Tag Archives: parenting

What Moms Wish For

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This is my girl.

Many of you have watched her grow up here; at least the parts of her we like to share. Jana not only made me a mom for the first time, she made me a mom blogger with my very first post about her High School graduation. Then on to her college graduation where I visited a different kind of change… getting her back.

ish.

Fast forward to today. Today is Jana’s last day at a job she has grown to love way beyond being a place of employment. God’s Love We Deliver has been a calling. The place where someone a little too young for the job proved she was not. Where, like everyone who works and volunteers there, she was embraced for who she is and appreciated way more than she could fathom. Until she made the tough decision to take the next step in her career.

The photo above is today’s GLWD Facebook post. She came into the office at 6AM (did I mention she starts work at 6AM?!) to find the walls covered with photos of her good times spent there. I awoke to a text with a video of the scene. We were both quite taken with this.

The emotions surrounding raising a child are often overwhelming. Equal parts pride and melancholy, the growing of a human is a roller coaster, indeed. (it’s all good, we both LOVE roller coasters). All a parent can hope for in the lives of their children is that they can find themselves, make a solid contribution and be valued. A huge thank you to the God’s Love We Deliver family, that has embraced, not only our girl, but our entire family. You have left a mark on all of us.

Good luck, my sweet Jana. As one door closes… blah blah blah. None of this makes today any easier. Love you to the moon and back. We could not be any prouder of you.

Now go out there and kick some ass.

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Filed under Jana, moms, parenting, work

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?

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To my kids on mother’s day

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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.

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Daddy Fa fa fa fashion

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Today’s dad has so little time in his day. But that does not mean he has to rush off to his kid’s play without looking his best.

This guy has got it goin’ on. Pairing a Long Island Carpet Recycling black long-sleeved T with those classic – never go out of style – half camo, baggy shorts is a big win. The black kicks with the matching black no-show socks are the obvious choice for spring footwear.

But nothing says, ‘hey, I am the ultimate family man’ like finishing this ensemble off with a Coach diaper bag.

It is so very clear to me that he is on the phone with his wife to find out where she put his penis.

Ok, that was mean, I just had to go for the obvious laugh. Admit you were all thinking the same thing. And don’t start getting all dads are equal parents and there is nothing sexier than a dad taking care of his kids on me. That was my life in a big way and we wouldn’t have done it any other way.

I just had a more gender neutral diaper bag.

 

 

 

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Mom Texting

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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

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

Time To Cry Tuesday – Graduation (the final one)

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A graduation post? Again? Didn’t I just do one of these? I suppose three years could be considered ‘just’ in some circles.

Each time my kids donned a cap and gown, I came here to share the overwhelming emotions attached to watching one’s child ‘grow up’.

There was Jana’s HS graduation; my first experience of letting go. I reread it today and it seemed like both yesterday and 100 years ago. (yes, I cried)

Danny’s HS graduation post brought back the memory of the pending empty nest (which by they way empties and fills again a few times before it is truly vacant). For some reason that was the first of two posts where I had an overwhelming emotional experience in a Starbucks. What the hell is that all about? (Yes, I cried again)

Then there was Jana’s college graduation. I marveled at the woman we had grown as I continue to do every day (yeh, more tears).

So many milestones, so many emotions.

But this time we finally got it right. Instead of all that overwhelming emotion, our graduation trip was a true celebration. We simply had fun! And although I felt very sentimental about leaving Madison after 7 years, I was more excited about my second child starting his life. Danny, in his matter-of-fact, self-assured manner, set the tone. He cut us the slack to be proud but kept the reigns tight on not making it all too big. We have simply had way too much big this past year, and he knew that. With humility and confidence he taught us how to do what he does best… be here now, go with the flow and most of all – enjoy life. (with shades on, of course).

Sure there were mixed emotions, how could one not miss a town with this view that had flyers for a band named Diarrhea Planet and reverse evolution graffiti on the sidewalk. This place is awesome. And my kids are more awesome for having lived there. But all things change. And change is good.

Here is my net of it all:

When your kids first leave for college it feels like an amputation. You think you are losing something you can never get back. You worry about your life changing drastically. Your heart aches as your head is telling you to knock it off and lose the drama. You dread your parental obsolescence.

Here – on the other side – you realize that your kids are not part off you, they enhance you. And you them. You never lose them, for no matter where they live they share their lives with you. Your life will change drastically, and that is a good thing… if you kept going at that custodial parenting pace much longer you would explode. And being someone again, instead of someone’s parent is the natural progression. Let’s face it, you have stuff to do!

Sure your heart will ache from time to time as you watch them struggle and grow, but it is a good ache. It is the physical manifestation of how much you love them. Just like when they were little, they will most certainly fall. The hard part is not trying to fix it for them when they do.

But most of all, parental obsolescence is simply a contradiction in terms. They will always need you, just differently. It’s all good.

Congrats Danny boy, thanks for the best weekend ever. You make us so very proud.

Every.

Single.

Day.

Now go out and be all you can be (and be careful).

 

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Filed under advice to my son, college, danny, education, family, graffiti, moms, music, relationships, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Baby DJ School

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Oh those Brooklyn hipsters, they make us yuppies of way back when seem like we did not indulge our children. I am usually saddened by the race to adultify babies. Having been through the whole raising of the kids thing, I want to stop these parents and tell them there is plenty of time for them to become little hipsters and ‘mix music that is super dope’, just not while they are still drooling on the soundboard. But then I fear I am becoming that woman who stopped me on the street over 20 years ago while both my kids were screaming and told me I would miss these days. (that day, I have never missed, btw)

We saw this flyer while walking down Bedford Street and I had to take a picture. A little further investigation, and I found this HuffPo piece on the place. The woman who started it is definitely a genius. I am all for someone being entrepreneurial and preying on the insecurities of the tragically hip. And she has great cred. DJ and composer Natalie Elizabeth Weiss  has shared the stage with LCD Soundsystem and Dirty Projectors. She could, however, use a little graphic help. Just saying. (cute kid, though)

But this mom?  I sort of wanted to punch this mom in the face:

Samantha Al-Fayez, the mother of one of Weiss’ new students, told the Wall Street Journal that her 1-year-old Julien “loves gangsta rap.”

Seriously, Samantha?! Why is your 1-year-old listening to gangsta rap? I shudder to hear his first words! When he calls you mutha, don’t come crying to us when he figures out the second half of that word.

I am happy to report that Weiss does not play any music with profanities for the kids.

Hipster wholesome!

I did so want to make fun of this whole thing but honestly, for the older kids this is quite fabulous. Check out this 4-year-old. I love him. And his dad is a riot. The kid totally gets it, no?

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Filed under absurdities, childhood, music, New York City, parenting