Tag Archives: moms

Confession: I was THAT mom

02987f44146962c00ea7c5e013d8a591These days I feel so far removed from the original I Could Cry Days of having no time. To breathe. To stop and think. To smell the peonies. Now life is more under control. The parenting that I do is more cerebral and my maternal obligations are pretty low stress.

Even after a long, crazy work day, I feel like I have time because I am not torturing myself with the things I think I should be doing. As a working mom, and a lover of crafts, I could not escape being ‘THAT mom’. The one that worked all day but still made party invitations to match my daughter’s dress. The one that made the halloween costumes. And HAD to iron the graduation gown. Who knew this was all way more important to me than it was to my kids?

I stumbled upon this post today. Aside from simply loving his voice, Scott Dannemiller, hit a nerve for me – many years later, but a nerve, just the same. A little excerpt that had me laughing outloud:

“As the man who is married to the person who reluctantly put googley eyes and a graduation cap on all the fruit cups, I feel I am qualified to offer this sage advice to the mothers of the world who do this kind of thing through gritted teeth out of a sense of obligation.

Stop it!

Oh, Scott, where were you when I was sitting at the kitchen table till 3AM icing upside down cupcakes to chocolate chip cookies and wrapping shoestring red licorice around them to make little cowboy hat desserts for the 4th grade class? (what the hell was the theme of that class party, anyway?) That photo above was not my cupcake… a little gumdrop and a potato chip on an Entenmanns could have saved me a hell of a lot of time, though. If only Pinterest existed back then!

The kicker of that episode was that I took the day off to attend the class party and no sooner had I put down the tray of treats, than my daughter looked at me with a green face and said, “I don’t feel so good.” We rushed to the office to see the nurse, only for her to puke across the office floor. (sorry to bring this one up, Jana)

Needless to say she was too busy being mortified to give two craps about my cowboy hat desserts.

If I had it to do over would I have done less of this? Probably not. The thing about being a working mom for me was to make sure I did all the stuff that I would have done if I didn’t work. Was it ridiculous? Of course.

But when have I ever claimed not to be ridiculous?

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

To my kids on mother’s day

picstitch

This day is a tough one for me, and you guys too. But as a friend told me yesterday, ‘now we are ‘the moms’, so I am trying my very hardest to make today about what we have, not what we have lost. We all know that is what she would have wanted. And we all know she is here.

So, here goes.

I could write all the cliché things about motherhood and you could both roll your eyes about what a sap I am and laugh at how I cry at Applebee’s commercials. But I think after all these years you fully understand the way I feel about being your mom. Instead, please indulge me with ‘the list’ you have heard ad nauseam your entire lives:

Avoid drama.

Don’t be an asshole.

Misery gives happiness context.

The fork goes on the left!

Keep your eye on your own ball.

NEVER blow your nose at the table.

Put the seat down.

But we ARE rich.

No means no. Maybe usually means I am playing it out till it fizzles. Yes is always well thought out.

Bathroom humor is not only acceptable, it is encouraged.

You NEVER know what will come out of my mouth but it has hardened you to deal with any situation.

There is nothing like a good cry and an even better laugh.

Be all you can be (and be careful).

Singing Kung Fu Fighting is, in fact, the best way to start a morning.

Whatever it is, call me first. I am the most likely candidate for getting you out of it whole. (with the help of AlNel if necessary)

LU2.

I love you more…

and always will.

Thanks for growing up to be the amazing people you are, the ones I want to be with the most. Thanks for flipping the parenting roles when you see me driving myself off a cliff, for learning how to truly love with your whole hearts, and for tolerating this crazy woman with such grace.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Hanukkah Texting

LevinsonHanukkah

I do so love my group texts with my kids. I meet their expectations by always having typos.

Tonight I was feeling a little sad that I had spaced out on the whole Hanukkah thing with the family. For some reason I did not juggle a celebration into the schedule for all of us. This is utterly ridiculous since it is the first time in 7 years that all 4 of us live in the same place. Just another example of my Rock of Gibraltar-ness cracking. Let’s face it, this has been going on since 2008, I don’t think I can stake any claim to supermom status anymore.

Whatever, I did a dive save tonight.

You have to love Danny’s response.

Leave a comment

Filed under danny, family, holidays, Jana, moms, technology, texting

Time to Cry Tuesday – Olympic Ribbon Curling

ribbon-curling

If ribbon curling were an Olympic sport, my mom would have surely taken home the gold. This woman lived to wrap packages. When the holidays came around she was in all her glory.

