I Fell Down and a Baby Popped Out.

In that order, but it took a whole day to achieve my life’s greatest accomplishment.

In 1981, March 23 fell on a Monday.

This year, my Angel Boy is in New York at a conference at NYU. My BABY boy is not a baby anymore. That’s a hard concept to grasp…

The day before…
I took my dogs, Beowulf and Sabrina, out for an early morning walk.

My mom was going to come over around noon and take me shopping — see, that’s where I get it from!

It was a full week past my due date and those pesky Braxton Hicks contractions were terrifying me on a daily basis. My mom was the head RN of Women’s Surgical at a local hospital. She thought a bit of retail therapy (see what I mean?) would take my mind off of that discomfort.

At that time, my son’s dad and I lived in an older part of San Diego; Hillcrest. The sidewalks were deteriorated with huge cracks and fissures.

With my big belly full of Angel Boy blocking my view, I tripped and fell — not hard — but with sixty extra pounds on my normally one hundred pound frame, I was more than a little ungainly.

I remember being super embarrassed for anyone to watch my feeble attempts to get up. Luckily, no one was out that early. I leaned on Beowulf (one-hundred-pounds of Akita/Husky/Wolf) who stood about thirty inches at his shoulders, and he was a sturdy support to help me up.

I continued walking home — just a few blocks — and didn’t think much about my fall, but I did tell my mom when she picked me up to go to the mall.

She knew everything there was to know about birthin’ babies.

She reminded me that she had told me a zillion times not to go walking alone this late in pregnancy, but I replied like I always did, “Blah, blah, blah…I’m not listening to a word you say.”

We stopped at a lingerie shop and she bought me a beautiful rosebud sprigged shortie nightgown.

As we were leaving the store, I whispered to her, “Mom, I think I wet my pants.”

(Dumb me, who had read every single book ever written about pregnancy and childbirth, didn’t comprehend what had happened.)

My mom instantly went into what we always called her “nursey” mode.

Quizzing me non-stop about any other symptoms in a very calm voice, we cut short our shopping day (darn) and drove home.

I don’t want to be too gross here; let’s just say other things were leaking out of me, too…

Suddenly, those Braxton Hicks contractions became the real thing.

I called my doctor. It was time.

All during my pregnancy, I had planned to deliver at home, au natural, with my mom as midwife.

Toward the end, it became obvious that my Angel Boy was too big for that to be possible.

I hate hospitals.

I didn’t want that atmosphere to be the first memories implanted in my baby’s precious brain. With reluctance, I agreed that his health was more important than my hippie chick desires, and hubs, mom, and I all went to the hospital.

The doc examined me, concluded that the fall had merely torn the amniotic sac and the potential for introducing bacteria was a concern, so I agreed to let him completely puncture it to speed up the process.

And oh yes, speed it up it did. The mild contractions intensified.

Other than the unrelenting pain, which didn’t respond to that stupid Lamaze class training, I remember my son’s dad watching “Patton” on the wall TV in the birthing room.

I will always hate him for that.

After being in labor all night, my mom and the doc had a consultation.

Apparently, my baby had a head the size of Plymouth Rock and it was stuck.

It just wouldn’t come out.

I was so upset I couldn’t stop crying.

I had failed my first test as a mom.

So…at 9:42 a.m. on Monday, March 23, 1981, I had an emergency Caesarean Section.

I was wide awake and watched it all.

In the end, I guess it didn’t really matter how my Angel Boy got here.

He was beautiful and healthy; 8 1/2 pounds and 21 inches. He scored a 9 on the Apgar Scale; a high achiever from the beginning!

Happy 33rd birthday, Professor Angel Boy!

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Top Ten Things My Husband Hates About Me

On a whim, for no real reason, I sent my tugboat captain husband-in-absentia an email asking him to come up with ten things I do that piss him off, airing our dirty laundry, so to speak.

He wrote back that he….

