Book Review: Are Our Kids Maturing Faster?

Book Review: Are Our Kids Maturing Faster?

The New PubertyBy Hilary Levey Friedman

Louise Greenspan and Julianna Deardorff’s The New Puberty: How to Navigate Early Development in Today’s Girls 

Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley’s It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health 

Joyce T. McFadden’s Your Daughter’s Bedroom: Insights for Raising Confident Women 

Jonathan Zimmerman’s Too Hot to Handle: A Global History of Sex Education

Few things in life fill people—adults and children alike—with as much trepidation as puberty. And while the contours of puberty are unchanged, the age at which it occurs and the implications of that have in fact shifted. So how can we prepare our children, and ourselves, to handle these bodily and life changes with grace?

Four books help show us the way, all with a different focus but in the service of helping adolescents develop a healthy relationship with their own bodies and with others. Jonathan Zimmerman’s academic study of the history of sex education gives us a sweeping big picture view of how we got here, Louise Greenspan and Julianna Deardorff’s The New Puberty not only breaks down what happens biologically but what may or may not have influenced young girls’ biology in more recent times, Joyce McFadden’s Your Daughter’s Bedroom describes the potential long-term implications of not properly addressing puberty with your daughter, and Robie Harris and Michael Emberly’s It’s Perfectly Normal provide a guide you can have your children read so you can have an open discussion together.

It’s Perfectly Normal first appeared in 1994. Since then it has appeared in 35 different languages and in 2014 its 20th anniversary edition appeared with updates on gender identity, sexting, and social media use. Both Your Daughter’s Bedroom and The New Puberty identify It’s Perfectly Normal as one of the best books to use when teaching your children about puberty (boys and girls alike). When you look at the 100-page book it is easy to see why; it tackles sometimes uncomfortable topics with directness and humor thanks to the beautiful watercolor illustrations, especially the Bird and the Bee who appear on every page. While the authors say the book is appropriate for ages 10 and up, it could also be used for children as young as 8, especially because the best time to talk about changes is before they start occurring.

According to Greenspan and Deardorff, pubertal changes are in fact happening earlier than ever before. But not across the board—and it is one of the major strengths of this book that the authors give lots of detail and measured caveats without resorting to attention-grabbing headlines. The New Puberty explains that puberty is a process much more like a long hallway than a single doorway. What hasn’t changed is that puberty in girls typically starts with breast development, then armpit and pubic hair, often acne, followed by a growth spurt, and at last menstruation. The authors explain that, “Girls today tend to experience breast budding at a much earlier age than girls in the 1970s, but they don’t necessarily get their first period that much sooner than their 1970 counterparts.”

Why does this matter? Greenspan and Deardorff explain, “For girls, puberty is unique. It not only foments a complex array of emotional issues but also heralds the development of visual cues of sexuality (e.g. breasts, wider hips) to a degree that boys just don’t experience.” For these reasons the book focuses on females, though advice offered in The New Puberty about how to build emotional closeness and develop healthy habits can be applied equally as well to boys.

Because of changes in the timing of puberty—to which Greenspan and Deardorff carefully show cannot be attributed to any one change but rather a combination of hormone mimickers in the environment, stress, fat, race and ethnicity, and still other factors (one of the best chapters in the book is Chapter 3, “Nature versus Nurture: An In-Depth Look at Puberty Prompters”)—they argue sex education should start earlier than ever. They offer reassurance in The New Puberty that, “Although you may feel like it’s all happening too fast, maturation is actually a slow process, so there’s time to develop this conversation in a way that feels natural to both of you.” But when breast buds begin developing at age 8 for many girls today, should sex ed really wait until middle or even high school?

Jonathan Zimmerman in his new book, Too Hot to Handle, shows how sex ed has been handled differently across the world and in different time periods. When sex education began the United States was one of the leaders, mainly because of its early investment in public education and secondary schools. Though today it lags behind many countries, especially ones like Sweden, which became the first nation in the world to make sex education required in all public schools in 1956.

Venereal disease has been a driving force behind increased sex ed (note it often goes by different names to make it more palatable, such as population education, social hygiene, human relations, or marriage and family education), like during World War II in the 1940s and in the 1990s following the HIV epidemic. But what has always stifled good sexual education remains true across borders and time: parental resistance, religious objections, and poor teacher preparation. Four topics in particular are seen as taboo: abortion, contraception, homosexuality, and masturbation.

