Man Shoes


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Childhood, Daughters | Posted on 26-02-2016

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When my daughter was a toddler, I bought her tutus and fairy wings and red shoes. Each day, I would help her dress and slip on her little red shoes and fasten the little velcro straps.

Now, at 13 years old, I bought her man shoes.

Her feet grew in the middle of basketball season. Time to hit the sporting goods store. In the women’s section, there were only two styles to choose from.

Try these! Too tight.
Try these! Too small.

OK, Goldilocks, do you need man shoes? Yes.

In the men’s section, there were dozens to choose from. Big man basketball shoes. She tried some on. They fit!

Ah, just right.

No longer in little shoes or fairy wings, she now flies across the basketball court wearing her man shoes. But still with that magical sparkle in her eye.

She once wore tutus and fairy wings.

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

Flying Away


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Love, Metaphor, Mothering, Parenting, Teenagers | Posted on 27-01-2015

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I have always heard that parenting is tough. Especially the letting go part.

Framed in a positive way, it’s about loving, encouraging, and supporting your children to grow and become young adults. You want them to learn, find happiness, be independent, and move forward. Try new things! Be your own person! Learn responsibilities! Do what you love! Become independent!

Leave the nest! (Yeah, no. I am not ready.)

The day I spotted these geese flying was the same day I dropped off my fifteen-year-old son in the school parking lot, as he headed off on a three-day wrestling tournament far away. As I watched him board the bus with his teammates–his bags and gear packed–he was happy, excited, eager.

Hug. I love you. I’m proud of you.

My son was doing what he should be doing. Growing, being challenged, taking chances, becoming independent, and moving forward.

But what was I doing? I was staring at the lake, with tears in my eyes. Watching the geese fly away.

Parenting symbolism.

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Life, Life Lessons, Mother, Mothering, Mothers and Sons, Parenting, Uncategorized | Posted on 14-08-2013

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Was it just last year that my seven-year-old rode the kiddie rides at the county fair? Race cars that go in circles. Teacups that spin. Motorcycles that go up and down, up and down.

This year, it was a different story. My son’s adventurous spirit was far bigger than his 51 inches. This year it was sky-high rides, feet dangling, bellies dropping.

He was soaring.

I was an onlooker, standing in the shade, with my ball cap and carrying a hefty backpack full of cold water.

Don’t be sad for me. I was happy.

I am joyful and supportive to see my children happy, growing, thriving, and soaring.

Really. Isn’t that what all parents want for their children?




Have a Galloping Great Day!


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Animals, Love, Mothering, Mothers and Daughters | Posted on 31-05-2013

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I enrolled my daughter in horse riding lessons. Horses are her passion. She’s ten. How could I say no?

She gallops along the sidewalk (with no horse). Posters of Appaloosas and Pintos adorn her walls. My daughter wants to be a vet. So, really, this is like career training!

Plus, there’s this: the horse instructor answers her phone with, “Have a galloping great day!” How can you resist such good-natured enthusiasm?!

From what I’ve seen, horse girls are wholesome, kind, sweet, and grounded. Exactly the qualities I like to see in a ten-year-old girl. Or 13. Better sign her up through her teenager years.


How Do I Love Thee?


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Childrearing, Children, Memories, Mother, Mothering | Posted on 11-05-2013

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My eight-year-old son wrote three reasons why he loves me:

  1. She hugs me.
  2. Cooks delecius spaggeti. [sic]
  3. Signs me up for stuff like gymnastics.

Aw! I’m touched that he singled out three things I think mothering is all about:

  1. Love.
  2. Nourishment.
  3. Support.

Happy Mother’s Day, y’all!


Three Life Lessons


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Advice, Childrearing, Children, Daughters, Life Lessons, Mom Time, Mother, Mothering, Mothers and Daughters | Posted on 08-05-2013

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My daughter learned three life lessons this week.

And I was reminded that I often blurt things out without consulting The Proper Parenting Handbook.

Here’s what happened.

My daughter came home upset that she wasn’t invited to her friend’s upcoming birthday party.

  • “What?!” I shrieked. “But you guys play all the time!”
  • “Yeah,” she said sadly. “She just didn’t want to invite ME.”
  • “What a little bitch!” I said.

Lesson one: Ten-year-old girls can be bitches too.

