Cate, my 5-year old daughter, asks, "Daddy, will I get married?"

Curious, I answer, "Maybe."

I think to myself, "Hopefully that's at least 20 years away and shouldn't be a measure of success."

Again, my answer is a tentative "Maybe."

Cate then asks, "Who will watch the children? Because I'm going to be a teacher."

This time she doesn't wait for my response. She simply says, "Maybe my husband will, just like you, Daddy."

It's exactly what I need to hear three weeks after being laid off.

Andrew Paterson

Silver Spring

When my first son was born, everything seemed like a series of milestones. Not just "mama," "dada" and first steps, but stacking four blocks and razzing and looking for dropped objects. My second son was born with Down syndrome and somehow this freed me from constant perusal of "What to Expect the First Year." I am happy to celebrate milestones whenever they happen.

Ann Garduno Carlson

Severna Park

Find a way to give insight into your life in under 100 words. Authors of selected entries will be notified and paid $100. Send text (accompanied by a home phone number) via e-mail (, fax (202-334-5587) or mail (Style, Life Is Short, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071).