Tag Archives: motherhood

This is 28 – Time to Cry Tuesday

Jana-282

Twenty-eight! The age I was when I was planning to have you, and now here you are being that age. And being it so damn well you astound me.

Jana, indulge me in the annual birthday post, where I marvel at what a kickass woman you turned out to be.

Your smile. Period.

The way in which you are one of the toughest people I know. Packed into that little body of yours, armed with only that smile and some guts, I have watched you gently show the world that you will take no shit, or prisoners. A few examples:

  1. Getting a 300 lb. bouncer to shut down the DJ on the previous party in a bar to move your people in.
  2. Getting me to go under the turnstile in a subway station when my metrocard did not work (now we will both get arrested, sorry, bad judgement)
  3. Better judgement than me in most cases (see item 2)
  4. Becoming the family concierge and doing it like it is second nature.
  5. Letting those you love never doubt that love for one second.

But, I am most proud of your integrity and humility. Your unwavering commitment to the people and causes that mean the most to you. All while making it seem like no big deal. Please know that does not go unnoticed (even by people who did not give birth to you).

Happy Birthday, Petunes. This has been quite a few months for you. You are so very fortunate to have found the love of your life. As you say, he makes you the best version of yourself. As your mom, there is nothing that could make me happier.

Thank you for the joy you bring to my life every single day. And for the honor of being your mother.

 

 

 

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Filed under birthday, family, Jana, moms, Uncategorized

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

Time to Cry Tuesday – This is not a dress rehearsal…

I have decided to make this an annual post at graduation time, until next year when I will have another graduate to write about. I wrote this before I was a blogger. It was an email I sent to those who had been parenting with me since preschool. It was written on the morning of my daughter’s HS graduation. Funny how I have become the mom in the last paragraph. Perfect timing as she is leaving tomorrow for the summer after just a few short weeks at home.

This one is for all my girls (and guys) who are launching their girls (and a guy) this year: to Jo (& Mo), Karen (& Todd), Joyce (& David), Maddee (& Alan), Susan (& Neil), Michelle (& Daryl), Lisa (& Rob), and Nancy (& Uncle Neal). Grab your tissues and your hats, this one is not for the faint of heart!

This is not a dress rehearsal…

or watch the temp when you decide to iron the graduation gown. 

6AM on the day that my first child graduates high school. 

how can this be, she was just a curly-headed little whirling dervish whose door i had to hold shut as she was throwing her ever famous brand of temper tantrums. that same door with the loose latch from all the times she slammed it for effect when she stormed into her room in her tweens. you know the one, who at five years old marched into nuerosurgery to ‘get her neck fixed’ and never once asked ‘why me?’. 

who was that radiant young woman that walked out of the house wednesday morning with her car packed and her keys in hand saying, “don’t worry mom, i have the garmin GPS, i don’t need a map!” 

well i think, perhaps, i need a map today. someone tell me how to navigate this road. we surely have had enough practice. we graduate them ad nauseum – from the 4’s, kindergarten, 5th grade, 8th grade – the most graduated generation of all times. you would think we would get used to it. but this year’s cap does not have flourescent orange and green finger paint decorating it. this kid has actually grown up! how dare she. does she not know that my bravado this year has all been an act. of course i could not be ready for her to be the competant, independent, grab-the-world-by-the-balls person i worked so hard to raise. does she not know i was only kidding!! wisconsin?!! that is halfway across the country! 

i digress – back to the gown and the iron. being a working mom i always look for ways to overcompensate and make sure that i am doing the mom thing as well as the work thing. so, of course, they both are never really quite up to the standard i expect. somewhere in the 4-page green directions for graduation (you know the one, where the assistant principal gives them a 10 bullet list for how to enjoy graduation and prom, 9 of which stress not drinking or doing drugs) there was mention of taking the gown out of the bag and ironing it. at midnight i was the mom who would just hang it up. at 6AM i decided no daughter of mine will graduate with a wrinkled gown! 

so why is it, exactly, that they make these things out of the same material as basketball shimmer shorts?! 

no, you will not be able to notice my daughter by the big brown iron mark on the back of her white gown. but if you look close, you may notice that on the front left shoulder the fabric is, how should i put it, a tad ‘melted’. 

as jana would say, ‘it’s FINE’. as my parents would say, i did it ‘the Amy way’. 

a huge thank you to the jana who has become one of my favorite people on earth to spend time with. surely the one that knows me the best, and loves me anyway. sometimes it seems that she is raising me. i think her humor and radiant smile will get me through this one. levity has always been her strong point. 

love and congrats to all of you who have been in the parenting trenches with me the past 18 years. for some of you it is your first, others, your last. it is never easy to watch them go. but then again, we could all use a rest. and as my mommy mentors tell me, they come home, stay out all night, sleep late and bring lots of laundry.  

let the games begin!