Another day after school, my daughter came home even more upset that her puka shell necklace–her prized $3 purchase from our trip to Hawaii–broke into 200 puka shell pieces. She was planning to wear it all year, to remember our wonderful family vacation. A boy had grabbed her necklace from her neck (!), sending puka shells scattering.

  • “What an asshole!” I exclaimed. “Let’s get him to apologize.” That seemed to make her feel better.

Lesson two: Calling someone an asshole for asshole behavior automatically makes you feel better.

  • And I offered, “Oh, Sweetie, I know that was special to you. I could buy you another one but it wouldn’t be the same, would it?”
  • “No,” she lamented. “That was my special necklace.”

Lesson three: Some valuable things can’t be replaced, because the value is in the memories.

I may not say all the right things. I may say some very wrong things. But I always try to talk things out with my daughter. Even if an obscenity pops out from time to time.




Sometimes Sons Wear Unitards


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Childrearing, Children, Parenting, Sports | Posted on 22-10-2012

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Sometimes I think I know my kids so well. What they are thinking. What they will choose.

I sometimes think they’ll follow a certain path that I have “envisioned” for them. Then when they choose something different, I think to myself, wow. I’m not really in charge anymore.

My children are becoming independent.

And then I’m sorta proud.

Take my son for example. He’s 6 feet tall and he’s 13 years old. Yeah, he’s a natural fit for basketball. I assumed he would play it all through high school. And get a scholarship. I was envisioning Hoosiers.

Yet, this son of mine has no interest in basketball. Just because he’s tall, doesn’t mean he wants to play. And just because I thought he should try basketball, doesn’t mean he wants to.

He told me the other day he wants to try wrestling.

Wrestling??! My first thought was Nacho Libre.

The Mexican wrestling masks. The unitards.

My second thought was this is SO not Hoosiers.

But my son’s football coach encouraged him.

After I thought about it and rewatched Vision Quest, I’m totally supportive of my son’s choices.

Even if the unitards are dorky.

How Many Friends Do You Need?


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Friends, Women | Posted on 30-08-2012

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I often wonder if I have enough friends. Enough of a support network. Enough pals to pal around with. Enough people to share stories with. Enough friends to connect with.

Yeah, I’ve got friends. Friends I knew since I was in school. Soccer friends. Family friends. Parents of my kids’ friends. Family. Facebook friends. Twitter friends. Neighbor friends.

But there are few friends that I can really talk to. About real stuff. When you need someone to listen. To be supportive. To share.

The other day, one of my friends and I hung out while our kids played, giving us lots of time to talk. Really talk. About raising our kids. About our spouses. About weight. About juggling and balance. About problems and challenges. About life.

It made me think, how many friends do you need?

Sometimes you just need one.

Here is one of my all-time favorite songs (I know this is not the original, but it’s the one I know):

You’re the BEST! Um, I mean, Great Effort, Honey!


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Childrearing, Children, Mothering, Mothers and Daughters, Parenting | Posted on 24-08-2012

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I read an article called 10 Things You Should Never Tell Your Kids. After clicking through the 10 things (while holding my breath), I was relieved to learn that I am off the hook on this one. This time. Whew. Except for one.

The article says that you should never tell your kids “you’re the best at [blank].” For example:

  • “You’re so smart!”
  • “You’re the best at soccer!”
  • “You’re an excellent swimmer!”

If you say those things, you’ve thus labeled your child. And your child may only feel worse for not living up to the label you’ve given her. The article cautions to “focus instead on her hard work.”

And so, at a recent swim race (which was to win a pizza), I tried to put this advice into practice.

  • “What strokes!”
  • “Great effort!”

I was trying to focus on the hard work my daughter has done after a whole summer of swim lessons. And after woohooing and cheering my butt off–I couldn’t help it–she won.

Afterward, I told her that she’s the best pizza winner in the world!

Oops. According to this article, I’m wrong again.



“Let Go,” And Let Them Go!


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Attitude, Childrearing, Children, Daughters, Encouragement, Family, Imagination, Mothering, Mothers and Daughters, Parenting | Posted on 19-04-2012

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Sometimes as a parent, you need to “let go,” and let your kids go!

We were at a carnival and my sweet-and-pensive nine-year-old daughter wanted to ride only two things. The carousel? No. The jumping house? No.

The mechanical bull. And the Zipline.


This is when you transform yourself into supportive cheerleader.

  • You support their dreams.
  • You cheer them on with zest.

Even if, on the inside, you are worried and cringing. Watch my daughter as she adventures down the Zipline. Go!