Tomorrow, I’ll do better.
July 09, 2011

I’ve been having a lot of trouble getting my food column off the ground.  I want to talk about food industry and culture, I want to post recipes, and I want to share the successes and failures that my family encounters in the kitchen as well as on the homestead.  But every time I sit down to write about how I feel, how I really feel, about food, I stop.

And I delete the post.

If I’m to be completely honest here, I really don’t like upsetting people.  Food culture and industry are attached so such strong emotions for so many people – and although I feel very passionately that we need to stand together and make positive changes to our food supply, I’m not certain that most people do.  Writing about difficult parenting topics is completely different in that most parents strive to provide a good life for their children and are therefore willing to entertain different perspectives.  Sometimes I think that when it comes to food, most people don’t care about health and flavor and environmental impact.  They care about ease and convenience and having different priorities makes you a privileged snot.

A few months ago when I took Charlotte to the park, we hit it off immediately with another mother and toddler who were already there.  We scheduled a second play-date and then a third and then a fourth and everything seemed to be going splendidly until…I invited her to my house.  She took one look around my kitchen and then: “You’re one of those awful holier-than-thou health nuts,” she said accusingly, “aren’t you?”

I laughed and said that I was a health nut, but I try not to be a sanctimonious cow about it.  Then she said people like me drive her crazy, what with our sucking the fun out of life.  I thought that was unfair, so I said that the degradation of public health isn’t fun for anyone.  And although the conversation limped on for awhile, the friendship sort of died right there.

When I think about writing about food, I think about that experience.  I wonder if the problem is simply that I don’t know how to convey how I feel about food industry, culture, and choices without sounding like a pompous ass hell-bent on sucking the fun out of life.

Last week I received an e-mail from someone who said that sometimes they read my blog and feel overwhelmed because they feel like they are not strong enough in their own values.  I’ve been thinking about that a lot because it really caught me by surprise.  I don’t mean to be overwhelming.

Maybe that’s why I’m writing this.  To show that even superheroes sometimes struggle.  To show that I’m a human being who sometimes doesn’t live up to my own values.  To show that sometimes I’m not the hummingbird I want my daughter to be, and it disappoints me so.

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  1. By Leslie Crane on July 09, 2011

    Sarah. PLEASE write about food. Please. Your post about GMO’s a few weeks ago lit a fire under my ass and I was just talking to a friend of mine in Philadelphia not an hour ago and we were talking about the state of food in the US. She is disgusted, I am disgusted. When I visited home a couple of months ago some friends and I discussed the book The DIrty Life by Kristin Kimball and went on to talking about food industry, Monsanto, DuPont etc. I think MANY, MANY people do feel the way you/we do and would appreciate a forum to discuss ways to make a difference first of all (let’s be pro-active here) and also just a general base for information. I tend to get my information these days from non-traditional sources (blogs, comedians to name a couple) and I know I’m not alone there. I think this is a great forum for a discussion, and I think you’ll find that most of your readers will agree at least to an extent.

  2. By Camille on July 09, 2011

    I think you have to keep following your heart. Your priorities are YOURS, and you shouldn’t have to apologize for them. You should never be afraid to voice your opinions on your own blog. If someone can’t accept you and be your friend anyway, that is their problem. If they are offended by your beliefs or way of life, that’s also their issue. You don’t try to force anything on anyone. You’re just trying to live in the way you think is best for you and your family and isn’t that what we are all doing? I’m tired of the health nut judgements, and judgement altogether. Why can’t people just stop the mommy wars. =/ Honestly, I have been absolutely CHEWED OUT for giving my daughter coconut milk instead of cow milk before, it’s ridiculous!

  3. By on July 09, 2011

    Sarah - You are not pompous or sanctimonious. Keep doing what you do. None of this should be argument inducing topics…you are right on so many points…bottom line. Not many people are strong enough to stick to their guns the way you strive to every day. You are an inspiration and are doing what is absolutely best for your family and the world at large. Keep on!! I have said it before…how I wish that there were families like yours around here for us to meet. I am the holier-than-thou pompous ass in my circle…and I don’t give a damn!

