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When my daughter was born, her skin was pale and pink, and she had the tiniest, most precious fingers and toes I had ever seen. When they put her on my chest, right after she popped out of me, the awe I felt was overwhelming.

Immediately, it dawned on me that we had a tremendous responsibility to this little human being. That meant my wife and I had to be perfect. Not just as parents, but as people too.

There was no room for error because if we screwed this up, we would be sending yet another mean girl to junior high to terrorize the less fortunate. Then our daughter would surely go on to become that female boss who talks about empowerment for her “sisters,” but simultaneously holds back each and every woman in her department from promotions. …

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That godforsaken bathroom stool.

I sat on the side of our bathroom tub, brushing my teeth and staring at the dingy, white, plastic kid’s stool that was half under the sink and half in the middle of the floor of our tiny New York City bathroom. I wished I could get rid of that thing.

I wished my kids were tall enough that they could get everything they needed out of the vanity without standing on top of the toilet and breaking my toilet seat cover.

Wishing my kids were older and more self-sufficient didn’t seem like too much to ask for.

That’s when I flashed back to my mother driving me to high school on cold, Upstate New York mornings in our 1969 yellow Beetle. I could see myself at 15, slouching in the front seat, as I angrily stared at her platinum hair and her face with too much make up. I was contemplating whether or not the kids would see her if she dropped me off behind the school when I said (for the millionth time), “I wish I had my driver’s license.” The “so I can drive myself to school” part was implied, and we both knew it. …


Robin Hopkins

Writer, actress and co-host of the podcast “If These Ovaries Could Talk.” Join her mailing list at and never miss new content!

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