Mommies Dearest

IMG_5867Think back to the first time you realized you were having a baby, the joy, the promise, the way that  you ecstatically mapped out the future, your future, the baby’s future, everyone’s future.

You read a few books and knew everything, no really, like EVERYTHING.

Colic? You were going to beat it. Those terrible two’s were going to have nothing on you. Adolescence was going to be a walk in the park. And acne? Stop! Your kids were going to have perfect diets, filtered water, and plenty of fresh air which meant, of course, the most perfect complexions.

You weren’t just ready. You had all the answers. You were going to breast pump and send the extra to starving kids in Africa. You were going to make all of your own baby food from a garden you were going to start on your window sill. Your kids were never going to know what a chicken nugget was.

That wasn’t it. Your kid was never going to misbehave. Ever! Your kid was never going to say things like, “I hate you,” or, “you suck,” or much worse, yeah, way worse! Nope. Not your kid. You read chapters 3 through 33 of that popular book someone gave you at your baby shower. You got this.

You totally got this. Ha!

If your kid is under 5, skip forward a few paragraphs because you’re still delusional. You have no idea.

Why? Because when people are telling you that you should start a family, pestering you about getting pregnant, and generally harassing you to join the club you can never get out of, they leave out some crucial information. They don’t tell you the part where all kids at some point turn into unrecognizable creatures that do things that are unimaginable.

Don’t believe me? Think back to when you were a teenager. Yeah. Think harder. You know what you were doing.

Oh, and that was before social media, cell phones and 24/7 news. Our parents had the luxury of going bowling or out with their friends and actually bowling and hanging out with their friends. They didn’t track us. They couldn’t. And they didn’t have some stupid moms group that regularly exposed all of the bad things you and your friends did or all of the horrific mommies dearest who couldn’t wait to make themselves feel better about themselves by trashing other kids in those stupid groups.

Nobody warns you. I mean, I warn people, but my reach is sort of limited.

If you’re having your first kid, you may want to skip the rest. There’s nothing you can do now. Your life is pretty much over.

You may escape colic.  God bless you if you do, because it is a special place in Hell. Nobody tells you this, but the terrible two’s don’t actually start until three, just when you think you’ve escaped it, and it typically hits on that day where you’re running out with greasy hair, no bra, and forgot your wallet. In fact, its pretty much a given that it will never happen on that day when your hair and makeup are perfect. Yes. I said that day.

In fact, I promise you that if you leave your house in your pajamas, without brushing your hair, or are in any kind of unkempt state (basically from the time they are born until they are 25) well, that’s most likely going to be the moment your kid will decide to go from cute little Gerber baby to Rosemary’s baby. I promise!

I’m still scarred by the memory of my beautiful daughter, at the age of 3, deciding she had to strip in the middle of a parking lot during a snowstorm because I was silly enough to believe the myth that we would not survive without milk and bread. I can’t remember what I was wearing, but nobody was mistaking me for Gigi Hadid, even if she hadn’t been invented yet.

I will never forget that day. I remember it vividly, the  gorgeous purple faux fur she shed in the supermarket parking lot, the adorable snow boots from some expensive boutique scattered like wreckage, her precious leggings that matched perfectly the tutu dress that was now getting buried in the freshly falling snow, the gallon of milk dropped along the way as I tried deseperately to keep her from flailing herself out of my arms and into a snow bank.

Worse than her actual tantrum were the looks from the other shoppers, other mothers, the Mommies Dearest.

As I struggled to open the car door while wrapping my arms around my practically naked daughter, I scanned the snow looking for the various articles of clothing and then had a moment of panic because I wasn’t sure if I had dropped my keys. I don’t remember how I got her into the car seat, how I managed to strap her in, or what maternal instinct kicked in that spared her life and stopped me from dropping her in the snow and taking off for someplace tropical.

Somehow we made it out of there. I’m pretty sure the milk and boots didn’t.

