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When my daughter was little, I called her “princess”. She was a beautiful child, a talented dancer. She loved “Hello Kitty” and anything that was little or sparkled. Then, she overcame addiction to meth and heroin. It was a hard-fought battle, but she came out on top. She’s been clean and sober for over 8 years. Now she sponsors other addicts, speaks on panels about addiction, and organizes panels in facilities for the Las Vegas area. She’s the daughter I dreamed of when she was little. She is loving and kind and gives back to those who struggle as she did. She has not conquered all her demons, but she faces them head on and usually comes out on top. I could not be more proud of her. She is not some sweet, pretty princess. She’s an adult now, married, and independent. She is a warrior. So, I now call her “warrior princess”. I say never mind the terrible twos or tyrannical teens; parenting adults is so much harder. I can give advice but there’s no guarantee that my adult children will listen to me. The mistakes they make fall on their shoulders not mine. I’m on the sidelines, watching and praying but most of the time biting my tongue. The trade off is I have developed a friendship with my children. There’s a mutual respect for my daughter and my son. My pride is based on the job they are doing – the life they are living - rather than being dependent on my actions. Now the love and respect we have goes both ways. I share my life with them, and they share their lives with me. My children know of the battles I face. They know the struggles I’ve overcome but just as I came up with a new name for my daughter, she came up with a new name for me. I am no longer mama; I am “Warrior Mama”. Now, when we share what’s going on in our lives, we remind each other what we are: warriors. Life is not easy, but life is good. We may face challenges, but we face them head on. We are not weak or frail. We are warriors and we have overcome! Photo by Xuan Nguyen on Unsplash

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