  • …was too busy, didn’t have time to play my “little game”.
  • …is smart enough to know he should NEVER put anything in writing that could be used agaist him in a court of law.
  • …was sure I didn’t need him to tell me what I already knew.
  • …knows that I answer for him everywhere we go, so I could respond to my own query.
  • …was sure that I only asked or cared because I want to write a snarky post about it.

What a smart ass jerky jerk he is, right?

But he does know his little Princess Rosebud, that’s for sure.

Pretending for a moment that I’m a tugboat captain married to me (lucky guy), I walked a couple of steps in his shoes and compiled a list of my annoying traits…and no, I don’t plan to make any changes to my behavior because it amuses me to piss him off.

The List

organic-red-apple_3001. Hub HATES it when I hand him an apple to eat (or a peach or a pear) and I don’t remove the sticker first. I’ll wash it, of course, but the fact that this annoys him just means that I’ll ALWAYS remember to NEVER remove the sticker, ‘cos it’s so much fun to hear him rant about it.

2. I routinely let my car run out of gas when he’s out to sea, park it in the garage, and then I use HIS car until it’s also out of gas and then I call or email him to find out how many miles I have left in the reserve tank before I have to refuel or call AAA. Uh, I HATE going to the gas station. Duh.

3. As compulsively clean as I am, I leave open every single cabinet in the kitchen; and no matter where I am in the house, I laugh to myself as I hear him close each and every one when I leave the room. Hee hee.

4. We used to go out swing dancing and to Lindy Hop events, and he HATED that I would fight him for the lead. I’m not a very subservient follower; even while dancing, I like to be in control. He would say, “In most things in life, Rosebud, you can tell me what to do, but when we’re dancing, the MAN LEADS!” It’s a tough concept for me to grasp. So…we don’t do too much dancing anymore.

5. He hates that I love to watch Real Housewives of Orange County and once made him drive me to Laguna Beach and walk around pretending to be one of them. (For reals.)

6. He hates that I bug him to play Scrabble because I think I’m so smart and then when I see that I’m going to lose, I upset the board and ruin the game. Yes, I’m a sore loser.

7.  More than anything, he’s frustrated with me because my mouth has a mind of its own and it will yell out VERY RUDE things to people who are either texting/talking on their cell, or if I witness abuse/mistreatment of  children/animals…and then he has to step in and be my reluctant knight-in-shining-armor, but on the other hand, he tells me he loves me for my passions. He’s sending mixed messages, right? So it’s all his fault, right?

8. This is more of a thing that he’s perplexed by, rather than pissed off by…I’ll drive across town to either get the lowest price on a–let’s say for example, a ball of twine (READ ABOUT IT HERE), or I’ll take back a fifty cent item because I am SO CHEAP, yet I have no problem at all slapping down the plastique for a Chanel handbag or designer dress or a pair of Kate Spade specs. Drives him totes cray! I say it also keeps him on his toes.

9. He gets really incensed when I don’t wear safety goggles to mow the lawn. REALLY. Professional mariners are VERY safety-conscious. VERY. Since I mow the lawn mainly when he’s out to sea, he can’t enforce his safety rules. He is so not the boss of me!

{I checked Chicago Manual of Style online to determine whether it’s “safety conscious” or hyphenated “safety-conscious” but it didn’t give me a clear-cut answer and then I got bored with the research.}

10. Mostly, without  a doubt, the NUMBER ONE thing he hates is when I write about him in any context. And a picture of him? Forget about it. He refuses to let me post a photo of him, of us together, or any personal info.

For all that you guys know, he’s a figment of my imagination, but he really exists, I promise! See? Here’s my tugboat man shoveling mushroom compost ‘cos that’s what hubs are good for! 

Dear WordPress…What Am I, CHOPPED LIVER?

What am I, chopped liver?When I was little Princess Rosebud growing up in Detroit,  my mom used to be the Queen of chopped liver.