  4. By erin on July 09, 2011

    a) Please keep writing [about food], because I learn so much from you.

    b) It makes me very sad that the friendship couldn’t have continued despite your differences.  I have always admired and respected that though you and I eat differently, I don’t think you’ve ever been a sanctimonious cow about it… it’s just the way you live your life and the way I live mine.  Although I would love to be better and am trying to make small changes where I can, it’s a lot to take in and I’m sure you’d be the first to agree that it’s virtually impossible to overhaul your entire culinary life overnight.  So what if you bring snacks in glass containers and Charlotte eats off a wooden spoon and has never had a fishy cracker in her life?  Just because Hannah adores fishy crackers doesn’t mean we can’t be friends.

    At any rate, it just means I got to pump Charlotte’s body full of her first preservatives from those seven fishy crackers that she ate.  MUHAHAHA.

  5. By on July 09, 2011

    I would love to hear what you have to say about food. I’ve recently learned a lot about the food industry. There was so much I had no idea about! Since then, I’ve become a vegetarian and I avoid telling people because they look at me like I’m crazy. Just because I’ve made a personal choice to avoid meat doesn’t mean I’m going to preach about it.

    I’m not a health freak (yet) but I do try to avoid all the chemicals and eat as organically as possible. When I can’t understand the names of what is in my food I think there’s a problem there.

  6. By Stephanie Caruso on July 09, 2011

    You are never going to please everyone so write what you want to write. As far as the email you received, maybe that reader needs your blog to keep them in check and to realize that it is possible to live such a healthy life. Personally, I get so inspired when I read about people that are able to maintain such a healthy lifestyle. I love it! Especially when I get into a slump, like during my pregnancy, and tend to eat a bit off track. Its your blog so write about who you are and what you think. There is always going to be someone ready to criticize but then there will be the people that it will impact in a positive way,and thats what matters!. Love your blog :)

  7. By Sarah S on July 09, 2011

    Food has become one of those issues like vaccines, or natural birth, or breastfeeding. I don’t know why but it always seems people are up in arms when someone expresses a different view point. And just like all those other issues, if everyone just did what worked for them and their family and let others do the same I think we would be happier. I love hearing other’s opinions and viewpoints when thoughtfully and plainly expressed (i.e, without an agenda), I think that’s the only way we can all learn and grow from each other. I say write about it! If people are offended, well that happens but you are very measured and non-judgmental writer so I don’t think you have to worry about how you are writing something, just write it.

  8. By on July 09, 2011

    I know it is probably expecting too much of people but they don’t have to read the food section of the blog if it will upset them. As someone who grew up on fast food and everything processed it was difficult for me to transition into thinking differently about food. Food Inc. and a couple other documentaries were the impetus that made me think a little differently. I did some further research and tried making an effort to make changes so my children were not raised the same way. However, it is hard to make changes. Whole Foods is expensive, organic is expensive. I live in Hawaii where everything is already too expensive. I think it would be inspiring to read about changes that anyone can make even if they don’t have a farm (bc most of us dont) and cant buy everything organic (bc many people cant afford to). I know I read this blog because it inspires me to be a better parent which sounds cliche but is true. I like that you have such strong values. I LOVED the hummingbird story and almost emailed asking for similar stories bc I would love to tell my children similar stories but lack imagination I guess. I always think that I need to get outside with my kids more, expose them to more, watch less TV, etc by reading your blog. So thanks and remember you will be doing good by posting things that are good for people’s health, the environment, etc. and if an email is just putting you down from start to finish dont read it. You cant change everyone but that doesnt mean what you write isnt helping change the world a little.

  9. By on July 09, 2011

    I am nothing like you. I couldn’t keep a plant alive if my own life depended on it. But I think it’s AWESOME (and really cool) that you are able to grow so many things in your own backyard. I would have loved to grow up in that kind of environment. And I think many of us (most of us?) strive to eat better and more natural but come short because of constraints (I don’t have time to manage a vegetable garden).

    It’s unfortunate that a good friendship had to end over something as trivial as a lifestyle that has no impact at all on them. It’s their loss.

    To be perfectly honest, I would love to have someone like you as a friend…. especially with our differences. :)

  10. By Wendy Irene on July 09, 2011

    Sarah I would love to read your posts about food.  I say be yourself and that is the most important.  Don’t worry about what others think.  I do completely understand what you mean.  Sometimes I think I lose readers when I talk of eating a Vegan diet, or potential friends when I go on about how much I loved the Canadian Health care system after living there for 8 years.  What I have decided is I like being me the best, without fear of what others will think.  Being yourself leads to the best relationships down the road.  You want friends who love you for the real you.