Nobody offered to help me. The Mommies Dearest just stood there silently shaming me with those awful looks, as if this was the first time any of them had ever seen a kid throwing a tantrum.

I still think about the Mommies Dearest and wish I could go back and mash their faces in the snow. I made a promise that day to never be one of them. I will never be a Mommies Dearest, some awful person who shames other mothers having a tough time.

Kids are awful creatures. They go from adorable little bundles of joy to these things that ooze poop and vomit and then they grow into things called teenagers, and that crap is starting younger and younger, and they find new and improved ways to humiliate you in public,  and they have a brilliant way of doing it at the most opportune times.

The more awful creatures though are the Mommies Dearest. There is a special place in Hell for them.

My kids are all in their 20’s now and despite the horror of that long ago day, there are still times I would give anything to go back to it. I’d hug my daughter a little tighter, yes, during mid fit, and tell her I loved her and that all of those Mommies Dearest  glaring at us were stupid and that one day we were going to laugh about this. And maybe I’d apologize for dressing her up in that tutu dress and the purple faux fur. Not the boots though. They were incredible!

When I see a mom in the store struggling with a kid who is making her sorry for leaving the house, I offer a smile, a sympathetic look, and sometimes a kind word. Because I remember how awful those moments were and how horrible the Mommies Dearest can be.

Being a mommy is one of the greatest things in the world, well, from birth till 2 and then again after 20, so for like 2 and a half  years. But way worse than colic, the terrible twos, teenagers, the I hate you years, and pretty much anything else your kid can put you through are the Mommies Dearest.

Never be a Mommies Dearest.


Addiction Strikes Again

A mother is planning a funeral for her kid, a kid who had been a fixture in my home. There are so many parts of this story that I cannot tell, because its not my story to tell. So I’ll tell you the parts that I can.

I went to a Town Hall type meeting a few weeks ago. The Police Commissioner was there. Members of his department, high-ranking members discussed how addiction had affected their families. They discussed how they knew that they could not arrest us out of this crisis.

Right before making multiple arrests that were front-page news.

Local social service agencies were also at this Town Hall meeting. They spoke of the importance of awareness, the need for treatment that was accessible, and other things that I can’t remember because I was stuck on the headlines I knew were coming, headlines that talked of 50 or so arrests in my town, arrests that were designed to, well, I don’t know what they were designed to do because I knew that all of those arrests were not going to end the crisis.

Kids I loved were still addicts, some in recovery, some not there yet. The arrests that made the front page were not stopping those kids from using. Those arrests were not stopping the deaths that were still going to come.

I’m not blaming the police. I’m not blaming the social service agencies. Well, not really. Maybe just a little.

We cannot say that we can’t arrest ourselves out of this crisis and then make multiple arrests in various towns and  then put the arrest numbers in our local news as if those arrests are doing anything.

They’re not.

They’re not.

No. Really. They are not.

These kids are burying their friends, some who had been arrested. The deaths of their friends have not stopped them from using. You know why? Because they suffer from addiction.

It is not a choice.

So the news I received today was especially heartbreaking because I don’t think we are any closer to figuring this crap out.

Another kid that I loved, that my kids loved, is dead. I will be going to another wake where I will feel tremendous guilt for thanking God that I am not the mother receiving visitors. I will go home and thank God a million times that out of all of the problems I have, burying one of my kids is not one of them.

I will see a ton of kids that have grown up in my home shedding tears for their friend. I will hug them and tell them that I love them and worry that some of them will be next and say more prayers that it will be the last wake I go to all while knowing that its not.

There are people who will read this and think they are somehow immune to this. They’re not, but I’m not going to argue with them. Instead I’m going to tell you to hug your kids, tell them how much you love them, hug them again and tell them you love them again.

There is a mother out there tonight who would give anything to hug her kid. Instead she’s planning a funeral.



Transitioning from 1985

In a couple of days  I begin a new life. Well, sort of. I bring my old life along for the ride, so technically is it a new life or is it a transition?

