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Submitted by: Pam King

My kids are a never-ending source of inspiration, strength, and unconditional love; they are my reason for breathing, my strength. I love them with all my being.  For all that, I have nothing to offer in return but the same.

I once had a pediatrician for my ‘chicklets’ with a sign in his office that read “Children survive in spite of parents.”  It made me chuckle at the time.  Now I think it is the gospel according to Bill Cosby.  My only words of wisdom for all the new and expecting parents in the world is that there is no instruction manual.  There is no wrong or right way; there is only love.

You just never know, really.  You just don’t.

She came in wearing a cute gray sweater, leggings, and boots. She looked very unassuming, very normal; there was no belly pooch, (except in a mother’s eyes), just a nice lightness and happiness on her face. She handed out cards to her brother and to her grandmother, Ma, who proceeded to argue that she shouldn’t have a card because it wasn’t her birthday – it was Travis’ birthday!  “Why do I get a card?” she stormed.  “Because, Ma, just open it, open it the same time that Travis opens his,” Casey directed her, trying to brush off the abrasiveness with a grin and a shrug.

Travis had already opened his card, along with his mouth, and was staring at his sister in disbelief.  My mother, though still trying to figure out why she was getting a card, finally decided to open it.  Travis found his words and asked his little sister, “A real uncle or a dog uncle?”  My mother, in all her wisdom, sat on the stool at my kitchen counter with her chin on the floor, staring at her oldest, Type A, chronically overachieving, and completely together granddaughter in total disbelief. She turned then and came out with a line that only my mother could come out with; she looked straight at Justin, the man by my daughter’s side and a longtime “friend” of fourteen plus years, and blurted, “It is yours?” All I could come up with was “Awkward dinner party if not!”

And so it goes. This is my family sans mention of baby sister Libby, who stood quietly in the background observing and shaking her head at her very politically incorrect grandmother, and my wonderful, loving husband, whom I absolutely adore.  No worries, you will meet them all.

Submitted by: Pam King

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