  11. By Dandy on July 09, 2011

    I’d love to read your food posts.  I am positive that we will differ greatly in many areas.  I think we’ll agree in some areas as well.

    I’m really wishy washy when it comes to food, as I love it, all of it and tend to not bash any of it.

    But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to hear your thoughts and that I won’t nod admiringly that you have such strong convictions.

    Thats what makes you, you. 

    I wonder if you’ll talk badly about people like me when it comes to thoughts on food, but how would I know?

    I’m also positive that if we met in real life then we would like each other.  It’s not about people judging you, it’s about them being insecure in their own thoughts and actions.

    You know, differing views are good and you often inspire me to do better.  :)

  12. By Kimommy on July 09, 2011

    A few things . . .

    Don’t let your experience with one person, who it seems must feel rather disgusted with her own relationship with food, discourage you from writing about what is important. Sure, you might irritate a reader here or there, but that will, I ‘m sure, inspire important dialogue.

    Although I haven’t eaten red meat or poultry for almost 20 years, I struggle to not give in to convenience when feeding myself and my family. I would love to learn more and am encouraged by people like you and my other holier-(and healthier) than-me friends.

    And as far as being an overwhelming superhero . . .
    I’ve been reading a number of blogs lately and find myself comparing my messy life to those portrayed on these great blogs. I try to remind myself that I select what I post on my blog- even though what I write is real, it’s a collection of snapshots. At this point, I don’t think anyone is feeling overwhelmed by my anything, certainly not my blog, but I hope that it evolves into a reflection of the parts of me and my life that I think might do some good or at least amuse. Oh, I don’t know if what I’m saying makes much sense.

    In conclusion, you are a superhero. Use your powers for good and don’t be afraid to stir things up a bit.

  13. By on July 10, 2011

    I can totally relate to this post right now. I’m sure no one would look at my kitchen and think I’m ‘one of those people’, but we are constantly taking steps towards a healthier more natural pantry. We still eat our share of processed foods, we still have a pack of oreos in the cupboard almost constantly… but for the most part we make choices about food that others have never considered and continue to make more choices.

    Just yesterday I was asked by a very close friend why I don’t feed my son meat - and I frozen. I’ know that her and I have had conversations about meat. She is part of a circle of friends I share who have similar views on the meat industry that I have, but she was asking me for the facts - the reasons why I refuse to give me some meat. Her husband was there… the kids were there… we had just finished grilling some hamburgers and hot dogs and their kids were munching away on hot dogs while mine was eating a veggie burger. The best response i could come up with in that moment was some mumbojumbo about it being hard to explain and me personally not agreeing with the meat industry and I tried to change the topic. To a stranger I could list a hundred reasons why I don’t agree with our current food culture - but when I’m sitting fact to face with another mother (a mother who i’m close with - who I dont’ want to offend - who I don’t want to seem like I think I’m better then) I froze.

  14. By Jessika on July 10, 2011

    I don’t understand how people can have a blog so jam-packed with religion that it ooozes Bible quotes every time you scroll down a page, but THOSE opinions are ok. But, the moment someone brings up topics of another nature (and, the cause of fewer wars…), there are huge issues with it. Perhaps it’s because they know, deep down, that the wool is being pulled over their eyes? Does it make them feel like a lesser parent by not being worried?

    I’ve been thinking about your plight, and I think there are three options. 1: Plow away and speak as you like. You know the ups and downs to this. 2: Stop talking. It doesn’t seem like an option, but I suppose it is out there. 3: Ease into it? Maybe bring in some guest, expert posters to take the immediate heat off of you? I like 3, but I’m also a stubborn git and 1 is awfully appealing too.

  15. By elizabeth Mackey on July 10, 2011

    Someone has to shake the tree! I think you should do it and don’t hold back.
    I’m always shocked how people eat, and what they think about food in this country! Fast, cheap, and not celebrated.
    I’m really tired of seeing people give kids “kid” food too. As a young mom back in the 80’s, it was jar food, for babies etc. It wasn’t until I came across this funky, hippy old pediatrician, that I changed everything! He asked me what I was feeding my daughter,and after I told him it was jar baby food. He said stop, and give her what YOU eat. My husband and I have always been healthy eaters, so that was not a problem. I learned that in giving both my daughters our food right off the bat, they developed their taste for “REAL” food. Not processed crap. I have younger friends with small children, and I keep seeing this with the “KID” food. Makes me mad and sad.
    I say, don’t sugar coat it, and do it in true Sarah fashion!! Some people need to be beaten over the head. Too bad if some get mad. The reason they are mad, is because they know that you are right, and that is the reaction.

