About Lesley Bolton

Posts by Lesley Bolton:

She Takes and Owns the Stage

Story and I have a lot in common: we love stories, we laugh obnoxiously loudly at our own jokes, we can sleep hard anywhere anytime, we take great pleasure in a good argument, and so on. However, there is one way in which we are complete opposites. I have always been amazed by, and perhaps a little envious of, her nonchalance at taking the stage. She has been the center of her play for as long as I can remember. Yet, it never ceases to astound me.

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Time to Take the Reins

Story has been taking horseback riding lessons for a while now and has loved every minute of it. That is, until she got a new instructor. After three lessons with this new horse master, Story decided she is definitely not a fan: “Mom, she’s just mean!” I, on the other hand, am crazy happy with this new instructor.

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Rockin’ This Mom Thing!

Most often I feel as though I’m treading water in the parenting pool. I’ve got my head above water, and that’s about as good as it’s gonna get. And then every once in a great while, I get something right and am able to just float for a while, enjoying the weightlessness of my worries and the sun on my face. This past week I experienced that glorious sensation — twice!

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Polar Vortex Day

This past week, the Midwest suffered a polar vortex, and school was canceled on Wednesday. Ali and I take turns watching the girls on snow days, and I was up. Snow days aren’t bad. Bundle them up and toss them outside for some snowy fun. But a polar vortex day? No one could go outside; even the dogs were limited to five minutes at a time. Three girls and two dogs in the house ALL DAY? That is the stuff nightmares are made of.

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The Talk. Kinda.

Story is nine and a passenger on the nonstop puberty train of tears. I’ve been thinking about how to have the sex talk with her. I’m a pretty open person and have no qualms about talking body parts and functions. I just wasn’t sure how to open the conversation. Well, Story did it for me. With lizards.

On our way home one evening, she told me about a video she watched about lizards. Apparently, there was a portion of the video during which the lizards were mating.

“Mom, I know how lizards mate.”

“Oh yeah? Tell me about it.”

“The male gets on the female’s back and bites her neck. That’s how the male’s DNA gets into the female for the eggs.”

A perfect opening! Confident that I had this in the bag, I began my spiel in earnest. “That’s not how the DNA is transferred. DNA is transferred when the male inserts his penis into the female’s vagina and–“

“Are you serious?! That’s how animals have sex?”

“Yes, people too, and–“

“That is so gross! I am never having sex!”

Smiling to myself, I was happy to hear this but amused at her insistence. Oh, how things would change one day. “But there is more to it.”

“OHMYGOSH, Mom, is that how you and Dad had me?”

“Yes …” We were getting off track here.

Before I could think of how to get us back to the facts of sex, she asked, “Why was he biting her neck?”

Without thinking, I said, “Probably to keep her still.”

She thought about this. I panicked. What am I saying? “Sex isn’t a bad thing though.”

She wasn’t convinced. “I don’t think I’d like it. Do you regret it?”

Trying to be honest and open, like I had planned back before this awful conversation began, I said, “Yes, I regret a few times. But, not all. Definitely not all.”

“Do you regret having sex with my dad?”

“Of course not! Then I wouldn’t have had you.”

This conversation was done. I needed to regroup. I ended on a positive note, and now I just needed to keep my mouth shut and pray she changed the subject.

I confessed to Ali later. Of course, she thought it was hilarious and was appropriately scandalized at the lizard rape. I tried to think of ways to fix it. Her response to every single idea was: No. I will fix it though. Maybe a book?

Really, I think it was the lizard’s fault.