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Multiple Layers of Reality

We wake up every day with a laundry list of things to do—some so ingrained we forget they’re even “things to do,” like brushing our teeth, others literally checked off a scribbled list of reminders, like “pick up fish for dinner.”

As parents, our lists are too long to get through on any given day, something we stress about far too much. To be honest, I don’t even want to list our many mutual tasks here because I don’t want to think about them now (#denial, #guilt, #WhatWorkLifeBalance?). I read this resolution earlier today from Ellen Seidman over at Love That Max: “Need to spend less time doing Sisyphean house stuff like organizing a bazillion loose toy and game pieces. As [my daughter] Sabrina would say, what-ever. When I am 92 years old, will I give a crap that I managed to keep every single Lego piece together? Exactly.” EXACTLY. I had a few possible topics scheduled to write about on this blog today, all fun. Downton Abbey premieres on January 7, and I watched a screener of the first episode the other night—and my mind has been racing with the ways family life is depicted in this utterly addictive, bodacious yet nuanced historic soap opera from Masterpiece Theater. I’ve also been holding off writing about one of the most amazing kids’ books I’ve discovered in a long time, Make Magic! Do Good! by the magnificent Dallas Clayton. Alas, these posts will come, just not today. Today is the anniversary of my mother’s passing. And while I am not one to dwell on such facts (I keenly feel her absence at all times, so why give one day more power over my feelings?) other circumstances in my life are making me sentimental; making me pause and reflect and not want to dive heartily into that fun blog stuff. So today I am just (though not “just,” as this is important!) sending out a message to you all—and reminding myself—to cherish your moments. Be present. Find the joy in your children—it’s always there if we simply remember to look. Focus on the support of your extended family—whether your extended family consists of chosen friends not related to you at all, or those with deep-red blood ties. We exist amidst many layers of reality—so the chores and the to-do lists aren't going away, and we must work to pay the bills and keep the engines of our community going. Let's not, though, get so caught up in those layers that we forget about the deeper ones. Sending you and yours the gift of living in the present moment this new year! Peace.

Dawn M. Roode


Dawn M. Roode was formerly editorial director of NYMetroParents, where she launched the award-winning semi-annual magazine Special Parent. She was managing editor at Parenting, BabyTalk, Child, Harper's Bazaar, and Latina magazines. She is a strategic content specialist and currently writes and edits parenting, health, travel, and special needs features for various media outlets. Roode is mom to one son and recently relocated from Brooklyn to the suburbs of New York City. Follow her on Twitter @DawnRoode.

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