A mom is a mom forever

I’m an A to B kind of Princess, black and white like the colors of a Chanel Boutique.  Ziggy zaggy paths or gray areas…not so much. I had a clear-cut idea about how I was going to approach my topic du jour but like an annoying kid pulling at my shirt while I’m on the telephone, other ideas were poking at my consciously unconscious subconscious and I had to put aside my wonderfully witty post about vacuuming (!) and take a detour.

Listen up, moms!

Our children are ours to love and protect no matter how old they are — newborn, two years, sixteen, twenty-one, or even in their thirties, like my own Angel Boy.

The fragility of life smacked me in the head a few days ago. You just NEVER know when that call will come that stops you in your tracks.

I wrote a post last week about getting Botox and Juvederm with a couple of my girlfriends.
On Friday, my friend C and I stopped by the Chanel boutique inside Macy’s so she could get her makeup done. She’s doesn’t wear a lot of makeup but she’s going to the Dominican Republic with her boyfriend  for a couple weeks and would be attending a formal event and wanted to be glammed up.

While she’s being pampered and beautified, her iPhone rings. It’s her son, thirty years old, a really sweet boy, her only child. He was sick and didn’t know what was wrong with him. He sent her some pictures. His left eye was completely swollen shut and it looked very puffy and angry. He was in a lot of pain and had a headache. He told his mom (I’m having her repeat everything to me) that he woke up that way a few days before, had gone to an urgent care facility, and they sent him away with some antibiotics (I don’t know what kind) thinking perhaps it was a spider bite. The alternative diagnosis was herpes zoster (more commonly known as “shingles”). The headache was becoming unbearable.

My mom was a Registererd Nurse, and I have a pretty fair medical background because I listened to her a lot and I worked for my doctor cousin back when I thought I wanted to be a doctor myself, but I was no brainiac in math and science. I’m the one people call when they have a medical issue and want advice, and I always tell them to go to a doctor, but try to help them become educated patients or caregivers or parents.

I asked her to ask her son if he had a fever. Of course, he didn’t have a thermometer, (come one, everyone needs a digital thermometer!!) but he was having chills and his girlfriend said he felt warm.

I told my friend to tell her son to go back to the doctor immediately. If it was a spider bite, I was concerned that the location of the bite was near his eye and brain and needed more aggressive treatment. If it was shingles, he needed a more educated diagnosis and a different approach.

At this point, my friend was becoming really freaked out. We’re sitting in two makeup chairs and she’s worrying about her only child, her baby boy. She asked me what I would do if it were my son. I didn’t hesitate. I told her I would be on a flight to him right that instant. Sometimes the most random medical things can deteriorate at an alarming rate and she needed to be with him in a worst case scenario. I would. In a heartbeat.

We left the store and she promised to keep in touch.  He went back to the doctor, had a temp of 101 and a persistent headache. They told him it looked like he had shingles, gave him a steroid injection, and sent him home.

He had a bad night with a severe heachache that kept him awake.

My friend drove to the next state where he lives, a six-hour drive.

She emailed me that he had suffered a seizure and was in intensive care. They were doing tests to try and figure out what was wrong. Along with his other symptoms, a grand mal seizure in an otherwise completely healthy young man is very troublesome.

My last email from her was that the doctors had no clear answers, but he seemed to be feeling better and might be released in a couple days.

Did you think this was going to end with a story about every parent’s nightmare? I really thought it was going in that direction. I’m hopeful he will have a diagnosis and he doesn’t have any more seizures and this was simply a random, aberrant episode in his otherwise happy life. I haven’t heard from her today. Fingers crossed.

But it made me sit back and think. Being a mom is immutable, enduring, never-ending — and that’s the way it should be. The days of changing diapers and nursing them to sleep might be over, but they will always need us to be the one constant in their lives–the one person they can turn to who will run like the wind to wherever they are.

That’s what a good mom should do. That’s a mom’s job.

You never know when it’s going to be the last time you see them. The last I love you. This is a reminder for us all to treasure all of their precious moments, no matter how old they are.