At Channukah and Sukkos and the High Holidays, our family would come from miles around to chow down on her spectacular cooking and baking, including that tasty, albeit ugly, liver-y creation. Even a sprinkling of chopped hardboiled egg and parsley couldn’t mask the grey/brown blob of mushed up, mashed up internal organ.

Oh, and gribones, which is an artery clogging mixture of fried chicken skins, onions, and schmaltz, which is chicken FAT. Rendered chicken fat. Jars of it in the back of the refrigerator. GAG.

According to Wiki: The word gribenes is related to Griebe (plural Grieben) in various German dialects (from Old High German griobo via Middle High German griebe),[2] where Griebenschmalz is lard from which the cracklings have not been removed. German “Geriebenes” is a matter which has been grated or ground, from German “reiben”, to grind.

No wonder I became a veg.

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I’ve been a vegetarian since 1971, when I was still in high school. I haven’t had a taste or even a morsel of meat nor fowl since then, including the liver, chopped or otherwise, of any living creature.

Why the chopped liver memories?

For the longest time, I’ve felt like I’m the human embodiment of chopped liver, ‘cos it seems that I’m the ONLY blog in the entire family of WordPress blogs that hasn’t ever been chosen to be Freshly Pressed.

I’m very sad.

I read a lot of Freshly Pressed posts, and I ponder.

I scratch my head —  and it’s not that I begrudge the recipients who’re chosen, but I’ve held an objective mirror up to my writing and my subject matter and my unique voice, and I truly believe it’s GOOD. In some cases, way better than the lucky bloggers who can boast of being Freshly Pressed.

Lots of people tell me I’m good. Even my son tells me I’m a good writer and he’s pretty stingy with his compliments, which make them all the more valuable — plus he’s a Yale professor AND author, so I take his praise with more than a few grains of salt.

I’ve had readers wonder why they don’t see me in Freshly Pressed, when other bloggers have had multiple posts chosen.

In my not-really-humble opinion, It’s a travesty.

On a serious note, it reeks of favoritism and might as well be advertising and promotion for ONE blogger at the expense of many other worthy writers.

There. I’m finished now.

That’s my Friday rant.

Tonight I’ll light some shabbat candles and wish really hard that one day SOON, I can proudly display a Freshly Pressed badge on my blog.

Dreams CAN come true, ya know.

Hello? WordPress? Can you hear me??

Can you hear me NOW?

When Is A Friend Not A Friend?

Let me ask you a question about friendships…is there a line that can’t be crossed?

What would you do if a friend acted in manner so egregious, so counter to your own value system?

Have you ever said to yourself, I can’t be friends with someone like that, and end the friendship?

It happened to me.

I met her at the gym; she overheard me talking about my obsession with all things Chanel and we became friendly.

My tugboat man coined the phrase “friend not friend” because all we did was shop together. We never went out for dinner as couples and we never socialized together with our husbands. She had been to our house, but had never invited me to hers.

She was a “shopping friend.”

That means we’d meet every couple of weeks or so and drive in one car to a mall, either Fashion Valley in San Diego, or South Coast Plaza in Orange County.

Whoever didn’t drive bought lunch for two; that was a fair trade.

That was the only thing we had in common, even though we learned that our kids attended the same elementary school at the same time.

She’d been a working mom throughout their entire childhood; I’m an ardent advocate for the stay-at-home-mom situation.

She had a tough childhood: was unwanted, abused by a stepfather, and forced to travel around the country with her migrant worker family.

She managed to graduate from college and has been married to the same man for about forty years, the only man she’s ever slept with.

He just happens to be a millionaire, which is an amazing rags to riches tale.

Her inner fortitude and drive to extricate herself from poverty are admirable qualities and I’m sure that somewhere in there is an explanation for the way she acted the last time we spent the day together.

On this particular day, it was her turn to drive. Since she never had new clothes when she was growing up, she became a compulsive shopper, and always bought something, no matter what the cost. I’m more of a browser, and fairly thrifty except for that one (or two) Chanels.

