lo it is written

December 28th, 2011

I’m posting this early because everyone likes to have their fortune told.

You will bribe her with french fries
storm the gates of the forbidden
amassing a mortuary
of happy meal toys
and extra ketchup packets.
Join the zoo, the aquarium,
and the natural history museum,
surrendering the educational mission
for another stuffed animal at the gift shop.
Buy an army of Barbies.
Throw good money after bad.
Throw caution.
Throw fits.
Ante up to the American Girls.
One hundred dollars a pop.
Thank heaven for doting relatives.
You will overspend on school fundraisers
for mixed nuts, note cards, and candy
packed eight lousy pieces to the box.
Buy two cases of girl scout cookies
enough to enter winning territory
for a beach towel she’ll never use.
You will overpraise recklessly,
overjudge relentlessly,
underestimate entirely.
Give in on the cell phone.
And the next.
Awaiting her text.
You will go overboard at Christmas,
blow out Hanukkah,
host the birthday party from hell.
You will  exalt in her naptimes.
Cry in the shower.
Bide your time.
Bite your tongue.
Release her to the sleepover.
The trampoline. The mall.
The crush.
Scream your fool head off.
Or worse, or worse, it can always be
You will squander the good days.
You will, you will, you know you will.
You will fail her
and you will forgive her,
failing only to forgive yourself.
You will start over, verily, over again.
As it is written
in the year 2012 AD.

Subscribe to my newsletter • Come to a retreat • Fan me • Follow me.


  1. 🙂

    Comment by Meghan — December 28, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

  2. True, true, true

    Comment by Diamond cambarei — December 28, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

  3. squandering the good days, my greatest fear, my greatest regret, my greatest need for self-forgiveness, and you are right: I will start over again in 2012 but hopefully I’ll squander even fewer this year than last

    Comment by MJ — December 28, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

  4. In tears here, and I don’t have a girl, just two grown boys who are home too rarely. There is no greater gift on this earth than the opportunity to start over again tomorrow. Thank you for the reminder dear friend.

    Comment by Katrina Kenison — December 28, 2011 @ 8:12 pm

  5. You absolutely nailed it!

    Comment by Mimi Schector — December 29, 2011 @ 6:42 am

  6. Exactly!

    Comment by Mama Zen — December 29, 2011 @ 9:12 am

  7. God! You are good. Damn! You are good.

    Comment by Bill — December 29, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

  8. Indeed. Well written I’d say.

    Comment by Bobbi — December 30, 2011 @ 1:22 am

  9. And imagine doing all that for more than one kid?
    It’s enough to make you melt, reform, and melt all over again.

    But I wouldn’t give it up or give them away…
    well, not most of the time anyway.

    Thanks for reminding me of the wonder and the gift and the great expense of motherhood – on heart, mind, soul, and wallet.

    Happy new year, Karen.

    Comment by GailNHB — December 31, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

  10. …and she will grow into a beautiful, confident woman of whom you are proud…
    my girls have grown and flown the nest
    I miss them but know their lives are what they make
    thank you for you blogs

    Comment by Judith Smith — January 2, 2012 @ 6:01 am

  11. I know you’re right because I’ve done it already 🙂
    Thanks. P

    Comment by Paul Brennan — January 4, 2012 @ 4:44 am

  12. Oh! I’ve done all of this but never seen it in writing. Wonderful.

    Comment by Trish — February 3, 2012 @ 7:03 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

archives by month