Change has always been hard for me. I’ve made a zillion mistakes, stupid mistakes, because I have resisted change instead of looking forward to the opportunity for fresh starts and new beginnings. I’m pretty sure that I’m not alone in that.

I ran into someone I knew from high school the other day. I haven’t seen him in 30 years, maybe more. I laughed, to myself, that in some ways time stood still. He knows nothing of who I am, what I’ve become, just as I know nothing of him.

At our chance meeting, we were two kids back in 1985 and the things that we were back then. Btw, my 1985 self needed a lot of work. So this old friend talked to the 1985 version of me, and I spoke with the 1985 version of him, and I wondered how he had evolved while wishing he could know all of the ways I had grown from who he once knew.

I wanted to know the 2018 version and what he’s learned along the way, who has he become. Maybe he didn’t care so much about me, but that didn’t matter. It was a learning moment. For me at least.

For some, I am the person they knew 30 years ago. For him, I was.

I’m so much more than some insecure young girl from 1985. I don’t expect anyone to know that in a random encounter, but it was a reminder for me as well.

Life goes on. As much as I cherish some memories, there are others I know that I want to move on from, just as I know that others want the same.

I live in the town that I grew up in. It wasn’t exactly by choice. The walk down memory lane can include some nostalgia while also embracing growth, my growth, and those I encounter from the past, some I remained close with, some I haven’t seen since writing in yearbooks and promising to never lose touch.

I am about to begin a new life, sort of. If you know me, that makes sense. If you don’t, well, I’d love to get to know the 2018 version of you as well as the baggage, because we all carry it. Some of us carry it in Louis Vuitton, some in garbage bags, some in between, but its there.

However you carry it, know that we all have a story, a long rich story. I’m about to add some chapters. I’m that girl from 1985, but a new version, maybe the 2.0 or even higher.

I’m not afraid of change any longer. In fact, I’m excited for the possibilities. I’m not the same person I was in 1985. Heck, I’m not even the same person I was in 1995 or even early 2018.

We all change. Or at least that’s the hope.

The other hope is that maybe when you read this you will forgive an old grudge, forget some piece of gossip that no longer matters, and recognize that the ways you have evolved, so have the others you may have left behind.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Maybe you love your life as is. Maybe you feel like you could use a few tweaks. Maybe you need a complete do-over. It doesn’t matter. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. (Mo, that’s for you!) Do with it what you want.

Live. Love. Dance. Sing. Write. Make some bank. It doesn’t matter.

I’m beginning a new chapter. So are you. Even if you don’t realize it.

Make it count!





Suicide in the News

Suicide and suicide related news have made headlines and been trending on Twitter. First it was Kate Spade. Then Anthony Bourdain.

Of course outside of those two tragic figures, there are many others, names that aren’t famous, families that want to keep their tragedy private.

This won’t be the most poetic thing I’ve ever written, but I don’t care. Its important, really freakin important.

Celebrity suicides tend to make the news and force us to examine our views, take a look at the mental health system, even if there are no easy fixes. Our intentions are good.

Val Kilmer expressed anger, while expressing his love and admiration for Bourdain.

David Spade wanted us to know how funny his sister-in-law was, even if she didn’t think it was enough.

Rose McGowan posted a tearful rant that captured what many left behind often feel.

Those were some of the celebrity reactions. But the non-celebrities felt it too. Some because of the tragic nature. Some because they’ve been there.

Non-celebs may not have the same audience, but they often feel what our celebrity counterparts feel. Some are angry. Some want people to remember the good.

But how many of us understand suicide?

I don’t, and that is even after working for a hotline. For years. I was trained on what to say, how to save a life. Still, I can’t say I understand it completely.

It is beyond tragic. I had a few other close calls as well, situations that I won’t discuss to respect the privacy of those  who were on the fence. Thankfully something saved them even if they once believed that the permanent solution of killing themselves was the answer to what was, at the time, a temporary problem.

