Tag Archives: teens

Zaidie was right!

steely_dan-can_t_buy_a_thrill-big

I have been sitting on this story for the past few days wondering if it was a good idea to share with you all how crazy my family truly is. And then I figured if I have not scared you off yet, this one will entertain you.

The players:

Gram: my mom

Zaidie: my dad

Danny: my son

Gary: my husband

Me: me

(phone rings)

Me: Hello

Gram: Hi. Hey do you know what Steely Dan is.

Me: Sure, mom, it’s a band

Gram: No, I know it is a band. We were just listening to them. But do you know where the name came from.

Me: Um, no. Gary, do you know where the name Steely Dan came from?

Gary: (funny grin, then makes the universal hand signal for a boner)

Me: Really?! Ok, mom, Gary says it’s a boner.

Gram: A boner, nope. Dad said it is a metal dildo.

Ok, so let me interject here for a minute. My mom is 78! And she has always been rather proper. So I am going to say it is a safe bet that I have never heard her say ‘dildo’ before. Surely not ‘metal dildo’ (ouch, BTW)

Danny: (from downstairs) WHAT are you guys talking about?!

Me: Zaidie says that a Steely Dan is a metal dildo but Dad says it is a boner.

Danny: Oh Jeez!

Me: Danny, can you google it please.

a moment passes and then…

Danny: Hey Zaidie was right, it is a metal dildo. Sometimes 2-headed. Ew, I cannot believe I am having this conversation with my parents and grandparents (I believe that was paraphrased)

Seriously, don’t you think that hearing your 17-year-old son say, “Zaidie was right, it’s a metal dildo.” is somehow crossing the line?

Yeh, well, it will all come out on the couch.

FYI, here are may favorite definitions from urbandictionary. com:

1) proper name of a steam powered dildo from the novel Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs.

STEAM POWERED?!! ouch! and this one:

2) A Massive Metal dildo, sometimes double-headed.

Yeh, well that will surely fuel a nice little therapy session for my son in his future.

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 absurdities, aging parents, conversations, danny, family, gary, humor

Time to Cry Tuesday – Hit Send

send-button

We are here. Where, you ask?

Here!

On the other side of ‘send’.

And with that simple click of the mouse, Danny – the baby – has submitted his first college app.

Too melodramatic, you say. Hmmm, well I say you are all too vocal tonight. How do you like that?

Tonight, as we were watching promos for ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ – the movie adaptation of one of our favorite books from his childhood – that crazy app went soaring through the interwebs and officially turned my little boy into a college applicant.

‘It roared its terrible roar and gnashed its terrible teeth’ and transformed ‘that little boy who made mischief of one kind…

and another…’

into a man(ish)-type person.

Never in the history of ‘send’ has such a small gesture meant so much. (ok, I agree I AM leaning heavy on the melodrama pedal here). But there is something both exciting and petrifying about the idea of this process beginning.

First kid launched? Of course that was monumental. Second kid off? That means all sorts of things. Yes, even more than looking for that special cat food parmesan recipe because we are paying for two kids at the same time.

It means sad things like the end of an era. But it means exciting things too. Like having actually survived custodial child-rearing (with minimal scars). And not having to travel during school vacations.

So here’s to ‘send’. May it bring to my boy all he dreams of and send him where his new life will 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 college, college applications, danny, education, family, teenagers, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Time to Cry Tuesday – Camp is Short and Life is Long

camp-is-short

This little pearl of wisdom spilled out of Gary while he was on the phone. He was explaining how we feel about the kids being counselors at camp. In these times of rising unemployment and stiff job competition it is hard to let go of the idea that internships and job experience are the only route to travel. Unless of course you understand the need they have to fill by going back to camp because you too, have known it first hand.

I have gushed about the way we feel about camp ad nauseam here, but bear with me on this one.

Read the title of this post and really think about it for a moment. If you ever went to summer camp you are smiling and nodding your head. If you have not, let me try to articulate the importance of this statement.

Camp is the essence of the freedom of summer. It is the place where you leave the social and scholastic pressures of the ten previous months at the threshold and you don’t look back for eight weeks. You can breathe and just BE YOU. The sweet core you without the hinderance of all that life piles on you. Yes, even as a kid. Or, in these times, especially as a kid. Sure there are social issues and competition, but somehow the aura that surrounds you at camp is one of tolerance. Kids of all kinds mesh into the fabric of the place.

