Why My Children Have No Right to Privacy

My friend Kim at Let Me Start By Saying wrote an essay that was featured on the Huffington Post. It was about reading her five-year-old daughter's diary. Kim knew her daughter had been writing in her diary and Kim wondered what was going on in her daughter's head. She took the key and opened the book. She was apprehensive. She was worried she might find out that her daughter was sad or angry or hiding something. Instead, she found that her daughter was happy and loved her life. Kim wrote a sweet and endearing post about this experience and her relief to find her daughter happy and healthy.

Stan the Mann Got His DNA Results Back!

If you've been keeping up, then you know a year ago I changed my mind about dogs and we adopted Stan the Mann Doggo. When he got him we were told he was a "Retriever Mix." We were handed a wriggly little puppy with lots of loose skin, giant paws, and huge brown eyes. As he's grown over the last year and a half, he hasn't lost the loose skin or the giant paws or the huge brown eyes, but he also has never resembled a Retriever of any kind. In fact, we weren't sure what kind of dog he was.

From certain angles, he definitely looked like he had some Beagle in him or some Boxer, but we just didn't know.

So, over Christmas, the Hubs bought a dog DNA test from Wisdom Panel as a surprise for our family. We'd finally find out Stan's genetic makeup.

He sat down and let me swab his mouth and then we sent off the sample. In the meantime, we all wrote down what we thought the results would be.

My list was:

1. Retriever.

2. Beagle.

3. Boxer.

4. Chihuahua (just to be an ass).

Over the weekend, Stan's results landed in our inbox, and shocked is an understatement. 

We knew Stan was a mixed breed, but we didn't expect him to have 15 different breeds. But the most shocking part was that NOT ONE BIT of him is Beagle or Boxer.

He's a little bit of a lot of breeds, but he's 28% of one particular breed that came as a huge surprise. It was such a surprise that I asked my readers if they could guess. I ran a contest and anyone who guessed correctly would be entered to win a signed copy of one of my books (thanks for entering - the winner has been notified). 

I saw a lot of Boxer and Beagle guesses (we weren't the only ones who could see that, I guess). Several Labs and Pit Bull guesses. A TON of Bernese Mountain dog and St. Bernard. And one lady who guessed Chow Chow because every rescue she knows in Kansas City has a little Chow Chow in it. Her theory is there's a Chow Chow on the loose around town living his best life. I kind of agree with her theory since Stan is 6% Chow Chow.

But so many of these guesses were wrong. And I'm not surprised, because Stan the Mann is 28% Akita!

I don't see it. It's hidden in there.

For those of you who guessed Pit Bull, you were close. That's second on the list at 14%. He's also 1% St. Bernard which apparently really shows through when he's wearing his tie. And that wrinkly skin of his? I'm assuming it's from his 2% Chinese Shar-Pei.

Here's the whole shebang:

I guess the dog shelter wasn't wrong when they called him a "Retriever Mix." He's a whole lotta dog, but as many people said in the comments, he's 100% a good boy.

Stan also wanted me to remind you that MIDLIFE BITES: ANYONE ELSE FALLING APART, OR IS IT JUST ME? is now available everywhere books are sold.

Anyone Else Falling Apart Or Is It Just Me?

So I'm pretty sure I'm going through a midlife crisis. I feel like I'm falling apart. I feel like the more I try to keep from falling apart, the faster I fall apart. I feel like I'm drowning and I can't breathe. And, on top of all that, I also feel numb. I'm not positive that's a midlife crisis, because when I Google midlife crisis or signs of a midlife crisis, so much of the information points to how men feel or how men can cope. There's not a lot of information out there for women.

I thought, Maybe it doesn't happen to us? No, I think it's more like we don't talk about this stuff. 

I was reminded of a story about my overwhelmed great-grandmother asking her doctor for some help and he told her, "Nice women don't discuss such things."

Nice women don't discuss such things.

I guess it's a good thing I'm not a nice woman? Because I'm ready to discuss this uncomfortable topic.

I'm miserable. I've been feeling this way for about a year now and I was afraid to say anything even to my closest friends and family. It's a really shitty thing to say out loud, because I know it hurts the people close to me, plus it just sounds like typical suburban angst. If I was a refugee somewhere, I wouldn't get the luxury to say, "I'm just not happy." I'm not running for my life, I'm not watching people around me get murdered, I don't have any real strife in my life, so what the fuck? Buck up! Right?  

I don't know, though. Don't I deserve to be happy? Don't I owe it to myself? Isn't that what I'm always preaching? Or am I supposed to keep this all to myself and just muddle through and not make waves?

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