Sunday, May 8, 2011


In 1986, when I became a new mother and had few “skills” but ideals and assumptions that numbered in the hundreds, I took an approach to raising children that I take today when a gigantic project awaits: think of an outcome, and work backwards. More than anything I wanted to raise children who would trust themselves in the future as much as they trusted me in the beginning. To that end, I told them often, and usually in the wake of a particularly bad parenting moment, “I’m no better at this than you are.”

These years later, I love my children for countless reasons, but here is a big one: They took me at my word when I told them they were better experts on themselves than I was. They are still that way, experts all.

It isn’t that my parenting has been hands-off – I’ve had my face-offs against the bad teacher here, the bad coach there, the bad parent of a bad kid elsewhere, but only when my protective instincts have taken over and sent my judgement out for an ice cream. For the most part, my young adult children have developed and followed their own user manuals, with only editing suggestions from me and my husband.

Now, as three of the four draft budgets and prepare to pay rent and car insurance and cell phone bills on their own, and the fourth closes in on his last SAT exam, I am in full awe of how naturally it comes to them to be honest, courageous, kind, industrious people, and, as I knew all along, how little help they needed from anyone else to be those things.

Thank you Courtney, Drew, Jacqueline and Sam, for making it as easy as breathing to adore you.

I love you all. And oh, not just for this.


  1. I love you. Beautiful post. Happy Mother's Day!

    ps - not only did you manage to raise us well, you're also many of my friend's "favorite mom." What an honor :P

  2. Oh, my. I'm misty all over again. Thank you, and I love you too.

  3. I particularly liked the part about sending your judgement out for an ice cream.

    Please blog more!!!

    Hope your Mother's Day was spectacular! Love you!


  4. Judgement can be so in the way. I love you too xo