When you walk into an alumni weekend at a sleepaway camp like we did this weekend, you see droves of young (and not so young) adults converging on the promised land of their childhoods. Some have just begun their journey down the path of adulthood. Some come back with their spouses in tow, trying to show them exactly why this place is so much a part of who they are today. Others are bringing their children to see the place in hopes that they will want to attend next year. And still others, like ourselves, watch our own kids become the leaders of the place.

How’s this for full circle? I watched my daughter tour a prospective camper around the place, giving her the full flavor of why she would want to be a camper there. This 7-year-old? She was the child of a woman who was my camper when she was ten. And the kid looked just like the mom did when I had her.

History. Love. Belonging. A sense of place.

Camp is short. And life is surely long.

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, friendship, Jana, relationships, road trip, teenagers, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Time to Cry Tuesday – Family Movie Night

family-movie-night

Countdown to the kids leaving for the summer. When they were younger this was the 10-day period when I was both anxious about them going and elated to have 7 1/2 weeks of adult time and freedom from schedules. (except for work, but doing only one job was like a vacation).

This is the eighth summer that they will both be away. People used to ask us, “what do you do all summer without your kids?” and our response would be, “whatever the hell we want!”

Now that they are older, the thrill of having all that time to ourselves is tempered with the fact that during the year we pretty much do whatever the hell we want! And truthfully, our first choice of social companions at this stage of our lives are the kids themselves.

At almost 17 and 20 they are truly fun to be with. They throw us a bone now and then and agree to hang out, especially if we are paying.

Last night was Family Movie Night (yes on a Monday!) Infants that we all are, we decided to go see The Hangover –  a fine example of good parenting, I might add. 

Sitting in the movie theater, with the glow of the screen illuminating what are now the grown up faces of our offspring, I could not help but flashback to their little faces watching the insufferable kids’ movies we used to take them to. Invariably there was always a kid that puked in the next row.

This time the puking remained on screen.

I glanced at Gary and could read his mind. He gave me that misty-eyed Gary face that said: remember when they used to sit on our laps? Remember how his fuzzy little head felt under your chin? Remember how her hair smelled? How one of them ALWAYS had to go to the bathroom at the best part of the movie? When we were sitting in the middle of a row. Next to a very cranky family with a really big tub of popcorn.

Last night, the sound of their laughter, the feeling of being this family unit – one that we do not get to have often – THIS is what it is all about.

For real.

The news, the distractions, the daily grind; they all melt away at times like these when we realize what we have built. These small moments that could burst through the walls if they got any bigger. In a world where there are no answers, I have found mine right under my nose. 

In my family.

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, gary, Jana, relationships, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Time to Cry Tuesday: Priceless

There are a handful of moments in advertising history that have touched the souls of those who see them. One of the more famous examples is the Mastercard Priceless campaign. This past week, one of my mommy idols could have starred in one of these commercials.

The scenario: The Dave Matthews Band was playing on the Plaza in the Today Show Toyota Summer Concert Series. Both my friend and her 10th grade daughter are huge fans of the band. In fact, they are a full DMB family of fans. This particular friend  has found herself to be an unlucky member of the Sandwich Generation. Many of us are in the midst of raising children at the same time we are dealing with aging parents with health problems. Being an only child of a widowed mom, she is the healthcare concierge extraordinaire. Last week was a particularly harrowing one on that front.

Enter the opportunity to go into the city at some ungodly hour (3:30 AM) to stand in line for the concert. She was all set to take her daughter and a friend until the weather turned nasty and she began to rethink the event. At this point her college-aged son pulled her aside in a sage-like manner and told her that she would never forgive herself if she missed this opportunity of a lifetime that her daughter would never forget. (please note: said son aspires to be a documentary film-maker).

Funny how our kids spout back at us what we have taught them.

So, without hesitation, sporting rain gear of all kinds, off they went on the 3:30 train into the city. I received an early text telling me she was there. Within an hour I texted back that I had not only seen her daughter dancing on camera, but had DVRd it. Her daughter could not be happier. Until… (yes this keeps getting better)

…she screamed out, ‘Dave, I love you” during a lull in the performance and he turned around and smiled at her. Kind of like a young girl’s dream come true. Wait, it gets even better.