After six hours at South Coast Plaza, we were on the highway heading home.

Looking out of the passenger window, I spotted a little puppy walking in the weeds parallel to the freeway.

I pointed and said, “Oh my gosh, do you see that? Pull over, pull over, there’s a puppy right there. You stop and I’ll run out and get it before something terrible happens.”

She wouldn’t stop.

She would not stop.

She flailed a hand about —  you know, in that way, that universal sign of blasé dismissal — and said, “Oh, someone will help. It’ll be fine.”

“No it won’t. We have to help. We HAVE to. Get off the next exit and let’s go back. “

She refused to stop the car, no matter what I said.

“How could you say you love animals but you won’t stop to help a creature in dire need of assistance?”

I was powerless. I hate feeling ineffectual, useless, helpless.

I’m sure she endured all that and more growing up with her dysfunctional family but it would seem that she might have felt more of a kinship toward another helpless creature, not apathetic indifference and total lack of compassion.

I was silent for the remainder of the ride.

By the time we got back, it was getting dark. I thought about jumping in my car and driving back to where I saw the puppy but I didn’t even know the exactly where we had been, which is the reason why I hadn’t called CHP or animal rescue. It would have been impossible to locate. All I know is that it was somewhere on the 405 South from Newport Beach.

That was the last time I saw this friend not friend. She went on a vacation soon after that and when she returned, I heard she started going to another gym.

I’m haunted by the vision of that puppy that I couldn’t help.

Of course I couldn’t be friends with someone like that.

Everything I needed to know about her true character was revealed, and for me, that’s a non-negotiable area.

A deal breaker. A heart breaker.

Have you ever had to end a friendship?

A Wanted Child

I am of the opinion that the global interest (and/or disdain)  in the birth of Britain’s future king is really less about the trappings of wealth and royal life — the gene pool and history he’s born into –than our forlorn and seemingly irretrievable collective absence of moms and dads who devote their lives to their babies.

As happy as I am for the birth of George Alexander Louis, His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge. this newborn who will be king, it makes me equally as sad for all the babies born that are NOT going to be as loved or wanted or properly cared for or parented.

All babies should be as loved as this one, all children deserve to feel like a prince or a princess, not like an unwanted nuisance or an accessory to be displayed when it’s convenient –and ignored when it’s not.

All children should be gazed upon with unconditional love, devotion, and dedication.

Over the years, I’ve observed enough parent/child interactions to believe that we may have forfeited the desire and commitment to raising a brand new human with lifelong dedication and passion–and love.

The bond between parent and child is one of the strongest connections in nature –or it should be.

I was again reminded how that’s not always the case when my tugboat man and I were at Barnes and Noble in Orange County a couple days ago.

He had most kindly driven me to Chanel because I lost a screw in the hardware of my Grand Shopper Tote and their only method of replacement involved bringing the bag to them, which was most def NOT a hardship. LOL. My sweet hubs drove me ‘cos of the limited use of my still only semi-functioning left arm — three more weeks of this stupid cast…

After going to Chanel and browsing through as many other stores as his patience would allow (he obvs does not share my same passion to discover the treasure of a perfect wedge) his sanctuary was the bookstore whilst I continued my search at the Nord Outlet.

Unfortunately though, my heart’s desire was not to be realized that day — no wedge for me…so I walked next door and I found my mariner among the stacks of maritime-related books–sooo predictable.

As we waited in line to pay for his books, there was a mom and a boy who looked to be about four-years-old. He was talking to her — trying to talk to her — about toys, books, whatever, just the adorable stream-of-consciousness conversation of a little one — and he was being ignored.

Mom was scrolling through her smart phone, reading a text, responding to a text, all the while she selfishly sacrificed this glorious opportunity to “be present in the moment” with her bright little boy.