No. I’m not minimizing what anyone went through, or is going through now. I would never minimize. I would say that there is always hope, even when it feels like there isn’t.

I will say, adamantly, that there is always someone who is ready to listen.

If you believe that life is not worth living. Call a hotline.

If you think killing yourself is the answer. Call a hotline.

Even if you just need to talk. Call a hotline.

Please. I beg. Call a hotline.

No problem is too small.

Yes. I’m saying that there is always a way out. Always.

Someone I loved dearly killed himself. He is not the only one, nor is he the only one who considered it a solution.

Some that I loved were saved.

They were saved because they called a hotline.

I wish Kate Spade had called a hotline.

I wish Anthony Bourdain had called a hotline.

Maybe things would be different.

Maybe they wouldn’t.

All I know is that suicide is a permanent solution to what could be a temporary problem.

I’m not minimizing anyone’s problems, but there are always solutions, even when it seems like there’s not. Sometimes people just need to hear it from someone else. Sometimes hearing it from someone else is all you need. Call.

Whether it is life beating you up, you getting dealt a hand that includes mental illness, or you just feel like the easiest thing isn’t to be here, please call a hotline.

There are people who are there 24/7 waiting for you, yes, YOU.

There are trained professionals who believe strongly enough that you are worth it that they are volunteering their time to talk you out of killing yourself.

They’re doing that because your life is worth it.

There is no hope left for Kate Spade. There is no hope left for Anthony Bourdain.

You are still here. There is still hope for you.

I won’t bore you with suicide statistics or how they are going up. Instead I will tell you that you are loved. You are worth so much more than you know.

People love you. More people than you realize. It doesn’t matter if you are famous or not. You are worth saving.

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Help is out there.

Call. Please call. If not for you, for those who love you, for those you will leave behind.

(516) 679-1111


Someone is waiting on the other end of those numbers, right now. For you.




The Crazy Kid Years

Kids. I had three in five years, two of them boys. I was dealing with colic and the terrible twos at the same time.

God how I miss that.

Crazy, right?

Today I made a sauce. My daughter is still away at school. The kid who turned me grey is living in Florida. My other son, the good one, worked all day and is now out with friends. He’s 25 so there’s no curfew, no waiting up, even if there is still some nagging.

Where I’d once be trying to cook while breaking up fights over game controllers, tv remotes, who is standing in front of the tv, and all of the other things that three kids fight over, today I made sauce and didn’t have one fight to break up, no, “Maaaaaa,” from the other room. No kid coming in to sneak a meatball out of a sauce that wasn’t ready.

I would have loved to have a kid coming in to sneak a meatball. I would have handed one over willingly.

It isn’t the first time that it hit me, but it still hit pretty hard. My kids are grown. They’re not underfoot driving me crazy, making me wish it was almost bedtime.

Instead they’re off doing all of the things I wanted them to be doing, and I wish I had more time.

I would give anything to be pleading with them to stop killing each other, wiping up a spilled juice box for the 57th time in an hour, or even to be yelling at my son to please learn how to pee in the toilet, even when he was 18.

It goes so fast. Like way too fast, and we don’t realize it because we’re so busy worrying about a bunch of stupid things that we probably shouldn’t be worried about, like if the house is a mess or they’re peeing in the toilet or all over the damn bathroom. Ok, so I don’t actually miss the pee part, just the mad pee-er.

My daughter lived in Germany last year. My little baby girl, who hated dance and could give her brothers as good as she got, sent me a text one day that she was in Italy. I laughed remembering waiting up for her and wondering how we went from her being at a party two blocks over to being a continent away and not always being sure which country she was in.

It goes so fast, like so freakin fast! Did I say that already?

We worry about stupid things as our kids grow up, things like if other parents would be horrified at how often we dropped the F bomb in frustration, or not even in frustration. We stress over how many times our kids peed in their pants while being potty trained  as if they were going to be walking at graduation in a Pull-Up.

