Category Archives: danny

Time to Cry Tuesday – The Flying of Time

boy-grows-up

Time flies. Where did the years go? How could he be so old? All those cliché lines of motherhood… why do I roll my eyes at these sometimes and at others they bring me to my knees?

Today I am teetering. Yes, I am more emotional than usual these days. And yes, having him home during the hardest 3 months of my life has been both a comfort and a joy. But the straw that broke this mamas floodgate today was this yearbook ad I did for my son when he graduated HS (yeh, it is both a blessing and a curse to have a mom who is a graphic designer). I came across it today on my Pinterest motherhood board (don’t make fun, I work in the mom blogger market). 

That ever-changing face. The same one that now sports a scruffy beard and fronts such a level head for an almost 21-year-old. This boy has turned into a man that I am so proud to say I raised. Part luck, part skill, parenting him has been such an amazing ride.

I am watching him this week between an internship and the journey back for his senior year in college. Gone are my days of checklists and phone calls, Bed Bath and Fed Ex, doctors appointments and errands. He has his list and he is checking things off as they are complete. He may not handle it the way I would (seriously, Dan, are you really moving into an apartment you have NEVER seen?), but he handles it all.

Also gone are the butterflies I used to get when my children would leave. Volumes are written this time of year about the leaving of the nest – but not many write about being comfortable with the dance. If we do our job correctly, they are good to go. And we should be ok with that, even if we get a little weepy during the transitions.

While perusing the motherhood board (for work, I swear!), I came across this quote that says it all for me:

It is easier to build a boy than it is to mend a man.

– Mahatma Gandhi

He is surely ‘letting his life proceed by its own design‘, of that I am quite certain. But he is using the foundation we built to spring from. And that is all any parent can ever hope for.

Faring thee well, my (man)boy, faring the well.

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Filed under advice to my son, college, danny, parenting, Time to Cry Tuesdays, wisconsin

Obviously Men Can’t Smell

nosefinger

Or, hey bud, your nose is more than just a place to keep your finger.

Monday 7:30 AM, returning home from an early morning dog walk.

Scene: 2o-year-old son at kitchen table in the ‘I will never get used waking up early and commuting’ intern stupor, hunched over a bowl of cereal praying no one will speak. Not just to him, but at all. Husband preparing to make a smoothie.

Me: Um… don’t you guys smell burning plastic?

Gary: No.

Danny: (silence, or at best an imperceptible grunt)

Me: Are you KIDDING me? (thinking about how the kitchen smelled oddly like we were manufacturing small plastic toys or making shrinky dinks.) Did anyone use the toaster oven or the micro this morning?

Gary: Not me.

Danny: (silence and fear that this line of questioning was not going to be short, only adding to his misery at an hour that is closer to his usual bedtime than one he has considered morning since high school)

Me: HELLOOO, no one smells this?! (now my eyes are starting to sting and the dog is coughing)

At this point I am somewhat convinced there is a direct correlation between possessing a penis and having no solid sense of smell. This realization, of course, comes from a woman who can smell an old sponge in your kitchen…

no matter how far away you live from here.

Gary: (opening the dishwasher) There you go!

And there, seared to the coil on the bottom of the dishwasher, sat the remains of a Tupperwear lid.

In red.

After using the requisite Jewish tool… the steak knife (which is an upgrade from the usual butter knife) we tossed around some brilliant ideas like using a razor blade and slicing the plastic off the coil, running another cycle to re-melt the sucker and peel it off while it is hot, or trying to ‘remove the coil’ ourselves.

Realizing that any of these would result in quadrupling the ultimate cost of the repair I called ‘my girls’ who always seem to have ‘a guy’ (why don’t I ever have a guy, I have lived her for 25 friggin years, I should have at least one guy).

Enter RALPH.

I love Ralph. He can actually smell. AND he can fix!

I love a problem I can fix. Or at least that Ralph can.

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Filed under danny, gary, homeowner, humor

Time to Cry Tuesday – Disappointment

disappointment

Disappointment… such a lousy emotion. It comes tethered to expectations and rears its ugly head out of nowhere when you think you have ‘it’ all handled.  I have tried my best to manage expectations to avoid this nasty sucker. But sometimes shit happens, you are at its mercy, and it takes you down.

Big time.

To make it short and avoid a pity party, I have managed high blood pressure. It has been controlled for a long time, went a little wacky back in the fall and got back on track. Then I had a reaction to some meds that made me feel very ill and caused my ankle to swell (of course the one I sprained a while back) and the switch of meds set me on a BP roller coaster I do not wish on my worst enemy.

The net: I could not fly. And what was I supposed to do… you bet. Fly. To Spain. To see my boy who is studying abroad. Who I have not seen since January. On a trip we had planned forever. At a time when we really needed a break. On the first real vacation in many, many years. That we can’t reschedule. Not life shattering, just a piece of life that I can’t get back. One of the really fun pieces.

