Daily Living

Slings and Arrows on the Playground (Or, How to Watch Your Kid Grow Up)

Stefan K and kidI’ll tell you what’s difficult: not having a reaction when your kid (or other’s kids) fall down. On the one hand they say that falling down is part of life and, on the other, is the wild reaction when my or their kid takes a digger.

If it’s part of life, then why are we so crazy about reacting?

I know myself – the feeling of that tangy shock when a kid – any kid – especially your own kid, falls on their knees in the street, raking that tender, perfect skin on the asphalt. It’s all you can do to keep your hands from flying to your head and having some primordial sound come out of your mouth. It’s nearly unbearable.

Barefoot or shod, that is the question. Barefoot eliminates the extra possibility of a trip and fall. But those delicate little toes! Jabs, slivers, metal… either way something’s going to happen. [Read More…]

Daily Pearls of Wisdom

Lydia and Caroline 2011

I can hear my cell phone blowing up. First a text, then endless ringing until it goes to voicemail. Trying to work on my novel and tune out distractions, I kick myself for neglecting the first rule of writing: turn off all devices.

Then, the landline starts to ring and it doesn’t take caller ID to know it’s my daughter with the tragedy du jour. I pick up, knowing that she’ll keep trying until she has to resort to calling her father. God forbid. He’ll dispense real advice. Taboo in the parenting manual.

That’s my 26-year-old daughter, calling in for her daily dose of moral support or to simply “kvetch.” When her life is going well, it’s a joy to pick up, but when it’s not… well, that’s when I need to be on my A-game. [Read More…]

Limbo! Limbo, Limbo

Carmel Harrington's kidsThis was the song I was rudely awoken to at 6.30 am this morning, folks. My 3 year old son, Nate, had crept into our bed, natch’, along with the complete cast of Toy Story.

Trying to hold my reluctant leg a few inches up off our bed, Nate had decided to fashion it into a limbo stick for Woody, Buzz, Jessie and Rex. They were having a right old time. Slinky was sitting this one out. Lucky Slinky.

A version of this happens every morning. Mr H and I have now become accustomed to Nate’s unique, loud and sometimes painful method of waking us up. Yesterday, there was no limbo dancing under covers, but there was a plastic truck being driven over my body, with Woody in the driving seat.

Alongside the ‘beep beeps, oh no, I’m stuck, quick lets go before the monster gets us,’ he told us both over and over, ‘I hungry. It’s morning time. GETUPPPPP mama and dada!’ [Read More…]

I Love the Change of Seasons – Spring Thoughts from Mr. Mom

spring

I love the change of seasons.  It’s not that I couldn’t handle California, Arizona or Florida lifestyles.  I would miss the sweet touch of a frozen wind across my face or a summer thunderstorm whipping dust into mini-cyclones.

Rain, pitter-pattering down on the roof to torrential downpours flooding streets and the sun-slanted warmth of fall would be lost.

What is Spring Fever without the Spring? [Read More…]

By |April 10th, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Midlife Foibles!|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

I Shout, Therefore I Am

Surviving life as a mother of a preteen girl is not for the faint of heart. Most days, I feel like a robot mechanically repeating the same tired phrases over and over, only to be met with dramatic sighs and eye rolls. These slogans feel like rites of passage every matriarch must pass down to her offspring, sure to be met with the same indifference as the generation before.

While it is frightening to watch how effortlessly my daughter tells me EXACTLY how she is feeling every second she feels it, it got me thinking. What if I was brave enough to say what I really mean? I decided to give it a shot. [Read More…]

Hormones, My Son, and Me

Jo-Ann Rogan and oldest sonThere are a ton of hormones swirling around in my house.  Suddenly what was once my tiny sweet smelling baby is now a 11-year-old young man with very decidedly offensive odors.  The changes are coming slowly.

He is still devoid of a manly voice and beard and although the changes are subtle, they are happening. I notice he is quicker to anger than he was a year ago.

He craves more independence and I find myself constantly pulling on the reigns of the boundaries I have created at home.

One of the biggest fights we struggle with is about him wanting to be out with friends after dark.  Although we live in a lovely neighborhood, we live in the city, and being a former wild child I know that nothing positive happens hanging out after dark as a preteen. [Read More…]

Phone Folly (Three Short Parenting-A-College-Kid Stories)

telephone#1 – A phone call in the middle of the night is never a good thing.  On a mid-September night, I fall into an easy sleep, secure in the thought that my daughter Catherine is settling into college life.   A rude ring rouses me.    Mother’s intuition, fueled by my overactive, overprotective gene, shoots into overdrive.   I brace for bad news as my husband, Mr. Don’t Worry Be Happy, picks up the phone.

DWBH: “Hey, Catherine, how ya doing?  Good.  Yeah Mom’s right here.”

It’s midnight. Where did she think I’d be? At the mall?  Out for cocktails? [Read More…]

Rebirth (The Passage of Time and A Personal Take on Spring)

Funny old thing, time … One minute there you are with a newborn baby wondering over every minute, every detail of a new person, and then woosh – suddenly you have a three year old, grey roots in your hair and no idea where the last three years went.

In fact, it’s impossible to believe that your exuberant, fiesty, glorious small person was ever a tiny newborn, a baby crawling at the speed of lightning down the hall or a toddler wobbling along on chubby little legs, arms up in the air trying to balance.

Somehow in the wink of an eye your child has become an all-consuming, time-eating, high-speed and even more demanding individual with strong opinions on everything and an all encompassing zest for life (and love of sticks, mud and trampolines). [Read More…]

By |April 2nd, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Motherhood, Mothers Over 40, Mothers Over 50|Tags: , |0 Comments

Five Tips to Reconnect and Grow the Roots Deep (With Your Adult Children)

Peggy and daughter

As our children grow up, it can sometimes feel as if they’re growing away from us.  We know they need to spread their wings, find themselves, and cut the apron strings, but that doesn’t stop us from feeling a little sting the first time we realize they don’t want to be seen with us at the mall.

The separation process continues as they develop their own interests and pursuits, many times going in very different directions from the well-intentioned road map we carefully created for them.

The teen years blow in, bringing the discomfort of change we’re not ready for:  a sudden disinterest in family vacations, less time with family and more time with friends, and a dislike for shared activities that were enjoyable just yesterday.

[Read More…]

Love, Acceptance and Stepchildren

StepfamiliesI watched Andrew Solomon’s Ted talk, “Love, No Matter What,” recently. And, it got me thinking about its relevance to stepfamilies and creating a stepfamily you love.

If you haven’t already seen it or it’s been awhile since you last watched Andrew’s talk, here it is:

http://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_solomon_love_no_matter_what?language=en [Read More…]

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