If I could go back, I’d let them pee wherever they wanted, and I’d probably drop the F bomb at a few parents I thought were idiots, well maybe a little more than I probably did. I’d worry less about the fruit snacks and cheerios that always seemed to be scattered across the living room.

I would have enjoyed it more. I mean I enjoyed it, but all that nonsense sometimes took away from the moments, the important moments.

I remember trying to remember all of the moments, as they happened, the way it felt when my son put his little hand in mine, the way my other son knew to throw his arms around me when he did something bad, that my daughter always seemed to know who she was, even at 5.  I spent a lot of time freezing moments in my brain knowing there was going to be a time I’d want to relive them.

That time is now. I made a sauce today and instead of breaking up fights or pleading with them to let the meatballs cook, they are all grown and doing their own thing. I’m proud of who they are and what they are doing.

Still I’d give anything to be screaming at them to please stop killing one another. I’d give anything to go check on them because they are being too quiet and find them laughing together, because, at the end of the day, they loved as hard as they fought.

So if you’re breaking up fights, pulling your hair out, or wondering how long before you can pour a glass of wine, or two, or even three, take a moment and freeze it, look at those faces, those little hands, and cherish the moment. One day you’ll miss it. Pour that glass of wine too. It will definitely help.

This goes for parents of teenagers too, especially parents of teenagers. I’m pretty sure tequila is a better option than wine, but that’s another conversation.

Seriously though, while you’re wishing for nap time or bedtime to come so that you can have a little freedom, some peace, or even a moment to breathe, know that the day will come that you will be sitting there doing whatever you feel like doing, and its really really awesome, but you’ll still miss those other days where you were sure that your life was a potential reality show.

It goes incredibly fast. One day you have a newborn on your chest. The next, you’re wondering where the time has gone.

If you’re lucky enough to have your kids there, go hug them, tell them you love them, right now, even if you can’t stand them. Because this is a moment you are not getting back.




Squads, Crews, BFFs

My squad is ever evolving. Or is it crew? Or bunch of BFFs? I don’t know what to call them. I only know that I can tell you I love them all madly.

I believe in the beauty of women and the beauty in friendships among women.

Out of all of the wisdom I have tried to impart on my daughter, it has been that women are strong, beautiful, loyal, and to surround herself with the ones who will always have her back, even when they know she’s messed up.

Don’t believe the myth that women can’t be friends. We can be. We are.

I have surrounded myself with women who are accomplished, smart, amazing, and loyal. I know that the women in my life have my back. They know that I have their backs.

In a major way.

There is a narrative out there that women can’t be friends, that we’re catty, that we cut one another down. Do those women exist? Sure. They do. But they are the minority.

My friends are beautiful, not just Christie Brinkley beautiful, but beautiful in the ways that matter. We  look out for one another.

I had a friend recently help me out at work. If that wasn’t enough, she was telling everyone she thought I was gorgeous.

I’m 50. I look in the mirror and see crows feet, an extra chin, maybe a little muffin top. My friend missed all of that. She sees other things, things that she loves me for, and I love her for that.

In return, I look at her and see a beautiful person who is generous and kind. I don’t notice her hair or if her boobs are sagging. Actually, I noticed how great her hair looked and that she seemed to be glowing.

And if anyone thought differently, I’d tell them where to go, maybe with some strong language. Ok, so definitely with some strong language.

Girls rule. I believe that, like in my heart of hearts. I look at all of the women in my life that I love, that love me, and I am grateful. I want that for my daughter. I want her to have friends who will have her back, who will love her no matter what, even when they think she’s wrong, especially when they think that she’s wrong.

Because we all need friends who will tell us when we mess up, even if they use different language. We all need friends who will tell us to get it together, that we deserve more, that they deserve more.

That’s what friendship is about. That’s what sisterhood is about. It is about unconditional love.  It is about knowing that your friend’s truth is really about loving you, even while giving you the hard truth.