I am coming out the other side of this huge disappointment and all I can do is run through my head all of the things I have told my kids over the years when their expectations were shattered:

  1. Sometimes you just have to feel like crap.
  2. Misery gives happiness context.
  3. Everything happens for a reason and sometimes we don’t find out what that reason is for a long time.
  4. Who you are when things suck says more about you than who you are when they are great.
  5. Sometimes its not fair. Period.

On the other end of that wisdom I was fully aware of how annoying that wisdom could be. (sorry kids)

Until a friend of mine posted a favorite Maya Angelou quote that made me smile and think about who I really want to be:

“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.”

Even a Jewish girl gets the last one.

So if you see me knocking on a christian neighbor’s door asking to borrow their christmas lights in the rain wearing the same thing for 2 days in a row, you will know that it is just an exercise.

As is all of life.

 

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Filed under danny, family, Time to Cry Tuesdays, travel

Why the Pope Quit

the-boys-colliseum

My son is studying abroad this semester in Spain.

Last weekend he went to visit a bunch of his HS and college friends in Rome.

The following day the Pope resigned. This hasn’t happened in almost 600 years…

Just saying.

 

 

 

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Filed under danny, travel, vacation

Time to Cry Tuesday – Letting Go, Global Version

luggage

As a parent, every few years you are faced with another rite of passage, another adventure your child is about to embark on, another chance for you to show your chops as a parent. Although your heart is hanging on to the hem of their pants as they walk through that door, your head is ready to let them fly…

again.

The last time I wrote one of these my boy was off to college. Seems like yesterday, yet here we, are 3 and half years later and he is off for a semester abroad in Seville, Spain. I thought now would be a good time to give him one of my famous lists of advice. I do this every so often to remind him, or more likely myself, that I am not quite through imparting wisdom just yet. If I write it here instead of tell him all this to his face, I spare myself the humiliation of the sighing and eye-rolling. So here goes, in no particular order.

  1. Don’t be THAT American. This is similar to what I told my kids when they were first starting to experiment with drinking. Don’t be THAT girl/guy, the one that gets wasted and pukes on themselves. Don’t be THAT American simply means respect the local culture.
  2. Try to really SEE Europe, don’t just drink Europe. This is obvious to me and quite ridiculous to him. Hopefully somewhere in between will be his reality.
  3. Keep your eyes open and soak in everything. You never know what might wind up being the answer to what you want to do with your life.
  4. Be Smart. If it feels wrong, it probably is. If it seems unsafe, it probably is.
  5. Eat Everything, within reason. No explanation needed.
  6. Don’t be a dick (not that you ever would be). Again, the international version. This is like number 1 on steroids. Check the ego at the door and you might as well leave the egocentric there to keep it company.
  7. If you have to play beer pong, make sure you win the 100 Euro. Self-explanatory.
  8. Amsterdam – you MUST see the Anne Frank House. As Jana said, as a Jew it is your responsibility. Period.
  9. The rest of your time in Amsterdam. I do not need details, thanks.
  10. Have the time of your life. This one should be easy.

In all seriousness, you are an amazing young man and have always made us proud. We have no real worries about this trip. We are just a more than a little jealous.

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Filed under advertising, animals, college, danny, Time to Cry Tuesdays, travel

Mom Fail

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Packaging. It can be so deceiving. At first glance the red and white box simply seemed to be the inhaler I had just picked up from the pharmacy, so it went in the ‘to pack’ pile for my son’s semester abroad.

Ok, so it was the dog’s ear drops instead. Hey, she never let’s me get near her with them, anyway. Someone might as well use them.

I know, a wheezing American in Spain would probably not have seen the humor in that.

Mom fail or honest mistake?

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Filed under college, danny, health, humor, Iko, moms, pets, travel

Damn Jewish Mother Guilt

It came to my attention, thanks to my mother-in-law and the Jewish grapevine, that a camper that had been in my son’s bunk was diagnosed with Whooping Cough.

Pertussis.

Not a great thing to get. And said son came home with his usual post-camp ‘kennel’ cough. I did not think much of it more than usual exhaustion, until I heard about the Whooping Cough. Certainly nothing to take lightly in teens and young adults (FYI, even though your kids were vaccinated with the DTP – the P being Pertussis – when they were little, the vaccine wears off in about 10ish years. Consider this a funny PSA).

If you have a college Jr. you will know that they tend to be a little, shall I say, overly independent when it comes to their healthcare. I particularly like the part where having a cough for going on 4 weeks seems to be no big deal to him since he believes it is not Whooping Cough.

Here is the actual text thread we had today. When necessary, I can still kick some serious Jewish Mother butt. Please note the horrendous iphone typos. But he got my point.

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