Masturbation is one of the more surprising focuses of Joyce McFadden’s Your Daughter’s Bedroom. McFadden, a psychoanalyst, decided to conduct an online survey in 2005 called the Women’s Realities Study. One of the most interesting results of that survey is that the topics women most want to talk about, but don’t always, include masturbation, menstruation, and women’s relationships with their mothers. In fact, McFadden argues, the beginning of menstruation is often the start of distance between mothers and daughters. She wants to enable mothers to feel more comfortable with their own sexuality so that they can pass on that confidence to their daughters. In her own words, “Your Daughter’s Bedroom, is the first book to address the psychological and emotional elements of the sexuality of both mothers and daughters. It offers mothers outward and inward prescriptions for change, because it’s intended to encourage mothers to be introspective and reflect on our own sexuality while learning how to give our daughters the ability to live more comfortably with theirs.”

In talking about It’s Perfectly Normal, McFadden points out that lots of mother’s today give their daughters books about menstruation. However, they just give the books and don’t often have conversations about the contents and answer questions that inevitably arise. So not only does sexual education need to improve in schools, so too does it at home. In order to raise girls, and boys, who are comfortable with their bodies they must receive proper education, support, and guidance from all of the adults in their lives. By being open, honest, and loving about puberty we can raise children who know more about themselves and how to be healthy as they grow and develop over the life course, influencing future generations along the way.

Hilary Levey Friedman is the Book Review Editor at Brain, Child and the author of Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture.


Buy The New Puberty: How to Navigate Early Development in Today’s Girls

The Ugly Side of Pretty

The Ugly Side of Pretty

WO Ugly Side of PRetty ARTBy Amanda Rose Adams

My daughter doesn’t know she’s beautiful. I think she knows she’s “pretty” because people have been telling her that since she can first remember.  Despite my best feminist intentions, I’ve told her she’s pretty, but for reasons she cannot understand. She thinks everyone is pretty, that it’s just part of being human. She’s right, every human is beautiful, but not every human turns heads.

My ten-year-old daughter is traditionally beautiful. Her face is symmetrical, her eyes are big but not buggy, and strangers have been commenting on her uncommonly common beauty since she was a newborn. I’m not bragging about her beauty; in fact I’m troubled by it. It was fun having a baby that everyone noticed, but she’s ten now. Puberty is advancing on her body like a creeping vine, and I’m not the only one who notices.  On our way to the park the other night, a grown man, a teenage boy, and a gaggle of middle school boys all looked at my child in a way that made me uncomfortable, but she did not notice. She was too busy racing to the tire swing, unaware of anything between her and her goal of spinning until she was dizzy.

She has always been interested in math and architecture. She loves Minecraft enough to save her allowance to buy her own account and has her own set of Pokémon cards. She is creative, kind, smart, and, yes, beautiful. None of her attributes seem like problems until I notice a man my own age staring at my child. This is when I worry she might be too kind, the wrong kind of smart, and too pretty for her own good.

Some mothers may not notice when men or older boys stare too long at their daughters, but I do. I notice it now because I didn’t notice it when I was ten. I was like my daughter in many ways, oblivious to things beyond my own attention span and enmeshed in my private creative space. I also hit puberty early, even earlier than her: My period began seven weeks before I turned ten. By the time I was eleven, when most of my classmates were getting training bras, I was in a C-cup.

Before my body betrayed me, I was indifferent to it. Unlike my daughter, I was not strong and didn’t swing across the monkey bars. I wasn’t boldly climbing trees; instead, I climbed up to my top bunk and played with my Barbies and read my books. I didn’t really notice my body changing. My classmates pointed it out in third grade. Soon after, the older boys and girls at my Lutheran school saw fit to comment on my chest and ask me if I stuffed my bra . . . I didn’t even own a bra. My twenty-eight-year-old mother was in denial that her oldest daughter’s body was unfurling so quickly. My puberty didn’t begin well, and it got worse before it got better.

