THINGS we decide


There are things we decide at a young age-and there are things we decide when we are a bit older.

As soon as I could walk on my feet I decided I would also walk on my hands, jump over things taller than me, and flip backwards.When I was fourteen I decided I would be a fitness instructor after doing hours of Jane Fonda videos and making up my own routines.

I also decided I would not be poor, and I would be educated contrary to the thought that we were to build riches in heaven and not on earth and bible knowledge is better than secular education. I would read books from other cultures study all religions-travel to distant places and buy frivolous extravagant things worldly people liked.

Appearance was important and why not? Why not treat yourself with love and pampering? My grandmother showed me this as she applied tinctures of vitamin e to prevent wrinkles and spent hours under the hair dryer with perfectly rolled hair curlers, exact right setting lotion topping everything off with her trademark Chanel pink lipstick I would secretly try on in the bathroom.

At all costs I knew I must express my soul-all I ever wanted was time to MOVE-dance flip-run-walk- bike enjoy  the sun the moon. No matter what I did in life-this was important.

I would eat ice cream for breakfast or dinner-raw cookie batter dough, forgo the use a fork at dinner if I so felt. I would take days off work spontaneously while working hard at whatever I did.  I would  have a secret stash of money for a rainy day. I would change careers as I saw fit perhaps having two or three in a lifetime.  I would love with an open heart and move on from a relationship if it no longer served a purpose.

I would only be with men that treated me well-and if a man ever hit me-I would leave his sorry ass right after I hit him back.

And here is where the day dream fairy tale of when I grow up-things we decide takes a rewind. Hold on- I didn’t write that part-how did I get here?

This is the part that at age ten and twelve and thirteen and twenty you don’t quite get. Fathers and brothers and friends tell you: If a man ever hits you leave.

No one ever tells you that…

YOU will not want to leave

                          you WILL not want to leave

                                                 you will NOT want to leave







That you will love him so much and the mere thought of NOT being with him will HURT so- so soooooooo much more than the feeling of fist on flesh. That it is easier to accept bad behavior and pretend it didn’t happen. That breaking  patterns is a lot harder than it looks.

That a man just doesn’t come out and hit you-it starts with falling in love and tender kisses. Beautiful words and wishes. Dreams together and tender moments. The seeping in of other elements outside of healthy love is so slow you won’t even notice. The other elements are out-shined by the good stuff. Controlling behavior and gifts.  Slammed fists and passionate sex .Bodies thrown against walls  in heightened moments and then  apologies. Arms grabbed too tight and apologies. And then no apologies. And then you deserved it.  Walking on egg shells to avoid tempers. Trying so hard to please but never enough. And before you know it  his hands are around your throat and his grip is so tight you can’t breathe- you will worry that he will go to jail as your eyes roll back and you visualize your funeral.

And  you will worry that others won’t remember his kindness his generosity or speak of what a great man he is. And as you come back for air and look into his eyes past the rage and the anger that has nothing to do with you but instead a lifetime of unexpressed emotions-you will still only see the glimpse of the man you fell in love with and not see the ball of anger taking over his soul.

You will pray for his jealousy to go away. The jealousy you use to think was cute that meant he loved you even though it was wrapped with double standards. It’s ok for him to come and go as he pleases-to have an indiscretion here or there but if he is suspicious of you cheating he will shake it and beat it out of you until you admit your whore like ways.  And still you will look at him and only see the man you fell in love with and think that he will see you for the woman you are. You will look past the anger he has at the world, the anger he has for his mother for every woman who has ever done him wrong and you will think you can change him.

Even as his fist slaps you across the face feeling like a numbing brick wall just hit you-neck twisting right

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knocking you to your knees in a daze of did that really happen whose life is this-sparkles of light streaming across the room dancing with the echo of the


and he says go ahead and call the police-

you will kiss the tears falling down his eyes telling him you forgive him while you will ice your swollen face and tell him its okay-its okay. You will imagine and pray that somehow this incident will transform you both and make your love stronger.

You will think of the little girl who said : if a man ever hits me I will hit him back and leave. You will tell her you are sorry and perhaps she didn’t quite understand what it was like to love a man- unconditionally with your whole heart body and soul and that true love can conquer demons if you shine enough love.

You will swallow your tears while kissing his and tell yourself stories of forgiveness and love can conquer all and turn the other cheek and it was just an isolated incident. You will hope with time that you will forget what happened.

