To Mrs. Lucy’s Kindergarten Teacher

In just three weeks from today, I will nervously drive my five-year-old into the parking lot of your school.  I will hesitate to unbuckle her while she kicks and sobs and fights me.  I will watch other parents take pictures of their sweet babies with brand new shoes and sparkly backpacks while they’re cheesin’ next to the front door.

You will already know she has been diagnosed with ASD, but when I’m coaxing [maybe pleading] her into the classroom, please don’t be nervous.  I assure you… while these first moments of the day will be the hardest, you’ll quickly see past anxious-angry-terrified Lucy and see her kindness, humor, and her big heart.

Let her be different- like all of your other kiddos.  Remember that she will always be different, but never less.  She won’t want to be the line leader or be the first to solve addition problems.  She may never want to do silly games or play with the other children.  Encourage her.  Encourage her.  Encourage her.

Don’t be offended when she doesn’t want to say “good morning” at drop-off.  Don’t get discouraged when she says “I don’t like school!” When she refuses to participate, don’t take it personally.  It will happen.  Let it roll off your shoulders and hope for a positive day.

Remember that in three weeks when I come into your classroom with red and puffy eyes,  I am handing over my most prized possession.  I am entrusting you with this tiny little person who has filled my entire heart.  I will count down the hours-minutes-seconds until she’s in my arms again, while you are broadening her mind with stories and numbers and turn-taking.

We will be an incredible team- you and I.  Working together to make this child’s future so very bright.  The priceless lessons that you teach her, I will reinforce at home.  I promise to work with you in order to best serve her.

And lastly, thank you.

Thank you for your time.  Thank you for hugs, your caring heart and firm voice.  Thank you for passionately teaching kids- one of the most important jobs there is!

Good luck.  She’s a peach.



Parenting Stinks.

Through my years of parenting, I’ve come to realize how odd it is to feel like parenting is the absolute best thing and simultaneously the absolute worst thing ever. Is there anything else that can compare? How is it possible for you to be so completely in love with a tiny human who screams and makes huge messes and smells like a mix of baby lotion and poo? But these smells are what I’ve found to be some of the best and some of the worst parts of parenting. Giving me plenty of lovely memories, as well as allowing me to recall some of those nauseating circumstances.

Here are 18 smells, good and bad, that are unmistakable once you’ve become a parent.

1. Let’s get it out of the way… poo. All poo stinks, but some are worse than others. The blue poo that happens after you’ve caught your toddler finishing the entire blueberry container. That sandy-colored poo that happens after you transition the baby into whole milk. The first poo in the toilet that you let permeate in the bathroom so Daddy can see it when he comes home.

2. The smell of melted wax that has now been saturated into the fibers of your minivan after leaving the new school supplies in the hot, humid Minnesota summer sun.

3. The unmistakable smell of a sick kid… the combo between Vicks, the pink syrupy antibiotics and the tissues with lotion.

4. Boiling macaroni noodles. Because it’s the third time this week you’ve made it for lunch since you don’t have the energy to deal with a hunger strike.

5. The beautiful combination of summer… the mixed smell of sweat and sunscreen.

6. The smell of fresh, clean sheets at the crack of dawn after the 2am bed wetting.

7. Baby nap breath. Which is unfortunately the only time in your life that your mouth doesn’t smell like a garbage truck after waking up.

8. Post birthday party vomit. Complete with cake, pizza, juice and all the other crap that your deprived child hoarded.

9. The gut-wrenching stench of sweaty feet after your child refused to wear socks with their tennis.

10. Burnt popcorn, cookies and toast while they’re still learning the basics.

11. The vanilla and almond smell of your old favorite childhood book as you open the pages and invite your child into your lap.

12. Chlorine. Swimming lessons, water park trips, hotel pools. So many memories are made next to that smell.

13. The smell of your pediatrician’s office. Can someone please pass me a Diet Coke while I wait here for 2 hours with my screaming child?

14. The three-time reheated leftover tacos since you haven’t found an opportunity for lunch.

15. The baby lotion on your sweet and snugly toddler while cuddling up for “The Hungry Little Caterpillar” after your bath time routine.

16. Soiled milk in the sippy that you left at Nana’s house from your visit 34 days prior.

17. The crisp autumn air smell that lies in your child’s hair after playing outside in the leaves.

18. And finally, the smell that makes your uterus smile. The smell that reminds you of heaven. The most unforgettable and precious smell of all… newborn baby hair.

Bottom line… parenting STINKS. Both literally and figuratively.