I didn’t notice the boys looking at me, but my dad did, and it made him angry. He couldn’t direct his anger at strangers, so he directed it at me. He used his Bowie knife to cut up a pair of my shorts because they were suddenly too short. All my shorts had been just as short the summer before, but something had changed. When the thirteen-year-old boy across the street asked me to go with him to the Boys and Girls Club to play PacMan—it was O.K. because he had enough quarters for both of us—my dad yelled and sent me to my room. It wasn’t OK. I was grounded just for being asked.

While I was still ten, my babysitter took me with her to the local high school football practice. Sophomore and junior boys shook their heads when she told them how old I was. She and her friend laughed, but I was even more confused than the boys. My dad was not amused, and I was no longer allowed near the high school.

The summer I was eleven, a twelve-year-old boy I adored and his fourteen-year-old friend took turns holding my arms behind my back in the swimming pool and tugging my swimsuit up and down, reaching in where they could. When I complained to my mom that the boys wouldn’t leave me alone (without explaining exactly what they were doing), she told me that I must have liked it or else I would have gotten out of the pool. As overbearing as my dad had become, my young mother was indifferent. For years I didn’t realize these boys were molesting me because I had liked one of them, though I didn’t like him after that summer. I was so confused by the entire situation that I just tried to forget  and pretend it never happened.

Soon after, my sisters and I were left with the husband of a family friend while my mom went shopping with a friend. The husband promptly sent my two younger sisters to the basement to watch his infant daughter while he and I “made cookies.” My idea of making cookies was making sure they didn’t burn and carefully navigating the spatula against the hot cookie sheet like I’d learned after I burned my finger in 4H.

His idea of making cookies was pressing me up against his kitchen cabinets and rubbing his erect penis against the small of my back while holding himself up with one arm against the upper cabinet and grasping my right breast with the other. I ducked under his left arm and raced to the bathroom, where I waited until my mom came back. Then I got in trouble for not helping clean up the mess in the kitchen. I never ate any of those cookies. That’s around the time when I started eating and couldn’t stop.

I was an anxious child. The way I explained these painful invasions to my young self was that I must be ugly. Why else would people want to hurt me? Why else would I keep getting in trouble? Besides, vanity was discouraged in my conservative religious upbringing. When I was younger, one of my Sunday school teachers told me how much I looked like my mother. I did not take it as a compliment. I never thought my short, broad mother or grandmother were beautiful. I thought beautiful women looked like Charlie’s Angels and Wonder Woman, and I knew when I stopped growing at 5′ 2″ that I was not a beautiful woman.

Convinced I must be ugly if men and boys were staring at me, I kept my head down. In high school, I hid my body under layers of clothing two or three sizes too big until I started sneaking so much food that my body began to fit the clothes. Now I was not only ugly but fat, too. I began harming myself with tweezers and straight pins, trying to dig something out of me like a splinter. While this was highly destructive, it was the only thing that soothed my increasingly suicidal mind.

By the fall of tenth grade, my home life was volatile, my school life isolating, and I was at a breaking point where I had to decide if I was going to live or die. Volunteering at a nursing home gave me the shot of self-esteem I needed to choose life, but I still believed I was ugly. One day during one of our many fights, my mom asked what my problem was. “I’m ugly and I hate myself!” I screamed. “Are you happy now?” It was one of the rare moments that I left her speechless. When she finally found her voice, she said, “You’re very pretty,” and I said, “You have to say that, you don’t mean it,” and I hid away in my bedroom like a troll. I hid for a very long time.

When I was twenty-seven, my maternal grandmother died. At her funeral, my great-aunt told me that she always thought my grandmother was a beautiful woman. Even then, my image of what was beautiful was skewed by the conviction that anyone who looked like me was ugly. Aunt Mary’s comment drove me to look at pictures of my grandmother and not see my myself. I did the same with photographs of my mother, seeking their beauty and trying to absolve them of my ugliness. I didn’t even feel beautiful on my wedding day, maybe almost passably pretty, but not beautiful.


In 2003, I had a beautiful baby boy with half a heart who was promptly and precisely butchered to save his life. As I dragged my breast pump across three hospitals and thousands of miles, I didn’t think about what I looked like. I was done with outside ugliness and instead battled the ugly thought of losing my child. After his second open-heart surgery, I was surprised to find I was pregnant again.

Then, there she was, my beautiful, perfect little girl, whom I would have to leave behind more times than I could count to take her brother to doctor’s visits and for two long weeks during a hospitalization. It took me longer to learn her face than his, and it kept changing, pudgy as a baby, thinning out in elementary school. When people would say that she looked like me, I would dismiss that as an insult to my child. I knew my daughter was beautiful as surely as I knew I was not.