    Go For It!!!!

  16. By Sarah Christensen on July 10, 2011

    Jessika - I hadn’t though of it that way before, but that’s true.  I don’t mind when other people fill their websites with religious or spiritual references and opinions, even if I don’t agree.  It makes sense that the same standard should apply to all beliefs.

    Elizabeth - ME TOO!!  So much kid food is so high in sugar and if they don’t use preservatives, they use foods high in acid or salt and…it’s so much easier to eat healthy and expose kids to a more reasonable pallet.  Cheaper, too, I’d think.  A couple weeks ago, it occurred to me that we’ve always bought Charlotte small-size yogurts.  I picked them because they were easy for her to eat the quantities and they’re organic.  I never thought beyond that.  Then one day I was pulling one out and I looked at the label to see how much sugar was in it (9 grams).  I took out the kitchen scale and scooped out sugar onto it until it weighed 9 grams.  I was appalled!  I understand the desire to sweeten yogurt - plain yogurt isn’t everyone’s cup of tea - but nine grams of sugar seems like an enormous quantity for such a small container when you’re looking at it on the kitchen scale.  For a plain yogurt cup twice the size, I put in half that much sugar for myself.  Then at the market last week I spent tons of time checking out sugar quantities on items marketed to kids, on breads and cereals and crackers, and on items marketed in small packages that people naturally tend to pick up for their kids like we did with the yogurts.  Sugar, sugar, sugar seemed to be the conclusion.

    So now we’re back to all plain yogurt all the time.  The extra two seconds it takes to package small quantities of yogurt on my own when we come home from the grocer are worth it.

    Erin - Don’t sell yourself short.  I had to google CSA the first time you mentioned it to me =)

    Camille - If it makes you feel any better, I was chewed out by our first pediatrician for not feeding Charlotte cow’s milk.  She said that all other forms of milk were nutritionally deficient, including mine.  But if I were uncomfortable with cow’s milk, she said I could try soy milk.  Oh, it was hard to be civil after that.

    Andriani - The excuse is always the same.  When I tell someone they could just NOT READ my blog, they tell me that I open myself up to criticism by writing it.  Which is fair, I suppose I do, but I’m not sure that talking about one’s life online is any different from doing so in a room full of people.  If you’re face to face with someone, you typically don’t say half the stuff to them that people say to me online.  As for the hummingbird story…sadly, it’s not mine.  I heard it in an interview with Wangari Maathai, who is one of my all-time heroes.  I am constantly on the hunt for similar stories, but it is very difficult to find them!

    Alicia - I totally understand!  We have trouble at birthday parties.  We have about a dozen birthday parties for young kids in our life every year and that adds up to alot of processed foods.  So I bring our own alternatives.  People always think we’re crazy, ALWAYS.  And when the strangers at the party ask us why, I have no problem laying it out there, but when friends or family do the same thing, it makes me very nervous.  I don’t mind strangers dismissing me, but if it’s someone I might have to see again I’m not so keen on it.

  17. By Megan Stilley on July 10, 2011

    I could have written this myself.  I am big into food and eating right for myself and for my family but I feel most people I know don’t care.  And when I just mention something casually not meaning to upset anyone they take it offensively.  I am trying to do what is best for my body and the earth, but most people just care about convenience and cost.  I am currently in grad school and will end up writing my thesis about the food industry and how it needs to change.  So you aren’t alone, more people need to just realize what they are actually eating when they eat a bag of Doritos.

  18. By on July 10, 2011

    I think you should go for it with your food thoughts!!! I’m lucky in that most of my friends here in London think like me and our children have for example, no idea that sweets even exist yet!!!

    So what if we make our own healthy spelt biscuits??

    I do have a couple of friends who buy convenience foods targeted at children who were totally shocked when I pointed out sOme of the sugar contents (my own bug bear is with drinks which seem to be packed with sugar!!)

    I do wonder what on earth that woman saw in your kitchen to make he react like that!!! Her comments were very rude in my opinion!!


