much about choking. Some parts are harder. I don't win every battle any more merely by saying, "then you won't get a snack". I've grown to love the discourse though - the fact that when she asks a 'why' question now means we get to have a pretty meaningful talk is indeed lovely. The fact that sometimes she presents her case more effectively than I make mine is humbling. I'm getting used to that dynamic.

But so many things are the same. I still question, worry, tweak, and hope I'm doing the best I can. For those of you out there in the same spot as I, I salute your effects and send you hugs.


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