Today, being the first night of Hanukkah, I needed to do a little last minute wrapping and went in search of a scissor. There in my kitchen drawer I found one that I had rescued from her house when I was cleaning it out. I thought to myself, ‘just like Elaine to have a floral scissor.’ And then I remembered that I had bought it for her. Perhaps as part of a Hanukkah present one year. This actually looks like her!

At that moment I was so thrilled to have saved this item. There were so many things I had to let go of, but there are special little everyday items of hers that I have sprinkled around my house to remind me of her. Every room has a little bit of Elaine in it. My brother and dad notice when they are here. Hopefully it gives them the same comfort it gives me.

There is no real need to have her ‘things’ around, other than to make my home feel like hers did. She is everywhere I go, in everything I do. So much of her lives in me now. And I am proud to carry out her traditions, both big and small, to honor the type of mother she was. Again, I hope this gives my family comfort.

Let me tell you, that crazy ribbon curler would be damn proud of what her scissor and I turned out on that package tonight.

How lovely to share a little bit of Elaine on the first night of Hanukkah.

Happy and healthy to those of you who are of the tribe.

3 Comments

Filed under holidays, moms, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Mom Texting

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 11.10.31 AM

For a mom with high digital engagement, it always amazes me how much I suck at texting and IMing. Actually, I probably just suck at typing and it translates to those mediums.

Danny, my adult son, has moved home after college and commutes to the city. His schedule changes as he spends nights in the city often. Wanting to plan for dinner, I usually text him during the day to get his status for that night.

The beauty of my relationship with my kids? They have inherited the appreciation for the absurd. Second gen MFTA*, if you will.

Do you think I could start #pimpmom trending?

mfta moment

1 Comment

Filed under absurdities, advice to my son, conversations, danny, humor, parenting, technolgy

Happy Birthday Elaine

mom-beach2

Today would have been my mom’s 83rd birthday. Now that she is gone I guess it’s OK to let her real age out of the bag, right? I always wrote her a birthday blog post, some of which she had framed, I might add. So it only seems right to keep up the tradition.

In celebration of who she was, I decided to grab one of her many journals off the shelf and open to a random page. You know, so she could send me a message. And yes, I do believe in that crap now. Just go with it.

I suppose you will too, after you read this. No lie, this was the page I randomly opened to. (Click on this image and blow this baby up to read it, you won’t be sorry). This is a list of tactics for discovering pleasure and satisfaction in every day moments. Elaine practiced these her whole life. Genuinely. And with commitment.

pleasures

Of course this came from her favorite – Prevention Magazine. And I see from the date that it was February 2008, a time of her life that was filled with chronic struggles.

Elaine was the Queen of this way of living most of her life. She was the Grand Puba of the glass half full. The Crowned Royal of be here now. The absolute over-achiever of carpe diem. She appreciated every person, moment, experience, flower, friend, color… well you get the picture.

In light of all the depression and anxiety awareness this week I took this as a sign of Elaine piping in on the topic from the other side. She never hid her illness when she was well. She would speak freely about it hoping to help others.

The last 10 years of her life were a brave, selfless, many times torturous struggle with the symptoms of depression and anxiety. People think they have seen the depths of this disease, but only those who suffer – or love someone who does –understand what severe clinical depression looks like. Like many who know this first-hand, I was outraged by the words ‘coward’ and ‘selfless’ used this week. They are spoken out of ignorance, for there is nothing braver or more selfless than a person who struggles to get back to the other side of depression. 

Elaine did this each and every day. She did not always succeed, but she never stopped trying. And though it could have been what would finally take her life… it never won. Of all the things I am proud of, this is the biggest one.

She fought to be herself again when she felt she was not. That is my best way to describe depression in one sentence.

She was my hero. 

So today I do not grieve (ish). I celebrate the woman who brought me into this world and chose not to kill me through those difficult years. Who held my hand, always listened to my woes and made me laugh till I cried and cry till I laughed again. She taught me how to be a mom, a wife and a friend. 

But most of all she taught me how to enjoy the moments.

photo

Yes, she saved this too. What? You are surprised?

In honor of her day of birth, take a lesson from Elaine and vow to take on one or two of these every day. 

 

 

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under aging, aging parents, childhood, depression, family, health, mental illness, moms, parenting, Uncategorized