Finally, after several minutes of trying to elicit a response, to be heard, to be acknowledged, to garner her oh-so-valuable attention, he put his hand up as if to physically block her from seeing the phone and said in a resigned tone that left me no doubt he’s said this before;

“No phone, Momma, no phone. Me, Momma, ME.

No phone.”

At that point, she looked up, turned away from him, and responded,

“Just a minute. Just a minute. Stop. I’m almost done.”

By the crestfallen look on his face, it was too late.

The spark of light had gone out of his eyes.

Poof, just like that.

It was a precious moment forever lost.

Hubs and I shook our heads. We felt so sad for this boy and disgusted with his clueless mom.

Ah well, I feel like a dinosaur.

My Angel Boy was wanted and cherished — from the time I was a little girl, I wanted to be a mom — I knew that for me, there would be nothing more fulfilling than the joy caring for a baby and helping that new life grow; nurturing his interests, curiosity, and imagination.

His Montessori Kindergarten teacher once said to me (in her adorable French accent):

“Jay-sohn seez ze world een heez own way.”

Jason sees the world in his own way.

He still does, and I can think of no better validation of my job as his mom.

Were there bad and neglectful parents before the invention of technology and social media?

Of course there were.

It just seems as if phones and video games have become an overwhelming distraction — and the focus of daily existence. Caring for a home and family is pushed way down the list.

Our values are skewed — in my (unpopular) opinion.

Prince-William-and-Kate-royal-baby-2082438The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, gazing upon their newborn with such unabashed love, reminds me of a playground song:

“First comes love, then comes marriage.
Then comes a baby in a baby carriage.”

People who don’t want the serious and lifelong responsibility of having children should not have them.

It’s that simple.

Let’s treat our children like they’re the most special people in the world, OK?

I’m shouting this to the world in general…

“Moms and Dads, get off your phones!
Please, PAY ATTENTION to your children.
They’re more important than TWITTER,  FACEBOOK, or any other inanimate object.”

Sunday Blues

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Baby Daddy Day

Happy Deadbeat Dad Day

Tugboat Man Update

There are only a few blues in my garden — I wish I could successfully grow hydrangeas, but I think the soil would need a major overhaul.

I found these blues on my morning tour (to see if any more sick squirrels came to visit.)

Lily of the Nile, also known as Agapanthus…
against a backdrop of neon-pink Sweetpea Bush.

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An artichoke that didn’t get picked in time to eat. 

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Lots of unpicked artichokes…see what the captain missed?

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The only other blue is the flower from Ajuga, a ground cover.

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The Convoluted Logic of Our Mother’s Day Tradition

depositphotos_5078841-Happy-Mothers-Day-with-Daisy-FlowersIt started with my own mom; she presented ME with gifts on Mother’s Day — thanking me for being her daughter — and any excuse to shop is a good one, right?

I was born on Mother’s Day, so it makes sense to give me lots and lots of presents. Even though it only occurs that way every seven years, it’s still always within the same week.

I enthusiastically carry on the tradition with my son; well, because — uh –if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have a reason to celebrate Mother’s Day at all, would I?

As my son would say, “Duh.”

This year I got him an array of products from Kiehls — skin cream, shaving cream, shampoo, and penned a mini-poem:

You have always been my Angel Boy

As your mom

Every day has been filled with joy.

Other girls wanted to be doctors, lawyers, teachers — all I ever wanted to be was a mom.

While all the other mommies are having breakfast or brunch or lunch, I’ll be spending my day driving to the airport to for a Southwest Airlines delivery of my Angel Boy. Can’t wait!

Best of all, he’ll be here all week and that is my best birthday present ever.

Happy Mother’s Day to cat and dog lovers!

crazycatlady

 

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A Mom Knows These Things

A Generation Fabulous Blog Hop: The Best Thing I Learned From My Mother

Me: “Hey, Mom, guess what?”

Mom: “You’re pregnant.”