You will watch other women in situations with seeds of other elements seeping in. You will tell your little sisters that they are not responsible for a mans unexpressed emotions. To stand up for double standards and not be afraid to ask for help. That true love allows it does not consume- it allows the other to grow with time, distance, and even separation -because wounded souls can not love romantically when they are wounded.They will aways be guarded and led by fear not allowing love to flow through.They can not be open to vulnerability and trust the way love needs to flourish.You will tell your little sisters that  it is not your job to HEAL a wounded soul that hurts others through words,fists, actions.

You will tell them to take care of their own souls.

You will tell them you are here for them.

You will teach your son how to treat women and how to express emotions in a healthy way transforming seeds of anger.

You will decide that if a man ever hits you-you will tell others your story because there are things you decide at a young age and things you decide when you are a little bit older…..


Buddha Baby


Once upon a time there was an old little Buddha who had lived so many lives and learned so many lessons. This old little Buddha was  ready to be reincarnated and fulfill his earthly life purpose.

This little Buddha traveled throughout the universe with a powerful stream of lightning sharp energy-resonating with the vibrations of : strength, sound and POWER! He glowed so bright that any specks of energy that came near him would become stronger And brighter.

As this Buddha passed by earth ready to be born he said:
I need a mother and a father that will shape me with the right training so I can fulfill my life’s purpose.
They can not be too inflexible in doctrine or thought so I may have the freedom to grow and be the best earthly self possible shining light strength and love to all in my presence.

Being ever so wise and having lived so many lives before this Buddha said I will need young parents.  Both in earth age and soul age. Because with youth their is also beautiful nativity that is pure and untainted. There is imagination and creativity.There is an: I can do anything mentality that older parents will be too tired for.

As he looked upon earth he saw two silly parents that had just turned 21. They liked to be stylish and dress up ever so-designing the home with artwork and shopping for clothes.  They had carefree spirits and oh did they laugh and roar! They danced in the rain and sipped fancy drinks and liked to play pranks.
Ohhh. These parents look super silly and stylish too.

As silly as they are- the young Buddha asked-do they have any talents and gifts they can pass on to me to fullfill my earthly life purpose?

And as the Buddha looked upon the earth at the two silly ,stylish parents he saw that the dad was so good at music. He played the saxophone and loved to hear beats and he even wrote poems. He was strong and athletic capable of many feats.
The mom learned to walk at only nine months old and could run so so so fast and walk on her hands!

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Oh yes said the little Buddha.  These two have many gifts I can use for my next earthly life.

To fulfill my life’s purpose I need to pass on the wisdom I have achieved in all my past lives. I need  parents that I can teach and are open to being taught.

As the little Buddha looked upon the earth at the two silly stylish parents he saw that the dad liked to read so much he would fall asleep on trains. The mom liked to read too but oh was she stubborn so the dad had to tell her-go to college learn more and more and never stop.

Hmmmm. Said the Buddha.

They seem like pretty good parent  options.

And having so much wisdom from all his past lives the little Buddha ready to be born could foresee that these two stylish silly parents with talents to pass on who would be open to learn being so young would not marry to each other.  He saw that he would not have a traditional life or family and there may be times of loneliness and struggle.

And as the Buddha buzzed through the universe he passed by the earth and zipped through where his maybe mom was sleeping.  His power in her room shone so-so strong that she could not help glow and become brighter and stronger with his energy.
And as he gave strength and love to his Maybe mama he saw that his own energy was not depleted but became stronger and brighter so bright that it expanded beyond the room-beyond the city-beyond earth and the universe and galaxies and dimensions time and space.

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Yes said the little Buddha these two will indeed be my parents!!They are silly and stylish and smart with gifts to pass on and with me they will shine brighter and become stronger with me as their earth child.
I am ready to express my life’s purpose.

I am ready to come to earth to fulfill my life’s purpose-spreading strength and love and being the best possible earthly self I can be.

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Cuerpita Bonita

 Published in Hair Trigger A Story Workshop Anthology


I can still smell my grandmothers apartment. The scents of burning incense and left over arroz con gandules sitting in the pot on the stove. Café con leche brewing from morning ‘till night. Her apartment smelled of her, breathed her overdramatic spirit and resembled her gaudy style.

Always in the corner day or night was the stick of burning myrrh or sandalwood tucked neatly between the crack of a window so the ashes would fall on the sill.

