It is her 12th birthday and we are meandering through Central Park when we are stopped by a poet.
When moms learn of my work to prevent human trafficking, the conversation always turns to fear for their own children. They wonder, how do I protect my kids? They ask, what can I do to prevent this from happening?
We go in early March when the selection is good, the options plentiful. There are knitted, embroidered, and ruffled varieties. Vivid colors. And even some that aren't all about cleavage.
There is nothing worse for parents who have written books on parenting to feel the sting of hypocrisy. Or, I suppose for a marriage and family counselor to feel like a fraud if things at home are sloppy.
“Your story is not my story!”
The outfit I have chosen is discarded in the clothes-swamp floor of her room. Jeans and a sensible t-shirt strewn among sparkly dresses, floral skirts, and chunky sequined sweaters. I know this walking down the hallway before I even enter. “We are going to be late,” my voice rises in warning as my footsteps fall heavy on the hardwood floors.
When I was pregnant with our 2nd child, I prayed for a girl with red, curly hair. I got my wish, apart from the curls. Looking back, I see now I wanted so much more for her than that curly red hair.
I don’t really think of myself as a strong woman.
I just think of myself as a woman.