It’s been so long it’s like it didn’t exist. I have been motherless for 19 years this December. I am no one’s little girl. I have no one harshly judging me and pushing all the buttons they installed. No one recalls embarrassing things at family gatherings. I miss knowing someone has the secret knowledge of my potty training, first words, school concerts, my failures and accomplishments. I wonder without any hint at what she might say now. Nice people say she would think nice things. I think she would say nice things about me to others but save the judgy harsh bits for weekend phone conversations. Without any parents am I free to be what I want and evolve organically of my own determination liberated from the innate need to please and be pleasing or am I fooling myself that their absence changes anything? Parenthood is powerful and as my teenagers grow I am more concerned I wield my power carelessly finally realizing I will never be an expert . Parenting is a profession of amateurs.