Abulela lit incense after reading her prayer cards which were scattered about the house along with bibles, rosary beads, religious statues, crosses, paintings and six foot gold mirrors. After lighting the incense she would raise her hands to the heavens and asking for this miracle or that miracle. You could light incense for joy, for love, for health, for wealth. The smoke carried your prayers to heaven and cleansed the energy in the room of impure thoughts or people.

Her day began at a quarter ‘till five in the morning. She’d awake, nude of course, except the lovely pink rollers neatly tucked in her short, nappy, red do. Her floppy pink flip flops could be heard throughout the echoing apartment. Flip, flop, flip, flop. And then-boom! On goes the salsa music. And the flip flopping turns to scampering and sliding. Light stomping in rhythmic motions to the beat… “OOOOOOOPPPPPAAAA!” she’d scream, dancing naked all but the pink flip flops and matching rollers.

I know this because once I awoke to use the bathroom…She wasn’t embarrassed. “ Da body, it is a beautiful thing. Beautiful. Never be ashamed of your body. It is a gift. A gift from God. Thank God you have a beautiful body every day….Jesus,Jose Maria, gracias por mi cuerpa bonita…hehehehhehe”

I suppose that’s why at eighty something her body was smooth and toned. No stretch marks or cellulite. Just a beautiful, slightly stocky, firm, porcelain complexion. Head to toe. And her energy, that was from the café con leche of course.

I must have been five the first time I sipped the perfection named café con leche. Because in my grandmothers house, that is when you begin drinking the addictive drink. Five maybe four, right there at the breakfast table with everyone else.

I can hear the music of her favorite band playing, “ Al Gran Combo” and she’d sing along with the lyrics. Only louder and faster and her hips would sway back and forth as she ran from the kitchen to the dining room with plates full of food. She’d never let anyone get up and help her, presentation was her forte. Hosting her passion.

Between trips to the kitchen and back, she’d lift me up from my seat, wrap my scrawny legs around her waist, my head would fall between her chest, and she would squeeze so tight I wouldn’t fall and I’d fly along with her to the kitchen, laughing all the way.

Then she would sit me on the counter, right next to the brewing coffee beans, so strong and flavorful. She would pull out the coffee filter and hand me a handful of cinnamon sticks. “The secret to mi café…” she would whisper.

The beans would mix with the cinnamon sticks and the whole house would fill with the seductive scent of morning pleasure. The milk would boil on the stove, and she would pour in her other secrets: honey and a dallop of sweetened condensed milk. Abulea would pour the mixture into her favorite cat mug with a tail as a handle. I would put the mug up to my nose and let the scent tickle my insides before letting my lips appreciate the indulgence. Mmmmmmm. After drinking the café con leche, the sweetness filling my body with sugary joy, I would say Gracias Dios for Mi Abuela, for mi café con leche, and please, please ,please let me grow up to dance and have a beautiful body just like mi Abuela! Amen!

Teachers Pet

Every year you get a favorite student or two, some years you don’t get any-just a group of kids with wacky parents who don’t discipline their kids or teach ‘em how to read.

Rebekah was a shy girl when she came in. A pretty little thing with a long golden braid and big green eyes, hid behind her mothers leg and quietly walked over to her desk without looking up. Her mother looked all of sixteen with hair to her waist and another kid in a stroller so I thought-here we go another transfer  student. And wouldn’t you know it, Rebekah couldn’t read. Not a lick. First grade and can’t read.

“What did they teach you at your old school? We read here in kindergarden here at Waters Elementary. That Mcphereson didn’t teach you to read?”

She lowered her head and stared into space mumbling something about kindergarden at her old school was fun and games. She did often this stare into space thing but if I called on her she was actually paying attention. Quiet little thing.

Her pretty young mother came in with some religious pamphlet titled “School and Jehovahs Witnesses”  hooting news about Rebekah couldn’t celebrate this holiday or that holiday and that just made my blood boil. No Halloween. No Christmas. No wonder the poor thing was quiet as a scared mouse barely looking up in class.

You know these people don’t believe in college? No wonder the poor thing couldn’t read thank God she knew her letters-somehow. I had the girl stay inside for recess so she could catch up. She had to read, “The Sun is Up” like everyone else before I could even put her in a reading group. She didn’t mind at all when I told her she had to stay in for recess to catch up.

Bright as can be she caught on right away-and the truth is most of the kids who could read were memorizing but Rebekah was really sounding out and after a week of indoor recess she was in the highest reading group and it just broke my heart that the poor thing was being told not to go to college and the world was coming to an end any day now. You could almost see the frightening feeling inside her on her face.

