The first year of my son’s life — my first year as a mother — was a blur of wonder, exhaustion and anxiety for me, in nearly equal measures.
Mixed with pure joy was confusion (what is that rash on his face?), frustration (why won’t he stop crying?) and serious sleep deprivation. I read and re-read pages in the same books over and over without remembering anything.
So, my best parenting advice: Trust your instincts. Start reading before the baby comes. And, if you pick up a book after the baby arrives, make sure it's worth your time.
The love you show your children this Valentine's Day doesn't have to be all hearts and flowers and chocolate.
In Matt de la Peña's tender new picture book, “Love,” it’s also burned toast, made by someone well intentioned and rushed. Or the comforting arms of a loved one, when things really aren’t OK.
It is, in other words, real. And heartbreaking. And beautiful.
Lisa Tolin is a journalist and Special Projects Editor at NBC News.