My daughter is 8 years old today. I find that hard to believe. I remember when she was born how the first week I would wake up in a panic in the middle of the night and wonder who I was going to get to raise her because surely I was not capable of doing it myself and not completely messing her up. I also remember how in my new mom's group people talked about worrying about getting enough sleep, or worrying their baby would be autistic or developmentally disabled somehow and I was worried about not being a good enough parent in those "crucial first three years" and causing my child to have an attachment disorder and grow up to be a sociopath. But as Jon Ronson says in The Psychopath Test (and I'm quoting loosely because I can't remember exactly how he said it) "If you are really worried after getting this far in the book, that you might be a psychopath, then rest assured that you are not one."
(By the way - my newest celebrity crush has gone from Alexi Murdoch to Jon Ronson. Add in James McAvoy and I have my perfect boy-harem. Hmmm ... I notice they're all British but also that they're all similar to my husband in one way or another.)
Anyway, I am happy to say that eight years into this experiment of being a parent my daughter appears to not be a sociopath. And better than that she appears to be happy, well-adjusted and very smart and to top it off a tomboy who loves animals.
In eight days it will mark one year since we moved to our new house/new neighborhood. I think it has gone better than I'd hoped for. I feel like I have more real friends up here than our old neighborhood in the city. Or at least more friends that actually show some interest in connecting and I definitely feel less lonely than I did living in the city. There are some issues like a nasty guy who lives at the end of our block whose wife and kids are in hiding with restraining orders against him. All us parents keep our eyes out if he's outside when our kids are playing outside. But hopefully since he's a renter he will move eventually. And no one neighborhood is going to be perfect. Probably not any more nerve-wracking than having nine registered Level III sex offenders living within one mile of our house in the city.
I'm looking outside wondering if this snow - we have over a foot - is going to melt enough for me to safely drive anywhere today. The weather forecast says it's going to warm up within the hour and start melting but I am dubious. I think since I have all-wheel-drive and it's not supposed to be sheets of ice out there anymore I will try to head to the stable mid-day. I have not seen my horses since Monday.