You Stomp on Their Joy and Dreams.

Yesterday, from out of the blue, someone stabbed me with the statement that I consistently crush my sons’ inspirations. “You stomp on their joy and dreams,” she told me.

This came from someone I’ve known for 30 years – but who has never even met my children. She’s never seen me with them.  She’s never even read my blog!  (Which is good, for today anyway.) She also has no husband, or children, of her own, so she has no idea how painful mother-cutting comments can be.

As a matter of fact, I lost touch with her for more than a decade, during which time I got married, had my babies and became a wonderfully supportive, kind, caring, loving mom.

It’s who I am.  It’s what I do.  It’s everything to me.

Yet, thanks to my own insecurities, I spent the entire day doubting myself. Maybe, I thought, she knows something I don’t.

She said (and again I quote), “I think you are unhappy and unsatisfied with your life at a deep level and project your misery onto others.”

This is a sickness, I realize. How could I doubt my very core? This woman lives 400 miles away and has only seen me for two hours in 20 years. She may have known me when I was 20, but she has absolutely no idea who I am now if she can claim that I am a dream-crusher carelessly tossing misery onto my kids.

Am I unhappy? NO. Emphatically, NO – I am actually incredibly happy. I adore my life. I’m quite possibly the luckiest person in the world! And I think my kids see that I feel this way, day in and day out. We have a gorgeous life. We talk about God. We live with God. I don’t want to get all preachy, but it’s impossible to live with God in gratitude and be miserable at the same time.

Unsatisfied?  Another emphatic NO.  How could I be even remotely unsatisfied? I have an exciting, fulfilling life. I am a writer, a teacher, a softball player and a dog fanatic. I have a husband who treats me like a queen, who is funny and brilliant and knows how to fix broken things. I have two challenging and incredible boys who teach me something new every day. I treasure the moments we spend together, and I add as much joy to their lives as I can. I listen to them intently to find out what they love, then I nurture their passions to the extreme.

For example, Shane wants to be a magician. As a career. He spends his days flipping cards around in fancy ways and practicing sleight-of-hand tricks he’s learned from one of his gazillion magic books. He’s been doing this for two years. He is going to be a great magician. Why would I squash that? It’s not a lucrative career move, but if that’s what he wants to do, he should do it.

And Dylan wanted to go to MIT and be a world-class engineer. I know that MIT is notoriously the hardest college in the world to get into – but did I squash that dream? NO. I told him to work really hard and get good grades and he could go to MIT.

Then, a few weeks ago, when he decided to give up MIT and become a disc jockey instead – I supported that, too. He’s already got a gig lined up in April with a friend of mine, who happens to be a DJ.

So, do I project my misery onto others? NO.

Except today, because I am miserable, thinking that this woman I loved for so long has no idea who I am. So I am projecting my misery onto all the folks who are reading this and thinking, gee, where’s all the funny stuff about brilliant and bouncy kids?

Well, it will be back in a day or two, I’m sure. Just as soon as I remove the boulder from my gut and crawl out of the sudden and dramatic hole I’ve been pushed into.

Which will happen at my insistence as soon as the kids get home from school. They, thankfully, don’t even know this happened. I wouldn’t want to project any misery onto them, not even for a second.


  1. Greg Williams says:

    Kirsten, i have not known you long. But just from our time on song pop together, i know this friend of yours to be wrong. You are a loving and caring individual, you tell me about your life and your kids, youchange your pic and put your boys up. Only a loving mother would do that. I am and have been proud to call you my friend. Never accept the negativity of a supposed friend, accept the positivity and encouragement of the friends you have.

  2. Paula says:

    You are a great, joyful mom who nurtures their dreams!

  3. Cherie Marano says:

    Ok Kir –
    You and I have had our private comments and although I have wanted to comment publicly on your blog for oh only about every post, I have not because I usually offend one or more of your family members, who I DO NOT WISH to offend… I AM SO PISSED OFF I HAVE TO RESPOND….. OKAY Kirsten’s Blog followers – I LOVE this woman. SHE has HAD MY FRIGGIN BACK since we were teenagers. She has had it rough. She HAS NOT made the best decisions in life but who has???? It KILLED ME when she was at her worst decision making point in her life that I had to let her go from mine…. but I never forgot her…. she has done a complete 180 in her life and IS HER OWN WORST CRITIC!!! To the point I have told her LIGHTEN UP!!!!
    Your kids will make their own bad decisions DESPITE you!!! And to friggin HEAR that someone is judging HER? Ok – Sorry Kir… To WHOM THE FUCK EVER WITH NO KIDS I SURMISE NO RELIONSHIP SHUT YOUR FRIGGIN MOUTH!!! If you do not live with a child with ADD SHUDDP! My friend Kirsten is a wonferful Mom an absolute advocate for her sons and a total hero to me. I admire what she has overcome and love what she has morphed in to! Love you Kir~


    • You rock. Thank you for your support and encouragement (ALWAYS) and for telling the world that I used to be awful but got all better – LOL! Your experience as a mom has given me much hope and inspiration – and I can’t thank you enough for that. My kids do read this blog, though, so you might want to edit out that one word. As if they aren’t hearing it in school. 🙂

  4. Sharon says:

    After I picked my jaw up off the floor that ANYONE could even fathom that those things were true about you, of all people, I read your blog. (Yes, I read regularly.)

    I’ve never known a happier, more loving, and more dedicated mother than you, my dear ‘Cuz. You’re also one of the most grounded people I’ve ever known. I’ve told you before you’re one of my heroes…and you always will be.

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my years, it’s that when certain (not all, thankfully) people are miserable with their own lives, they do what they can to stomp on yours. Your happiness, your strength, and your successes remind them of their weaknesses, and of those things they are missing in their own lives. Sad, but true.

    I know you’re hurt and disappointed that someone you considered a friend is not a friend after all. But, I also know you’ll be crawling out of that “sudden and dramatic hole” quickly, and with the beautiful smile and the boundless love of an amazing mother that you’ve always possessed.

    Love you! <3 <3 <3

  5. Karen says:

    There comes a point when an old friend isn’t one anymore. They become an acquaintance. A real friend would never say such a hurtful thing to a parent who obviously makes her children her world and would easily do anything for them. I have only read your blog for a short time, but the way you write about life with your boys strikes home with me, and many, many more mothers out there. You are a terrific mother and don’t let anyone tell you differently! Keep up the good work mama!

  6. THANK YOU. Thanks for reading, and for believing the best in me even after all these years. I do try hard! You’ve got a great point here – letting go is the only thing I can do, and it sure will bring me some peace. You keep taking care of you – and doing your own great job as a mom (and mom’s mom!) Thx again

  7. Fran says:

    Kirsten, Wow is my initial reaction. I know it’s easier said than done but comments like your friend made should only be held onto long enough to keep us in check with ourselves. Once that is accomplished we must let it go. I havent seen you in 32 years but never would I have thought you are miserable. You are an active, kind, loving concerned mother. I read your blog frequently and see the pictures you post on facebook. I may not be there interacting with you and your family but anyone with 1 good eye can see perhaps the friend you spoke of might have been projecting their own misery on you. Keep doing what you are doing. The only opinions that truly matter are your’s and your families. From my vantage point you are doing great!

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