Me: “How did you know that’s what I was gonna say?”

Mom: “A mom knows these things.”

MommyThat’s my mom. She was born in 1915 and died in 1989 from pancreatic cancer. She lived with us until the end. I cared for her with the help of a wonderful hospice team.

I was a mid-life baby –born in 1954. She was afraid that I was going to be affected with Downs Syndrome, although they didn’t call it that. At that time, it was  referred to as Mongoloidism, which is no longer in technical use as its considered offensive. They didn’t have genetic testing back then and it scared her that  I was such a good baby, always happy and never cried.

The doctor told her I would make up for it by causing her heartache when I was a teenager, and I did — but that story is for another time…

My mom became a registered nurse at a time when abortions were illegal. She often told me that the horrible things that she saw in the hospital — the aftereffects of a botched backroom abortion — were the reasons she was one thousand percent pro-choice right from the beginning.

“A woman has the right to choose whether or not she wants to have a child.”

That’s something I learned from my mom.

“No man has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body.”

I learned that from my mom, too.

These forward thinking ideas were even more remarkable when you consider that her father — my grandfather — was a Rabbi. My mom was one of seven children. They moved from town to town as my grandfather moved from synagogue to synagogue  – a nomadic life.  Although she was born in Minnesota, my mom spoke with a slight southern drawl because the family spent many years in the south.

They eventually ended up in Detroit. I loved hearing my mom tell the story of climbing onto a city bus and walking to the back along with an African-American girl who had been told to “get to the back of the bus”. The bus driver kicked my mom off for being a troublemaker.

meandmommyObviously, that’s where I got my big mouth. I learned to speak up for those less fortunate — to fight for those that have no voice. I learned to speak up when I see child abuse or animal cruelty. As proud as I was of her, I know she’d be equally as proud of me.

My mom taught me what it meant to be a mother. She abhorred daycare and nannies and was disdainful of mothers who worked. She told me that people shouldn’t have children if they don’t want them and if they can’t take proper care of them.

No stranger would raise HER grandchild.

“A child deserves to have a mom who will selflessly dedicate her life to her child with unconditional love.”

I always knew I would be a stay-at-home-mom — my mom showed me how.

And also thanks to my mom, I wear perfume every day — Chance by Chanel. It’s my signature, even if I’m just going to the gym. I learned that from my mom, too.

“Don’t save perfume for special occasions.” Fragrance can turn rancid and sour smelling. This is what she said when she presented me with my very first bottle of real parfum — Joy by Jean Patou.

“Wear it every day. Wear it for yourself.”

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My mom and me. I think I had just given birth…not sure where my baby is!

Along with a love for cleaning the house with bleach, collecting seashells and blue glass, my mom passed on the shopping gene.

My passion for the finer things in life are directly related to that first mother-daughter dress, my first pink satin ballet shoes, my first silk blouse, and my first treasured cashmere sweater.

When we enjoyed a bit of retail therapy, Mommy (yes, I called her Mommy) liked to buy me things because she said it made her happy.

Her favorite saying was, “It’s only money.”

That cracks up my tugboat man — although she passed away a few years before we met– he says he’s now paying the price (literally) and carrying on the tradition – under duress. Ha ha ha!

Thank you, Mommy. I miss you so very much.

This is a bloghop!

An Enchanted Book Review: “where we belong”

One of the few joys I look forward to as an on again-off again single woman when my tugboat man goes out to sea is the freedom to read in bed as long as I want, without being told to “turn the light out and put the book down.”

That’s why I was soo excited to find a new Emily Giffen novel.2012-WhereWeBelong

where we belong (click on the title to read a chapter preview), is a radical departure from her other novels, and I’ve read them all:

An Emily Giffen story is usually so fun and captivating —  it’s like comfort food with the classic story structure: action, background, conflict, development, and the ending — with a happily ever after.

I want, I want, I want...