If you cannot look at the people in your life and know that their love is unconditional, you should walk out the door, like immediately, and find people who will love you no matter what.

Girls rule. Like really rule. Don’t buy the crap that women can’t be friends. We are amazing friends. We are the kind of friends who will cry when your heart is broken, hold your hand when you need lifting, glare at the person who did you wrong, and lift you up when your options seem limited.

If you don’t have that now, go out and find it, because there is nothing better than a woman who loves and supports you. Or women. You deserve them.

If you don’t have them, go find them.

I believe in girl power, not in the exclusion of men, but in addition.


Women rock. We may not rule the world, yet, but we should.

We are smart, accomplished, beautiful, loyal, and amazing. I have a squad. I love them. They love me. That’s how it should be.

Girls rule. We totally rule!


The Love You Take

Love. Its all about love. Always.

I sat with a friend recently who doesn’t know how incredible she is. Like, she’s amazing. So why doesn’t she see it?

I was her once. I spent years in a relationship that broke me down. I believed the worst things about myself because a partner, someone who was supposed to love me, made me believe I was less than worthy.

So I sat with this person I love, this amazing person who is strong, this person who has overcome so much, and I had trouble with the fact that she doesn’t see what I see.

She’s not the only one. I talk to so many fabulous women who downplay what they are, who they are.


What is so wrong about recognizing our worth? What is so wrong with saying, “I’m friggin awesome!”

I know I’m awesome. It took me too long to realize that though. Why?!

We need to build up our daughters, our sons, our sisters, our brothers. No. Not in an everyone gets a trophy kind of way, but in a way that we all know that we have value, even if we are flawed.

We are all imperfect, but those imperfections make us human.

I sat with someone last week who made me cry. She made me cry because of the things she saw in me, things I did not see in myself. And that was even with believing I knew my worth. I guess I didn’t because she saw things, said things, that shook me, in a good way.

We all need someone who sees those things in us. Yeah, so we should all be able to see those things in ourselves, but if we can’t, well, we need a reminder, a friend who will say, “hey, you’re incredible, and here are all of the reasons why.”

I can give every person I love a list of things that I love about them. A long list.

Its all about love. We go through life working, learning, trying to figure stuff out, but its about love, who we love, who loves us.

If you can’t figure out what it is that makes you lovable, ask someone who claims to love you. If they can’t tell you, run, like immediately, run, really really fast, and find someone else. Because you are worthy of love.

Love makes the world go round. It really does. If you don’t feel loved, something is wrong. If you don’t love the people in your life with all of your being, something is wrong.

We are all worthy of love, of being loved. Every single one of us. So go get it. Accept it. Own it. Demand it. And never apologize for it.

It is always about love.

Sweat the Small Stuff

Don’t sweat the small stuff. So they say. Wait. Who’s they? And what’s wrong with the small stuff?

Yesterday I went to lunch and then did some shopping with my daughter. Today I did the same with a friend. No. I’m not loaded. No. I’m not even close to loaded. So if I’m not loaded, what am I?

Grateful. Yup. Grateful that I did an inexpensive lunch with my daughter after shopping in an outlet store. Grateful that the next day, I had enough cash on me, after losing my debit card for the 800th time, to go have a cheapie bottomless brunch with one of my closest friends.

So why do I feel this is something worth writing about?  Well, because I feel like we are all running around like chickens without a head. I feel like we are all worried about stuff that doesn’t really matter.

You know what matters? The time I spent with my daughter where we tried on outfits that we hated, but laughed about our bellies or arm fat or any of the other stupid things that don’t really matter. I was in a dressing room with my beautiful daughter. She was happy. There was no outfit that was ever going to match that.

You know what else matters? That I sat across a table from a friend who rebuilt her life, a friend who is beautiful in every way. She doesn’t see it, yet. One day she will. For now, I see it for her. And I sat there with her, admiring her growth, loving the person she is, and feeling grateful that somehow she found her way into my life.