  19. By Crystal on July 10, 2011

    I have so much I could say about this! Please voice your opinions on food and everything in general. I love hearing them and it is a positive reinforcement for my own thoughts and beliefs. I grew up in a family that didn’t/doesn’t put much thought or care into food, and raising my child differently, I get criticized a lot. Love hearing your ideas and thoughts.

  20. By on July 10, 2011

    We need people like you out there to help educate us. There’s so much to learn. A few months ago I was telling my pediatrician what James drank during the day (milk and apple juice) and her eyes bugged out when I said apple juice. “That’s the worst juice out there!!“. What??? I had no idea!! You’d think apple juice was healthy (especially if it was with no added sugar or preservatives), but apparently the sugar content in its natural form is absolutely horrendous. So we switched to mango juice and berry juice (with no added sugar or preservatives). He doesn’t like it as much but it’s slowly growing on him.

    She also recommended we stick with plain yogurt (high fat) with mixed fresh fruit. He seems to like it so we keep making it for him. It’s a bit of extra work but you can make a batch of 3 or 4 containers at a time.

    There’s so many little things like that that go a long way….

  21. By Sarah Christensen on July 10, 2011

    Moira - My kitchen lay-out is a bit like the letter L, so it’s a bit difficult to explain but when you are in my kitchen you can see the entire contents of my pantry.  We were in the kitchen because her kid was hungry, and she could see all of the food items I had available at a glance.

    There are a few things people always notice and ask questions about when they see our pantry, but what catches most peoples’ eye is how it’s set up.  I think I may need to take a photo to explain, but it’s very…I don’t know, old-fashioned?  Everything is in glass jars.  Because we make all of our food here, we have tons of different types of grains and flours and beans and seeds and nuts and the like, and we can alot of our own foods (soup, red sauce, pesto, fruit syrup, etc), so it adds up to a lot of glass jars with a lot of different foods.

  22. By on July 11, 2011

    I am sad to hear about your budding friendship ending over a different lifestyle. I appreciate learning from others even if I don’t agree and would never want a difference like that to end a friendship. That makes me sad.

    I am passionate about food and our food system, so I would love for you to write about it. Have you thought about doing a “behind the blog” for your food section as a way to delve more deeply into the subject? There is a wealth of good stuff out there and it might be fun to introduce your readers to others.

    My crazy food story. My husband and I were not thrilled with the processed foods they served at my son’s daycare, so we were packing all his food. This was fine until he turned one. At that point, we had to provide a doctor’s note saying he needed a “special” diet in order for us to continue packing is own food. We needed a doctor’s note for our son to eat healthy!!!!!!!! How absurd is that?!!!! I was thankful for our wonderful pediatrician who basically wrote the note saying he should avoid processed foods rather than calling it a “special” diet.

  23. By on July 11, 2011

    Your kitchen sounds fantastic!!! Photos Pls pls. Pls!!!

  24. By Michelle on July 11, 2011

    Food politics are SO touchy but there are enough issues with our current food system that it is probably appropriate if you have the mettle to set aside the fear that you might offend someone and just preach what you feel.

    ... and I am myself not any kind of non-meat or dairy eater.  There is a continuum, and if ppl feel uncomfortable with their place on it that issue is with themselves.  Likely this acquaintance felt ashamed (not to say someone should feel ashamed) and her reaction was to snark your choices.

  25. By on July 11, 2011

    I eat paleo/primal and I’d like it if you wrote more about food.  Your parenting is such an inspiration.

    By the way, 9g of sugar in yogurt isn’t 9g of added sugar.  It includes the lactose content of the yogurt.  I did the math one time and I think it came out to 3g of added sugar.  Still a lot.  I buy unsweetened and don’t add anything to it.

  26. By Adrianne on July 11, 2011

    I really hope you decide to move forward with the column! I understand where you’re coming from…it is a fine line to walk between feel like a pompous ass and knowing that you can’t NOT say something about the state of food in this country. I’ve written a couple of times about it, but I struggle with the same thing and not wanting to alienate people or make them feel bad.

    But I love to read about the issue, love to comment on it, and love to learn more about it! And you seem very educated on it, so I’d love it if you decided to write more:)

  27. By on July 11, 2011

    Please! Write about food! 

