I fully own that I am proud of the way I parented when R and O were young. We had a vibrant and engaging life that stretched us intellectually and socially and kept us really bonded together. I’m glad of that. It made the abject poverty bearable.

Once they were both in school it’s a different story. And then when E came along it was impossible for me to recreate any of the magic of before. Was it Texas? Was it me? Was it my age? My stress? My mental health? My inability to straddle the needs to school aged kids and a baby who didn’t stop crying for a year? The lack of like-minded friends in the same situation?

Small picture I’m proud of the California years and the way I parented. Big picture I wish I had had part time professional employment as an option, both for a career path and also for me feeling like a person.

I forgive myself the decisions I made when I was younger because I understand the worldview with which I had been indoctrinated leading up to those choices. Even though some of those choices ultimately have let me down, there were moments when they were also good.

The first step in my midlife crisis is grappling with the early years and making sense of them. Until I work through that I won’t be able to reinvent my future.

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