During the show they gave out foam guitars to the audience. The daughter’s friend was holding one. After the show, Dave came around and signed the guitar! And the friend? He decided that since he would not have been able to go to the show with out her, gave the guitar to this very lucky girl.

I know, Time to Cry all the way around. I love this story. Not only because the main character is one of my main women, but because every step of the way it was about what I like to call ‘the good stuff’. Truly a priceless experience.

Here is a picture of the two happy teens on the train ride home. The inset shows the Dave Matthews sig.

After-the-show

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 aging parents, family, friendship, moms, music, New York, New York City, parenting, relationships, rock 'n roll, teenagers, Time to Cry Tuesdays, women

Out of the Mouths of Moms

cursegraphic

We had an interesting dinner conversation tonight. We have a full house/table with Jana home from school. The dynamic shifts, as do the seats, to bring us back to the original four. We fall back into the way we were when she still lived here. There is truly nothing more comforting than a family that is whole again.

The conversation at our dinner table is always pretty lively. There are no rules. No taboo subjects, for me anyway. I believe in open discussion and the right to speak your mind as long as you are respectful to others. It was always this way, but somewhere along the line I guess I loosened up the reigns on cursing and *questionable family topics*. Especially for myself. Come to think of it I would say I am the one that says the most outrageous things at the table.

Not sure how it started, but for some reason I had a run of topics come out of my mouth that left my kids… well almost stunned.

Danny: Wow, think of a list of the most outrageous things to hear a mom say and you pretty much hit them all. 

Jana: With each topic I did not think it could get worse… and then it did.

Me: Really? Crap, are you guys going to need therapy from this?

Jana: Nah, it’s fine.

Danny: Don’t worry, the damage was done a long time ago. We’re good.

Gary: this is definitely going to be a blog post!

Perhaps I should consider some restraint in the future.

Probably unlikely.

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, parenting, women

Advice to my son

This is going to be a new series. I have decided to give Danny a piece of solid advice whenever I can. Occasionally, when I have compiled a nicely balanced list, I will post it here.

I am thinking I can establish myself as the teen advice-giver. What do you think? Well, perhaps you may need to sample a few posts before you actually want to share these with your own kids.

I figured this is my last chance to leave my mark on the little bugger. Now Janny, I know this might be pissing you off right about now because I never did this with you, so consider this for your ears as well. (Except when I mention body parts that you don’t have). And there may be one thrown in there for you once in awhile

Here is the first list. It is in no particular order.

1. Be all that you can be (not in the military way). I have actually said this to my kids every day before they left for school, right before they roll their eyes and walk out the door muttering some unsavory name under their breath.

2. Never spend money you don’t have. Credit card debt is a nasty hole you don’t want to fall down. (believe it or not I said this just before the financial crisis hit, I am sounding less stupid to him now).

3. Never show your penis in a business setting. This pertains to a story that I wish I could, but can’t share here. Danny’s response was, “what if I go into the porn business.” Note to self: decide if this is concerning.

4. Keep your eye on your own ball. This one works for everything but is especially crucial during college prep.

This one actually came up the other day in a conversation with Jana (since she thinks she is the more interesting child I figured I would throw her in):

5. Your true friends are the ones that will hold your hair back when you puke. To those who have done this for me in the past – and you know who you are – thank you from the bottom of my heart and back at ya anytime you need it. Or the grown up version of that which is ‘the ones that sit in the emergency or surgical waiting rooms with you’ when you get older. Why does it sound like puking is more fun in this context?

6. Don’t do crack. I figured this might be obvious but it can’t hurt to mention it.

7. Try not to hit anything when you are driving. Again, kind of obvious but he just got his permit and I thought it would be good to start with the fundamentals.

8. Don’t marry an asshole. Not sure how this one came up but it did result in him telling me that he thought I would make a good mother-in-law. Sweet, I will try to remember that and bite my tongue till it bleeds so as not to prove him wrong.

I am going to open this up for comments. Give me your best shot. I will compile and do a ‘Readers Advice to Their Kids’ post from the results, so I urge you to please join in.

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Filed under advice to my son, danny, family, humor, parenting