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The Mother of All Challenges

With gentle humor and wit, the author recounts various moments of motherhood that most mothers will recognize from their own lives. The stories are not reflections on the big occasions of celebration or sadness or drama. There was a problem adding your email address. Please try again. Be the first to discover new talent! Each week, our editors select the one author and one book they believe to be most worthy of your attention and highlight them in our Pro Connect email alert.

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Email address:. A few days later, she texted me that she had found the perfect dress to wear on her trip. Later my daughter showed me the dress -- she was full of delight and I had a terrible motherhood moment. My middle son is currently missing a front tooth -- a loss that occurred on a late night during his freshman year in college. The dentist was solemn while he assessed the problem, and then the doctor told my son that he had lost a patient who had fallen while drinking during his freshman year.

My youngest, the one who has his driver's license, is elated about being able to surf with friends.

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He keeps his board in the back of the minivan and watches the size of the waves on an app on his phone. When the waves are good, he heads to the beach. He also uses an app that tracks great white sharks. Some of the great whites have been tagged, and my son follows their migration. Fall where we live is not a good time to surf. As days shorten, big sharks start to arrive. I confided in a friend, "Several times a day," I told her, "I want to hide under our kitchen table and sit there.

When the kids were young, we would cover the kitchen table with a bed sheet and have tea parties. I loved the feeling of sitting under the tent with cookies, tea, my kids and their stuffed animal friends. It was never as ideal as it looks now. Someone always knocked over tea and someone else always complained that so and so took too many cookies.

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But I knew even then that there was a particular bliss to having us all safe under the kitchen table. I remember trying to transition into being a mother.

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Sometimes it felt rude that I had to stop my life to care for another. What do you mean we can't eat at restaurants anymore?

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Now it feels rude that I'm supposed to let go of taking care of another. The other day, I found myself chasing our youngest out the door with food. I could see neighbors peeking out their windows watching the woman in the bathrobe caring an apple running after a minivan. If I go more slowly, will I stop and savor the heartache of them leaving? Will I see what a privilege it has been to love them? Years ago, I read a quote in a book written by a famous Japanese artist named Kuboku Takaku.

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