But maybe the religion wasn’t all bad she did have a nice-ness about her. Caring for other people. There was another girl in the class named Rebeca-Rebeca with a c and rebekah with a K BUT YOU COULD HEAR THE KIDS SAYING FAT Rebecca or skinny RebeKah or poor Rebeca and Rich Rebekah or Pretty Rebekah and ugly Rebeca. Smart Rebekah and dumb Rebecca. You could hear the kids mumbling under their breathe the mean-ness starts young so I SAID lets call one Rebekah -Becky-and of course Rebekah M let Rebeca with a C be called Becky and everyone started chuckling just to be mean for the sake of being mean.

Rebekah treated Becky with kindness and never even half snickered when mean jokes went around. You could see her get frustrated when kids would sound words out slow and drag them out but she would just go into her daydream gaze when she was bored with the learners at a different level.

One day Rebekah came to me and said someone stole her pencil box. Maybe you forgot it at home I told her. But this young lady was so organized I knew that wasn’t the case and her desk was neat and tidy. She shook her head. Someone stole it-it was here before recess and now its gone.

Everyone check your desks-Rebekah is missing her pencil case. Maybe someone took it on accident. Everyone checked their desks and it didn’t come up. Rebekah sat with her hands folded and for the first time I saw a mean glare on her face. We lined up at the end of the day to leave and Rebekah was sure to be last. Unusual for her. She gathered her things extra slow and dilly-dalled to the back of the line. When we got to the hallway she ran back to the classroom. “Rebekah where are you going?” I yelled to her.

“ I forgot something.” She responded and ran back inside.

I had the class halt and followed her. She was rummaging through Beckys desk in a frenzy. “ Rebekah you can’t do that-you can’t go through someone elses desk we already had the class check.”

“ Well someone stole my pencil box. Look how messy her desk is its probably behind all this paper.”

Rebekah kept digging while piles of paper and disheveled books fell to the floor until she finally yelled, “ FOUND IT!”

Immediately Rebekah started crying. “ She broke it and wrote all over it so it wouldn’t look like mine-and see here she scratched my name out. Its dirty and broken and it was my favorite pencil box.”

I gave her a gentle hug. “You were right but you still should not have gone through her desk. She will have to buy you a new one.”

“ Shes poor. She Can’t. that’s why she stole mine.”

I had never heard her say anything mean or negative about anyone.

The next day I called Becky in who denied the whole thing top to bottom and then mumbled to Rebekah she was gonna beat her up for going through her desk.

Rebekah answered back loudly, “ I’m not scared of you. Just say sorry. Any way my dad will buy me a new one. Your mean and I was nice to you even when everyone was mean. Why did you steal from me?”

Becky just insisted-“I didn’t.”

Sure enough, just as she so emphatically stated, Rebekah came to school with a brand new pencil box-a plastic one, better and probably more expensive than the old cardboard one and she guarded it with pride even carried it with her to lunch so no one would take it.

Rebekah was always dressed like a little doll. Perfect knee high socks, expensive slacks and skirts. Leather loafer shoes. I don’t know what her father did but they seemed to have money. On international day I had the kids raise their hands if their parents were born in another country. Rebekah of course was leaning on her desk with her hands folded after finishing all her work, her extra credit work and her homework- she looked up from her dazed little day dream shooting her hand shot up with enthusiasm ready to answer.

I thought she was just bored and ready to make up a story as bored kids often do so I called on everyone else but her. Her hand only got more wavey and straighter her eyes bugging out-me next call on me so finally I said-Rebekah were your parents born in another country? She stood up. “Yes. My father was born in Puerto Rico and came here when he was six.” And she smiled with pride. This was the loudest I ever heard speak. All the kids turned and stared at her and then someone blurted what we all were thinking. “ YOU DON’T Look Puerto Rican.”

“ Well my mother is Swedish and has red hair and freckles.”

“ Do you speak Spanish?” Someone asked. She shook her head no. “Well then you’re not Puertorican,” Eduardo piped up. “ Yes I am my dad is.” And then she sat down and went back to her day dream her long braid swinging back and forth.

At Cristmas time it was time to make Santa puppets out of paper bags and I was waiting for Rebekah to say she wasn’t allowed to make Christmas things but she didn’t so I let her make one. Poor thing-never celebrating Christmas what would that be like as a child? To have to sit out separate and different from everyone else?

