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You have a new book out, Might As Well Laugh About It Now. What are you referring to?
I was going to California to speak and was just going to take my then-7-year-old daughter with me. But at the last moment I decided to take my youngest daughter, too. Lugging diapers and a stroller didn't seem like a good idea, but I did it anyway. Then I got a call that my house was on fire -- the room my daughters share was badly hit. Who knows what would have happened if she had stayed behind? We have to listen to that inner voice.
What did you lose in the fire?
My mom had recently passed away, so I had all her journals. I was devastated to lose them and thought, let me compile some of my own stories that still work for me as a forty-something woman.
You have five children who were adopted and three from your previous marriages. Any tips for Brangelina?
I don't give advice to anyone. When people ask me, "How many of yours are adopted?" I tell them I can't remember. There is no difference in my love for my children. Each child is different, and that's the joy of motherhood.
Your son was in rehab. What did you learn from this?
Kids have to face their life. They need boundaries and to learn there's a consequence for everything.
Will your new TV talk show this fall be like Oprah's?
Yes and no. Oprah doesn't have kids. I'm a single mom. I've dealt with divorce twice, I've reinvented myself more times than Madonna. I don't have 6,000 nannies. I teach Sunday school, I cook dinner for my kids, I've lost and gained weight, I've been through depression and heartbreak. I have a voice that's very real.
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, May 2009.