My underwear drawer – A few years ago I told all of the children that if there was ever anything they wanted to tell me but couldn’t say aloud, were embarrassed or afraid, they should write a note and put it in my underwear drawer. Underwear drawer notes are exempt from punishment but long discussions were always possible. For the first year I rarely got a note and even then it was a sweet drawing or love note (usually from Sarah). She was testing the communication road and I was so naive that I fell right into believing this drawer was going to be all fun and nice. Then came a few notes confessing minor misbehaviors. This was fine and I got all excited about the brilliance of the underwear drawer plan. Two months ago my underwear drawer suddenly developed a homemade mailbox that had to be created by Sarah. This would have been a warning sign to a better mother. For the past month I have been getting weekly and sometimes daily notes asking about having a boyfriend and dating. Maybe Sarah is just doing her part to induce labor, but I am growing weary of trying to write positive and supportive notes back to my NOT YET 12 YEAR OLD about why she is too young to go on a date. I am starting to see the appeal in girl-only schools.

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