A couple of years ago, we had family photos taken and there she was, my mini-me. My daughter and I looked so much alike, I was stupefied by the resemblance. Another time I was brushing her hair and looked up to see our hair the same cut and color, parted the same direction, our faces eerily similar. I was startled as if a stranger was looking back at me, challenging me to call her ugly.

That was the moment, after surviving so much fire, that the smoke cleared and I realized that being ugly had been my greatest comfort. Being ugly meant that I could still be a good person. Being ugly meant that the things that had happened to me when I was eleven weren’t my fault. Being ugly meant that everyone else was judging me for my looks so I could ignore that I was socially awkward and deeply wounded. Being ugly and fat meant that maybe, someday I could be pretty and thin. Being ugly meant I could keep eating and cutting myself because I didn’t deserve to actually feel good. Being ugly was the barrier I put between my skin and my soul to hold back all the pain rotting on the inside.

But that day, I couldn’t deny that I was pretty and had always been. I had to admit that my daughter looks like the girls I always envied growing up, and she also looks like me. As my daughter approaches the age where I became ugly, I have to own that I never really was. Ugly things were done to me at an age and left wounds that never healed quite right, but I wasn’t ugly.

My compulsion to protect my daughter from the unwanted attention of men and boys is only partially driven by my maternal love for her. That is part of it, but I am also motivated by the ache in my heart that I was not protected from the actions of others. Being ugly kept me from facing how fragile I felt, but it also kept me from seeing how fragile I was. Now the ugly mask is broken, the sooty mirror is clear. When I realized my daughter couldn’t be beautiful if I was ugly, it was like tearing off a blister to reveal a raw and tender space. Seeing my face in hers means owning that I am beautiful, too.

Amanda Rose Adams is the author of Heart Warriors, A Family Faces Congenital Heart Disease, and her nonfiction writing has been featured in The New York Times Motherlode blog, The American Academy of Pediatrics Bioethics Newsletter, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Squalorly Literary Journal, Evening Street Review, and Scrubs Nursing Magazine. She blogs at and you can follow her @amandaroseadams on Twitter.

Lucky Day

Lucky Day

WO Lucky Day ArtBy Amy Silverman

One morning not long ago, I found myself in the bathroom with my 10-year-old daughter, Sophie.

This is not an uncommon occurrence. We live in Tempe, Arizona, in an old house with screened porches and original hardwood floors, but only one bathroom you’d want to spend any amount of time in, and let’s just say its charm is limited. I’m pretty sure that if you tugged too hard on the soap dish in the bathtub, the entire house would come down.


But it’s all we’ve got, and my husband Ray affectionately refers to it as the “his and hers and hers and hers bathroom.”

As our daughters have gotten older, Ray’s bathroom time has shrunk considerably. Our little girls are growing up.

Well, one of them is. At nearly 13, Annabelle is a ballerina, petite and poised; she leaves behind a trail of hair nets, nail polish bottles and Instagram photos, and is appropriately modest about her changing body.

Sophie’s a little more complicated. She has Down syndrome, an extra 21st chromosome that affects every bit of her. From her straight hair to her oddly shaped toes, Sophie doesn’t look like the rest of us. I have heard that sometimes kids with Down syndrome go through puberty early. That is not the case, so far, with Sophie. She’ll soon be 11 and shows no physical signs of change.

She’s not very happy about that.

So there we were, Sophie and me, together in the bathroom one morning before school. We both needed showers, and she was up first. I turned on the water, then turned to Sophie.  Much like getting Sophie to put on her shoes, or eat her dinner, or give me back the iPhone she’s snagged, this task – getting her into the shower – required a serious game plan.

I cajoled and bargained her out of her clothes, and was insisting that no, taking a shower did not deserve the reward of a shopping spree at Barnes and Noble, when Sophie stopped, grinned and held up one arm.

“I have armpit hair!” she insisted. “Feel it!”

“Oh, yeah, sure,” I said, running my fingers along her armpit, distracted by the clock and the day’s long “to do” list.

“Hey, Sophie, I’m sorry,” I said, pulling my hand back and tuning in to the conversation. “I don’t feel any armpit hair. You’ll get it, but you don’t have it yet.”