(Before I hear from any dads out there, this is MY perspective and MY opinion as a mom.)


Bad language, the Titanic, and seashells

Sunday night; it’s been a crazy weekend. DIL and her sister (I call her sister wife but my son says it’s inappropriate –throwing my word back at me–and she’s his wife’s sister) drove down from San Francisco via LA for the day. They got here yesterday about 10:30 a.m. I had  breakfast burritos ready to go. Bio-dad (my son’s dad) was here and we all ate on the deck and then it was time to go through the entire house like I’m Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, and Macy’s all rolled into one. They needed bed linens, towels, blankets, comforters, shelving, pots, pans, cooking utensils, and for some reason, all the chick lit books I’ve read over the past three months. Sister wife took a dolphin lamp the neighbors were gonna put in the trash but I rescued. A walk around the yard yielded several potted plants that would adorn their rental in SF. The price was right–of course, even things that are free usually have strings attached,  but in this case, we were just glad to help them out. Here’s the scenario: DIL moved to SF. Her husband, my son, still lives in New Haven and teaches at Yale. We all have our fingers crossed that he gets a job in NorCal soon. In spite of the obstacles, they’re doing a great job of making this long distance thing work.

After ransacking our house, we went for a walk on the seawall in Carlsbad (bio-dad built it in 1987) and stopped for an early sushi dinner at Mikkos. (Bio-dad went home after breakfast. We’re friendly, but not THAT friendly.)  The captain checked over DIL’s car to make sure it was in good working order and they were back on the road at 4:30 p.m.

My reward for all this was a whole slew of new slang for UK SPK Part Two, which will be coming along later in the week. Sister wife is a treasure trove of great speak!

Last night we watched The Artist on Netflix. Are we the last people in the US to see this awesome film? Start to finish, it was fantastic. The acting was so incredible we forgot it was a silent film.

Today the captain and I went to the famous Carlsbad Street Fair. We parked at the beach and walked down to the village. It all started a bit aggressively as we crossed Carlsbad Blvd. in the proper crosswalk. One lane of cars stopped for us, but in another lane a car sped by and almost ran us down when we were most vulnerable in the middle of the street. Captain says, “Slow down, buddy” I yell, “Slow down, asshole!” Idiot driver says, “Fuck you!” I yell, “Fuck you, too!” and all the other cars are honking at him–‘cos he’s an idiot and he almost killed us. Good times in Carlsbad. Here’s me safely on the other side of the street enjoying a nice stretch. Not having a good hair day but the hat covers the worst of it.

The first thing we saw at the fair was a slide replica of the Titanic. Come on, people. In what universe could it be considered “fun” to imitate the gruesome tragedy of  1500 or so deaths by recreating the event in an activity for kids.

This is a pretty gruesome if you think about it.

I was on the lookout for  the booths that carry seashells. Yeah, I admit I’m a bit obsessed about  the whole seashell thing, but it’s a relatively innocent obsession, so I don’t feel too bad about it. We saw one booth and I stopped to take a pic before I picked out the ones I wanted but the owner stuck her hand in front of my camera like I”m a papparazi or something and said, “No pictures” so I called her a bitch and left without purchasing any seashells.  (We actually exchanged a bit more words than that and included someone calling someone the “c” word.) She’s lucky she still has both of her hands. Captain was very supportive (maybe even scared of me a bit, as I’m only five feet tall but kind of freaky crazy sometimes when stupid people act stupid for stupid reasons.) I was only planning to give her biz a shout out but since she was irrational, I won’t post the pic which I got in spite of her ugly hand block. We found another purveyor of seashells and I scored the motherlode. I got so many starfish and unusual shells it wiped away the other bad experience. 

We walked up and down every bit of the fair until we were beyond exhausted. I figured we had walked enough to deserve some junk food. We had delicious veggie spring rolls and even a funnel cake, but only a very small one. The two mile walk back to the car probably burned off a few more calories.