Friday evening I watched my girls participate in their first cross country meet of the season. My youngest tied her last year best time and my oldest daughter beat hers. Near the end of her race she was a few paces behind a taller girl. She sped up, and beat her by half a step. On her face was determined resolve. She finished strong. Her sister turned in a better time, but her race was over before she crossed the finish line. We're starting to see things take shape here at home. Each of the girls have their own room, this morning the girls made rice so they could take it in their lunches. We swept floors and put away imperfectly folded laundry. As a parent, I haven't shown my children how to do things. We tell them what needs to be done and expect them to do it. Over the weekend I found out that a friend of mine had been raped as a child.

Her husband brought it up and threw it in her face during a fight. She went to her room and cried for hours as she relived the shame of her older step-brothers forcing themselves on her. Life keeps going on around her. I found a book called 'Healing the Child Within' that I'm glad that I bought. My daughter has some mild food allergies so we haven't had eggs at home for over a week. It feels as if I have lost ten pounds, the scale tells me no weight is missing. I own an impressive collection of yoga DVDs so this weekend I tried a warm up. I am not flexible. This bothers me. I can't do anything well and the few poses that I can do are uncomfortable because my own body weight is working against me. I'm proud of myself for not allowing the stack of shapely women to intimidate me all weekend long. At the chiropractor the woman behind the desk shares her own story, she too is intimidated, and I understand.

At the thrift store I found a Japanese print that I like. Water tastes better when I add lemon, strawberry, and cilantro. The green, red, and yellow is cheerful. Textures of the seeded berry contrast well with the slender green stems and bumpy lemon end. I am too hard and too easy on myself. The child within me needs to relearn how to be authentic, open, and not try to present what it thinks others want to see. Growth is slow. Last night my daughter gave me a sheet of printer paper. A girl in her class won the race for her age group. Her time was 6:02. My daughter's time was 7:53. This girl gets better grades. My daughter compares herself to this other girl and doesn't see how sweet she is or how kind she is to others. The other girl is not very nice. The sheet of paper my daughter gave me is on my desk. It says: "Everyone needs some love. I love you." It'd hard not to cry so I don't even try to fight it. There are second chances, it's not too late, for any of us.

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