Her eyes welled with tears, her naked little chest started to heave.

Shit! I thought. At this rate, we’ll never get to school.

“I know!” I said. “Let’s check and see if you have any hair – you know where.”

“Okay!” she said, super excited.

I crouched down and squinted hard, standing up straight to report my findings.  A white lie wouldn’t really hurt, right? We couldn’t afford another tardy at school.

“I see some!” I said.

You would have thought I’d told the kid we were going to live at Disneyland. She jumped up and down, squealing, her entire body shaking with the kind of pure joy most of us are lucky enough to experience once or twice in lifetime, and announced,


It was my lucky day the day Sophie was born, though I certainly didn’t know that then. Before Sophie, I’d never met another person with Down syndrome and had no idea what it meant, other than that this was going to seriously fuck things up. When Sophie was about two weeks old, I suddenly remembered something that made my stomach fall to my ankles: Pink Slip.

In the early 1990s, there was a VHS tape that made the rounds at certain parties in Phoenix. Ray and I had both seen it. Known as “Pink Slip,” it was an instructional video about menstruation from the 1960s or 70s, the kind the school nurse showed, but different because this one was geared toward a girl who was “slow.” That’s all I thought of her as – slow. It wasn’t until Sophie was an infant and I went back and watched the video on YouTube that I realized that, like Sophie, this girl had Down syndrome.

Since she was “slow,” it took a lot of extra explanation to teach this girl, Jill, about her period. In fact, in the video, the entire family gets in on the act. Mom and sister Susie show Jill a big calendar and explain (again and again – and again) that “every 28 days, blood will come out from an opening between your legs for three or four days.”   We all thought it was hilarious. At least, I thought we all did. I know I did, a fact I owned unhappily the day I made the connection between Sophie and Pink Slip.

“I’m going to have to show that video to Sophie someday,” I thought, wincing.

Ten years later, I realized it was time to teach her about puberty. I didn’t know what I was going to do about it, but I did know one thing: No way was “Pink Slip” going to be the way Sophie learned about her period.

There had to be a better way, something less condescending. Something that hadn’t made the rounds at parties – and now on the Internet – as a big, fat joke.  So when the local Down syndrome support group sent out an email advertising a puberty workshop, I signed us up.

The workshop, led by the foremost authority on Down syndrome and puberty, was split into two parts. The first day was for parents only, with a Power Point presentation and hand outs about how to teach a developmentally disabled young person about puberty. The plan was to come back the next day and separate into two groups, boys and girls, for The Talk.

“So tomorrow,” the speaker said as we were wrapping things up on the first day, “I will be showing a video about menstruation. It’s pretty out dated, I know you’ll all laugh at it, but it’s – “

I raised my hand.

“Yes?” she asked.

“Pink Slip,” was all I could get out. Ray was staring shut-the-fuck-up daggers at me.

“Oh no,” she said. “That’s not the name. I don’t recall it at the moment. You’ll love this one. It’s about two sisters -“

“Jill and Susie,” I said, my face hot.

“Well, yes,” the instructor said. “But it’s not called “Pink Slip.””

Oh God, I thought. It has a street name.

“Yes it is,” I said.

“How do you know about it?” she asked.

“Let’s talk after class,” I said.

“Okay, here’s the thing,” I told her after class. “I’m not proud of this, but we used to watch that video at parties and laugh.”

Ray chimed in: “I never thought it was funny.”

Thanks, Ray.

The next day, Sophie and I showed up for the girls-only meeting. We talked about safety and crushes and the girls went into the bathroom to try on pads. When the instructor drew a girl’s figure on the board and asked everyone to add a body part, Sophie added a bra.

When it came time for the video, the foremost authority on Down syndrome and puberty gave me a funny look then showed something else. Not “Pink Slip,” but instead an innocuous, modern, dumbed down explanation about getting your period.

Since the workshop, Sophie has been obsessed with puberty. And so in the morning, when she’s procrastinating, I find myself agreeing to let her wear deodorant – which she doesn’t need – if she brushes her hair first.  Mascara if she takes her thyroid medicine. And always, a bra from her collection.

The other day, Sophie was about to get in the shower when she announced, “I got my period yesterday!”

“You got your what?!” I sputtered.

