If you met me in person, you might mistake me for an extrovert. I usually know what to say in a conversation, and I have an open smile. Strangers strike conversations with me in stores to tell me jokes in exchange for an easy laugh. I would go back to reassure myself in 4th grade, if I could. “Have heart. Eventually, making friends will be easy.” I wasn’t a sad kid, maybe a little lonely, but not sad. My sisters were older and had boys and better things to worry about. My parents were wonderful, but busy or tired. I watched a lot of Nick at Nite, and fell in love with Lucy and Ethel, and Samantha, and Jeanie. The Green Acres and Gilligan’s Island theme songs still pop into my head on occasion.

I was a chubby kid. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from being a chubby kid. Compassion. Humor. Algebra. We all have our struggles, mine could have certainly been much worse. I thinned up for High School, and found focus on boys like the rest of American teenage girls.

I suppose we are all recovering from adolescence in different ways, and it shapes who we become as parents. I hope I am never too busy for my daughter. I’ll tell her to “have heart” when she is lost. And, if she wants to, we can fall in love with Lucy together.