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone

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Filed under communities, education, family, friendship, Jana, moms

Camp Trunks

camp-trucking

Photo courtesy of Camp Trucking (some scary photoshop work there, wouldn’t you say?). Let’s hope this little plug helps to get our baggage moved with extra loving care.

Jana: Mom, seriously, you don’t need to nametape my underwear. (translation: hanky panky’s or the Gap knock-offs look equally silly with a nametape in them – keep your mitts off them)

Danny: Just let her do the nametaping. She can’t help herself this time of year. It is what she does. (this kid has always fully understood me)

Jana: Mom! We don’t send our stuff to the camp laundry as counselors. I will bring Danny’s into town and have them do it too. They charge like $8.00 for a week’s worth of laundry. (as an aside here I am thinking of driving my laundry up to the Adrondacks at that price)

Me: Danny, how do I nametape the reversible shorts?

Danny: MOM! Stop. You really have to let go of the nametaping thing. (ok, so maybe his patience is not as great as his understanding of me).

Me: Let’s go toiletry shopping. Remember how we always love to do this every year?

Danny: No, YOU love to do it. But you seem to forget that Jana and I did this without you last year because you had a deadline.

Me: All the more reason to do it all together this year.

I guess he is right. I am kind of pathetic around this time of year.

There are households in my zip code that start packing the trunks weeks before they go out. Us? They go out on Thursday.

We are thinking of doing it tomorrow night.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone

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Filed under danny, family, humor, Jana

Now she becomes a book reviewer?!

6a00d83451a8cf69e2010536eb729f970c-120wiI have spent the last 20 years trying my best to get involved in a book club and I have finally found the type I could handle. A virtual one. Yes, I know, I have a strange knack of finding almost everything I need in the basement. Kind of scary, but hey, it works for me.

The Silicon Valley Moms Blog was given the opportunity to review Diana Spechler’s new novel, Who by Fire. I jumped at the chance to read this and share my thoughts with the group. Other reviews will be linked at the bottom of this post as well as the lead in post on our group blog. The author will be available there for comments throughout the day, making this quite intriguing for me to participate in.

This is an interesting story about the power of family and how circumstance and human frailty can compromise these bonds. Being one who hates when a book review gives away the entire story – because then why bother – I will be brief in my description.

The story opens with the disappearance of the youngest of three children. It is set in a suburban community not unlike my own. The family is Jewish, and similar to my own family, more traditional than truly religious. The loss of their young daughter causes irreparable damage to this family. The parents split and the remaining siblings take very different paths. The son turns to Orthodox Judaism and flees to Israel, the daughter turns to a life of unfulfilling sexual encounters, often with strangers.

You are thinking, so much for not giving too many details? Sorry, you need these to follow my ‘review’. This is not a traditional book review filled with likes and dislikes or analysis of writing style. I did enjoy the book, found it a quick read and would recommend it for that reason. However it is the lesson from this story that stuck with me and kept me thinking long after I put the book down. 

This book was about motherhood and the lengths to which we will go to save our children and preserve a sense of family unity, sometimes at the risk of destroying the individuals and their right to choose their own paths. As mothers, we claim to want to see our children lead happy and fulfilling lives. But what happens when the path they choose is not the one we sought for them? Do we support their life decisions, or do we push them away with the very acts that we think will draw them closer?

The mother in this story is torn by her son’s decision to pursue a more religious path than she has taken. She goes so far as to consider his choice cult-like. It aggravated me to think of how this tortured her and led her to manipulate her kids. I have known people who have chosen to live more religious lives than their parents. Although it is hard on their families they work it out and respect their lifestyle.

The hardest thing for a parent to do is to hold their tongue and only give advice when it is asked for. We live in a generation of helicopter parenting and over-involvement that sometimes pushes our families away instead of drawing them closer.

So far I have been fortunate to have children who have level heads and make well informed solid choices. But they are on the cusp of their adulthood. The choices get harder from here on. My only hope is that I will always be able to support them no matter who they are and where life leads them.

If you would like to read more reviews of this book you can find them below. Please be warned that these are more traditional reviews and give full details of the story.

Florinda at The 3 Rs blog

Rebecca at The Book Lady’s Blog

Julie at Booking Mama

Marie at Boston Bibliophile

Gayle Weiswasser at Everyday I Write the Book Blog

Meghan at Meghan’s Mindless Muttering

Sarah at Genesis Moments

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under book review, parenting