“My period!” she said.

“Well, okay,” I said. “Here’s the deal. If you really got your period, then there would be blood on your underwear.”

We both looked down at her crumpled Barbie panties on the floor and lunged for them at the same time. A spirited game of keep away ensued.

I held the stain-free panties aloft, victorious.

“I really did get it!” Sophie said.

“You didn’t get it yet, but you will – soon,” I said. “I promise. Now get in the shower.”

Sophie climbed carefully into the tub. I adjusted the temperature of the water, secured the shower curtain, made sure she could reach the No More Tears shampoo. As I walked down the hall to my bedroom, I could hear her singing her ABCs and was reminded that, despite the bra collection and the hair obsession, Sophie is still a very young girl. And on so many levels, despite what happens to her body, she is destined to stay that way.

Amy Silverman is managing editor of Phoenix New Times. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, on the radio show This American Life and on She co-teaches the workshop Mothers Who Write and blogs at Girl in a Party Hat []. Amy lives with her husband and children in Tempe, Arizona.

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Irony—and a List

Irony—and a List

IMG_2615Here’s irony: the moments we click as humans—friends, lovers, parents, children, or siblings—often occur when we find the person to discuss the thing we can’t talk about, or at least the thing we cannot talk about easily. The courage to speak a truth less often discussed is very powerful. Intimacy emerges from the sharing of secrets. Good parenting requires us to take on the topics and feelings and experiences where we find discomfort, because being present is not possible if you can’t remain present for the hard stuff, the quiet, and even the secret.

Much as there are “goods” to be discovered when we share our genuine feelings, we so often shy away from the topics that matter most to us, the ones that could—potentially—forge for us strong bonds. It would seem as if we’d crave meaningful connections and so we’d do anything in hopes of creating them. We don’t, though.

How we seem to work in actuality is that we’re worried about taboo topics’ impact. What if by bringing them up, we are impolite? What if we sound stupid or mean or entitled or naïve or totally messed up? What if the person on the other end of hearing our story rejects us in some way? How do we bring our voices to subjects that no one wants to face or that we think people will only be interested in for the gossip factor? This is especially hard when we want or need to speak about our truths without hurting the people close to us.

I’ve been thinking about the things I wish I could talk about more (even write about more) and why these issues matter. As a mom and partner, daughter, and friend, I know that my willingness to address things less often discussed will only make me feel more grounded and more whole once I get past the fear of vulnerability. As a writer, I know that sometimes my best work lies in the places I’m most afraid to commit to on the page. A friend of mine, who’s a photographer, advised me: “Always take photos of someone crying and always take a photograph of someone telling a secret, because those moments are intimate.”

She’s right; those moments of intimacy translate into strong images. They are strong because intimacy is powerful. We wouldn’t want to only live in gut-wrenching confessional mode. We need more than one note to sound like ourselves, so I am not advocating for all-confession all the time. But sometimes I wish I could challenge myself to take more risks of this nature.

Here’s a list of some things I hope I dare to address more, and model talking about well (as in, directly, authentically and with some graciousness and poise):

Puberty (mostly, with my kids)

Sex (mostly with my husband)

Issues surrounding growing older and caring for parents if they need that (mostly, with my family, especially my parents and siblings)

Middle age, as in the physical and emotional changes (mostly, with my friends and my mom and my spouse)

The moments no one admits to like when you just don’t enjoy your kids or your spouse or your life (you love them, but it’d be nice to find someone really accepting to hear you complain without judgment or vilification of the people you love)

Big-ticket fears from climate change to illness to war to failure






What to do when friendships get challenging (other than walk away, mostly to friends I find challenging)


*   *   *

Recently, I’ve begun to schedule a phone call-slash-debriefing with a friend every couple of weeks, about life and work (by life, I think I mean family). We’ve known each other a long time and can lay our challenges out without hesitation.

In big ways and small, this unearthing of what’s often deliberately left unsaid helps. It’s amazing how the chance to share—brainstorm, support, and problem solve and hold each other’s anxiety—lightens the sense of burden we sometimes feel when worn down and buoys us both. Given that I wonder why I’m so afraid sometimes to speak up.

I hope that going forward I can summon my courage. I hope I can do more than make a list like the one above; I hope I can use the list as my guide.

What are some things you hope to address more?

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