As I walked into the family room, my heart stopped beating. There, in the middle of my new beige carpet, stood my 1-year-old daughter, Lauren, in a puddle of blue paint, smiling brightly. Instantly, my eyes began to sting with the tears that would soon come. We’d saved five years for that new flooring, and now it was ruined. Oh, the joys of being a parent.
Over the past 37 years, the one thing I’ve gotten really good at is crying when it comes to my four kids. It all began when I found out I was pregnant with Michelle. Having been told I may never have children after a miscarriage early in my marriage, you can imagine my ecstasy. Then, nine months later, blood-curdling wails rattled the hospital walls as I delivered her the old-fashioned way, sans drugs. No epidural or oral medication to ease the pain, just a stick between my teeth and Lamaze breathing. Crazy, I know, but back in the early ’80s, I took my new role as Mother Earth seriously. Jenni would soon follow, and my tears of joy became deeply profound.