Rebekah made a beautiful Santa puppet even though she wasn’t suppose to. I could tell she wasn’t suppose to because she hid it in her desk instead of taking it home and on the day before Christmas break I saw her kiss the Santa goodbye, pat him on the head as if saying sorry and then threw him in the trash. I walked over to her and gave her an extra candy cane and whispered in her ear-“Its just for winter break not Christmas and because you are an extra good student.” She smiled up at me and said thank you with her eyes then ran out the door to meet her mom.

The end of the year came and I was sad to see my class go especially my favorite students. I suggested Rebekah go to the advanced second grade class but her mother explained she wouldn’t be returning. Rebekah was accepted into one of the magnet public schools, ”Edison Comprehensive Gifted Center,”  Mrs. Marcano explained with a big smile sure to pronounce each word with enthusiasm.

Rebekah looked up at me beaming from ear to ear so proud of her achievement.

“We will miss you Rebekah, I am sure you will do very well there. Don’t forget us here at Waters.”

Rebekah nodded and reached up to give me a hug, “I won’t. Thank you for teaching me to read Miss Shapiro, you are my favorite teacher.”

And with that she walked out the door, just as she came in. Quietly daydreaming with her long braid swaying back and forth and holding on to the stroller while her mom pushed. Gosh, I’ll miss that little girl and not seeing her grow up through eighth grade. I fought back tears, ya know once in awhile you get that kid that just gets to you. Little bugger.

D in Paradise

Mami had red hair pale skin and freckles and daddy had brown skin and kinky hair. Sister P from bible study had long red hair and freckles and her husband had brown skin and kinky hair. Maybe if you had red hair your husband was suppose to have brown skin. I wished I had freckles like  Mami and so I tried to see what I would look like but the pencil wouldn’t make the marks stay and so I wouldn’t be as pretty as Mami because I didn’t have freckles. Maybe if grew my hair long or had fancy boots like hers that went over the knee with nice tan leather and a matching purse and pretty gold hoop earrings.

Sister P had two boys:D and N. Mami had two girls. Felice and me. Bekah Boo. Felice said she was gonna marry N and I was gonna marry D because he was my age but really a few months younger I was older and faster and I could jump higher. Then when we grew up we would have kids and maybe one would have freckles and maybe one would look like D. D had brown skin and fluffy hair and big cheeks. When we went camping we liked to dangle our legs over the water on the ledge and run super fast back and forth on the path and ignore our parents when they said slow down sit still.

When I was around D I wondered if everyone knew he was gonna be my husband. I tried not to smile too much when I first saw him because I could see all the adults looking at us and smiling and saying look how cute they play. But when the adults walked away I would have so much fun running and playing with him.

One day Mami got a phone call and she was crying real bad and went in her room and then daddy came home and he started crying and hugging Mami and Felice and I put our ears to the door to hear what was wrong and daddy was holding Mami and then they hugged us

My Mami hugged me her face red tears making her shirt wet and she held me tight and said: D is not here anymore- he got hurt. He is sleeping until paradise.

I didn’t move or cry.  Don’t you understand? We wont see him until the paradise.  He is not here anymore.

I did not understand.

If I closed my eyes I could see his face and hear his laugh and feel his fast running feet behind me. When I went to bed and dreampt of flying higher than buildings he was flying right next to me.

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What does not here anymore mean?

His body is gone.

I heard the adults murmuring:

He was running through the house and ran straight through the French glass doors. The babysitter didn’t call 911 right away and a major artery was hit. He bled to death. Before the paramedics could get there.

At bible study N looked so sad without D next to him. What would it be like to not have my sister anymore? He looked like he would never laugh again. So did sister and brother P. My husband when I grow up was gone. But N lost his brother. Sister P lost her baby boy. And the paradise earth one day to see him again didn’t make anything feel better.

I wanted to tell them at night to ask to fly with him over buildings. That he was smiling and happy. That his body was gone but if you closed your eyes super tight you could hear his voice and feel his big cheek smile. I wanted to hug sister P but when she saw me she didn’t look like she wanted a hug, I wanted to tell her I miss him too.

Silly Mama Sock Puppet Snow Days!

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The beautiful thing about having kids young is the invincible I can do anything quality- wrapped in naivety and sprinkled with stubbornness.