    My husband and I have been working very hard over the past few years to incorporate better whole foods into our diet, and by extension, into our son’s.  It’s hard - everything in Denver can get so expensive and it’s hard to grow food here in small quantities (the wind, especially where I am, can be SO brutal.) 

    I turn to the internet frequently when trying to find out more about food, how to eat better, how to cook better, etc., because the place I live is just… well… suburbia.  I’ve been ranting for months about how I can’t even get a decent salad when I’m in a hurry and people look at me like I’m a madwoman.  Why would I want a salad when there’s 735,000 burger joints in town?  The metro area as a whole has some really great places to eat, good farmer’s markets, etc., but my town is pretty limited.

  28. By Sarah Christensen on July 11, 2011

    Erin - That’s a brilliant idea!  I had thought about visiting local farmers and writing about what we saw, learned, what they say, etc.  But that died before it ever got started, really.  I keep meaning to try it out again.

    Also, the special diet thing is CRAZY!  That, right there, is one of the best examples I can think of to show that the way we as a nation view food and health and eating needs to change.

    Moira - I’ll see if I can get some up soon =)

    Abby - Really?!  3 grams of added sugar isn’t nearly as bad as 9 grams, but I agree it’s still quite a bit.  Nobody would hand their kid 3 grams of sugar and say here, lick it up.  Thanks for the heads-up about that!  Can I pick your brain sometime about food math like that?  I only know a few paleo eaters, and each and every one of them is unfathomably knowledgeable about food…but I don’t know them very well so it’s a little difficult to ask more in-depth questions.

  29. By Jill on July 12, 2011

    You know what?  I am going to make different parenting choices than you, probably already have, and different food choices, too.  On some topics, you are much more passionate than I will ever be. 

    That being said, I love, love, love reading your blog.  If you made choices just like mine and cared about exactly the same issues as I do, I would probably lose interest in your blog pretty quickly (not as quickly as others, because I AM rather self-centered).

    I know it’s hard to put yourself out there on controversial issues, but the fact that you do is why you have such a large following.  If you chose not to blog about a particular topic because people might disagree with you, I would still consider you a brave and talented blogger; you tackle plenty of tough ones anyway.  But trust your fans - most aren’t going anywhere - and I’m sure your friends aren’t, either.

  30. By Kate on July 12, 2011

    I have a feeling I am *totally* going to be that parent.  I know that we’ll probably all receive some scruff for it, but eventually (and hopefully) the world will think differently.  There will always be naysayers though.

    Keep strong, mama!

  31. By on July 13, 2011

    people will always criticize and roll their eyes and call you weird or annoying when you don’t fit the “typical” mold.

    this blog is yours. nobody is being forced to read it…

    i love to read it. because you’re honest. you always try to be better. to do what you think is best, for your family and yourself. now people don’t agree with the way you do it ? heh…

    so much energy is spent everyday by some people
    judging and criticizing. i don’t think it makes their life any cooler..

    as for me, i would LOVE a food column.

  32. By Tara on July 13, 2011

    You know what? Tomorrow, you WILL do better. And as time goes by, you’ll realize that being you is the very best thing you can be. Some people will like you. Some people will hate you. And most people won’t give a damn about you. But most of all, when you go to sleep at night, you have to be able to be proud of who you are now, and who you are becoming. It gets so much easier, and so much better, with age, to be who you truly are.
    Overwhelming, schmoverschelming! =) That was that person expressing her own lack of happiness with who she is right now. It’s not a reflection of you - but a reflection of her. Feel compassion for her, and be YOU!

  33. By Very Bloggy Beth on July 13, 2011

    I know exactly how you feel. Living in San Francisco and having family in the Midwest, I have conversations like this on an almost daily basis. You should have heard them when I said I was making my sons baby food. Oy. I play it pretty safe on my blog too, but as a salmonella survivor, I’m pretty vocal about food quality and safety. Thing is, no matter how safe you play it, someone will always want to judge. Better to just be yourself, and say what you want to on YOUR blog. Some will call you “holier-than-thou” but some will be on your side.

  34. By Bee on October 15, 2011

    I find your writing refreshing and feel you are truly a kindred soul.  We can’t always make everyone happy and no matter how hard we try we will always offend someone.  I appreciate you sharing your inner thoughts and the lives of your family.  Your daughter is amazing and beautiful and I loved her blue shirt.  I hope some day she forgets what the awful woman at the park said.
    Best wishes,





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