I’m pretty easy to please when i read chick lit. I don’t ask for much — a little romance, a little fashion, a little roadblock to the romance, some witty repartee, conflict resolution, and a happy ending with a huge diamond.

But not this time. What a disappointment this was!

[Spoiler alert]

Giffen’s character development was flat, stereotypical, and full of cliches.  The entire premise was kind of hard for me to believe. A teenager (Marian) gets pregnant, tells her mom but no one else — not the teen’s dad nor the teen’s boyfriend (Conrad); they conspire to hide her away somewhere until she gives birth and subsequently offers up the three-day-old child for adoption, and immediately gets on with her life to eventually become a successful producer of televison shows. Eighteen years later, the child (Kirby) searches for her birth mother and father, and ultimately all four parents attend her high school graduation. The reader is left with the hint that the bio-parents still have the hots for each other.

That’s it!

That’s all I got out of it the 372 pages.

My overwhelming feeling is that Giffen is looking to cash in on another series — will they or won’t they act on their feelings? Even the Reading Guide hints at this: “What do you think happens after the last page in this novel is turned? What future do you see for Kirby, Marian, and Conrad?

Sorry Emily Giffen, I’m not a fan of this one.

Have you read this one? Let me know what you think about it.

How to Bring Joy to an Empty Nester Mommy

Skypevintage adAnswer: Enjoy an hour-long Skype video conversation with her son.

That’s the highlight of my day. My Angel Boy and I Skyped for over an hour and it was rainbows and sunshine and glitter all rolled into one. The wonderfullness of seeing his face makes everything OK.

When my son first went to college, it was just down the road at UCSD (University of California at San Diego), about a half hour away. He lived on campus in a dorm for a few reasons: traffic on our freeway is horrible and would have been too stressful to drive every day, we wanted him to have a true “college” life experience, away from home —  for the first time — although we were close enough to be around if needed. He was seventeen when he was a freshman, and I really worried about him for all the reasons you can imagine.

8414969-empty-nest-isolated-on-white-with-space-for-textHe did just fine; I was the basket case.

Talk about empty nest syndrome; I was bereft, tearful, wandering into his room at all hours of the day and night…the silence was  hardest to bear. No doors slamming, “I’m home, mom, I’m hungry!” No one saying, “Hey, the guys are coming over to skate. Can we have snacks?” No one to need my help — not with anything.

That’s the hardest part of being an empty nester, I think.

It’s not being needed every day.

Sigh.

That was in 1998. We didn’t have the luxury of Skype — and mobile phones hadn’t yet attained their ubiquitous status. He had a laptop with an Ethernet connection and we thought that was a big deal.

We talked on a landline several times a week and he came home most weekends. We drove down to get him (and his laundry) and take him back with clean clothes and enough brownies and cookies and snacks to last the week.

In his junior year, he had the opportunity to go to Germany for his year abroad experience. He left for the University of Goettingen in September and I flew there in February and stayed for a week.

I met his friends and his professors and we walked for hours and talked and laughed non-stop the entire time. That’s what we’ve always done and that tops the list of what I miss most about him being all grown up and everything – besides the hugs and smiles and his messy room and being hungry all the time — he and I can talk for hours about anything.

It was a tradition started in Kindergarten. We’d leave the house every morning around 7:30 a.m. to walk our dog  before school began at 8:05 a.m. During that half hour he’d practice arithmetic, spelling, brain teasers, chat about his day in school, and what I would be doing with my time. With a final kiss and hug from me and a goodbye from his dog, he skipped off to meet his friends. Never looking back. Self confident and prepared for learning. That was my goal, and I think I accomplished it.

It’s full circle time for my Angel Boy — he’s taught freshman and seniors at Yale.  I couldn’t be prouder. When you’re a mom of a little one, you hope to plant the seeds for future life success; it’s a happy day when you see the fruits of your labor — a magnificent, tall, strong bountiful harvest. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t miss him terribly! Sigh…

Our bountiful garden