When I told my parents I would move out of their warm cozy home where I didn’t pay rent with my 10 month old son  into a basement apartment on my $9.25 an hour salary-they never told me I wouldn’t make it-but instead held back tears and bought my son a high chair so he could have somewhere to sit next to the futon which would be our sofa and my bed.


Slowly I collected furniture- a directors chair from my friend Molly. A chaise sofa bed from my friend Caroline. A mosaic bistro  table from a thrift store. And eventually a large, orange ,leather ,”bachelor pad sofa” from my brother in law.


I had the finances all worked out.  My $9.25 an hour job would cover the $575 monthly rent. I had a u-pass from school for transportation. My school loans would pay for child care. Each week I would have $23 to pay for groceries and diapers. The grocery list was: eggs, cheese, tortillas, fruit, veggies and milk. If I bought the cheap diapers I would have to make sure the 18 pack lasted the week and time the  diaper changing’s perfectly so they wouldn’t leak (as cheap diapers tend to do).

One day my friend baby sat for me and used TWO diapers not timing the diaper changing’s perfectly leaving me OUT of diapers until the next day when I got paid! Instead of calling my parents and asking to borrow money, I decided I would make my own diaper. A couple of t-shirts would make a great cloth diaper I decided. Duct tape would hold it together. And a plastic jewel bag would seal in the leaks.Voila!!

This did not make my little trooper happy as he protested that my make shift diaper with NO-NO-NOOOOOOOOO!

This was not our only occurrence of  youthful going with the flow.

One cold ,snowy Chicago day I bundled up my little angel with his snow suit, boots and hat making him 5 lbs heavier only to find I could not find his gloves. No big deal, I put socks on his hands so he wouldn’t get frost bite. This led to such protests of screaming and kicking I finally had the revelation that they were not socks-but sock puppets!

See, it’s a game! And we need two on each hand. To prove my point I took off my gloves and put socks on my hands. We will have a puppet show for our cold snowy bus ride!

Hooooooray for sock puppets!

Of course when I finally found the gloves the next day my little fluffy coated, wrapped up bundle insisted on wearing the sock puppets-which we did!

What fun would life be if we didn’t have moments to test our resilience, push our creativity, let go and enjoy whatever twists and turns life brings us? Hooray for snowy days and  sock puppets!

The Religion of Parenting

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I was raised in a very strict religion of good and bad with consequences of excommunication for sinning.  I was excommunicated at 22 for the sin of fornication being an unwed, mother  –ironically  I never felt more spiritually connected to the Divine, God, the Universe. I never felt more love surrounding me, more clarity, or grounded-ness while holding my newborn son in my arms with confidence of the blessed life we were to have ahead of us.

As a teen sitting in religious meetings-the  right and wrong were so extreme, the “wrong” looked like candy being held out and teased with. The feeling of missing out on fun surrounded the “bad”.

Becoming a parent and knowing the karmic responsibilities for shaping the gift of life I was blessed to raise immediately shifted my perspective. Each day I thought about how my son would view me, what gifts I could give him, what life and opportunity could I help pave for him? Was each decision I made loved based or fear based?

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Since I am not a saint or Mother Theresa, it is inevitable that my son will learn from both my positive and negative examples. There are some things he will judge me for-and perhaps later in life he will realize those judgments were one sided and there is a bigger picture. There are some things he will adamantly do the opposite of so he doesn’t become like me. I will not take these things personally and be proud he is breaking patterns and evolving- I will also try to be a better person so he can be proud I am his mother.

When it comes to topics such as sex and drug use I have chosen to raise my son to hopefully make the best choices that serve his highest self to reach his fullest potential. Instead of simply saying this is right and this is wrong- I have tried to teach him to observe and make decisions based upon the life he wants to have for himself while encouraging open dialogue.


With marijuana in particular we have together observed examples of people we know who smoke daily, smoke occasionally, and have tried it in their life time.  He has seen people arrested for selling, people laughing and eating large amounts of food after smoking, people that don’t work and smoke, and people who work and smoke.

He has asked me: what do you think Mom? Does this person smoke daily, weekly, once in awhile?

My answer is truthful to him based on my life experience and observations. I have observed that those who smoke daily are tired, eat a bit too much and are not the most fit people I know which is my governing values of what is most important to me. That is just my observation. I want you to make the best choices for you to be your best self.

When I talk or lecture-as my son says, I hear my own parents voice and can’t help but laugh knowing everything comes full circle. I am so grateful for the gift of parenting and the blessings and miracles that come while releasing fear and choosing  to be guided by love.