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That Would Be Enough - Jan 2, 2017

I love being a parent. My kid is amazing — I would not hesitate to die, kill, lie, cheat, or steal in order to protect her. I love her so much it's overwhelming at times, and I have to just stop and wonder how I ever let myself carve out this huge section of my heart, just for her. It feels incredibly stupid and dangerous to hand over so much of yourself to someone so careless. And yet millions of parents do it every day. I think the secret is not to think about it too much, you know? My daughter will be a teenager soon, and I can already see her beginning her sure but steady transition to independence. If I do my job well, and raise her with lots of love and security and confidence, my reward will be a fiercely strong daughter who doesn't need me at all. What cruel irony is parenthood!

I remind myself to enjoy her adolescence while it remains, as I know this time is fleeting. My daughter's lucky I'm such a sap. And hormonal. Today was our last day of vacation, and instead of binge-watching Sherlock and stuffing my face with pumpkin pie, I decided to help my kid clean the Hazmat Storage Areas that often pass for her bedroom and bathroom.

Was I this gross when I was her age? I can't remember, but my guess is yes. You know it's bad when it takes both a regular vacuum AND a wet-dry Shop-Vac to finish the job. But we got it all done, and I'm going to do a better job of making sure she cleans it every week. On the plus side, I got to threaten her with a bag of gummy fried eggs I found stashed in one of her bathroom drawers (don't ask). Pretty sure the phrase "Don't make me beat you with eggs!" (and the requisite giggling that follows it) won't get old for a very long time.

Cleaning is never fun. But at least we made a memory.

And that's the whole point, right?

I know that someday soon, my funny, irrepressible little girl will be a woman, and all that will remain of her girlhood is my memories of this time. Memories of the rap battle we had in the car as we drove home from volleyball practice, or of her sheer glee when she bankrupted me at Monopoly, or of listening to the Hamilton soundtrack as we cleaned her room.

We'll have good days and bad days, but either way — good or bad — these days will just be memories. Will that be enough?

I guess it had better be.

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