How many times do we hear, “don’t sweat the small stuff.” I spent a weekend paying attention to the small stuff, to the way the light fell on my daughter’s face when she laughed at something silly I said, to the way my friend’s eyes lit up when she talked about a triumph at her new job, the way she was beginning to see what I see, that she is amazing, that she is incredibly strong.

I sweat the small stuff, all of it. I believe that the love is in the details, all of the details. So sweat the small stuff. Ok, maybe don’t sweat it, but pay attention. Notice what makes your heart skip a beat. Pay attention to the smile your kid is sporting. Look in the mirror and love what you see. All that stuff, well, that’s what makes the world go round.

Love makes the world go round. Forget being the change you wish to see in the world. Be the love you want to see. Sweat the small stuff. It matters.


Kids Making Their Parents Look Bad

My kid was an a******. There. I said it.

What I am grateful for is the fact that my kid grew up in a time when kids had the freedom to be a******, and then get over it.

Now? Forget it. So much is in place to be sure that EVERYONE in the world knows that your kid is the a*******. Forget that it could be their kids, or that it is often their kids. For now those holier than thou mothers have some kind of proof that its  your kid. Oh, and by proof, I mean, their kids told them.

We have come so far in terms of recognizing bullying and how it can affect our kids. We have come so far in understanding that victims deserve to be heard and believed. But there is no balance. Where is the balance?

Years ago, too many years ago, I wrote about a father calling me to apologize because he went out and his son raided the liquor cabinet. My son had actually made an excuse and escaped Dodge. It was probably the one time in his life that he avoided trouble, but that father apologized to me as if going out and having liquor in his house was a crime.

I sympathized with that father because I remembered my own teenage years. I knew some of the the things I had done. And no parent should ever be a prisoner in his/her home because they have a bottle of wine, a six pack, or even a fully stocked liquor cabinet.

Also, I was realistic. I knew that kids were going to try to find ways around the rules and do things that they shouldn’t do, things we, as parents, tried to protect them from. Still, I knew that there were going to be things I could never prevent. And I said silent prayers that my kids would come through the other side of it and be ok.

It was not always an easy road. One out of three of my kids gave me a run for my money. There were sleepless nights, a lot of cursing, more cursing, legal fees, and most importantly, a lot of love, unconditional love, even when it was tough love.

What I am grateful for is that my kids escaped the “social media” years. They were teens right before the smart phone and social media explosion. Oh, my, God, am I grateful for that because I’m reasonably sure that even my smartest most centered kid would have done something stupid on social media or something that would have been social media-worthy. Oh, and that means they would have drawn the attention of some parent who was oblivious to the fact that their own little Jane or Johnny was capable of the same behavior.

So I don’t write about my kid being an a******** because I have this great desire to out my kid. I write it because I know a lot of parents with kids who are going through some of the things I went through. The difference is they are doing it now with smart phones and social media, and parents who are, well, a********.

So parents and potential parents, please remember what you did as a kid. You were perfect? Ok, I’ve stopped laughing hysterically. If you were perfect, have some compassion. For the rest of you who had normal teenage years, where you did stupid things, but didn’t have to worry that colleges and jobs were stalking your social media, you know, when you posted your stupidity, please have a little patience, some understanding, and maybe show some generosity towards those who are human, who have behaved in a human way.

My kid was an a******* but how I love him. He has great things in him, but even if he didn’t, I still love him, just like you love your kid.

I promise not to judge yours if you promise not to judge mine. And I promise to help yours through whatever stage he’s going through if you promise the same.

I’m a mother. That’s what we do. That’s what we all should do.

Where to Sleep in the Snow

IMG_5007If you live in the Northeast you were inconvenienced by the snow. You had to worry about how to get to work, how to get home. You had to worry about how you’d pick up the kids from school.

Then, if you were like me, you said a secret little prayer that your job would be closed, and you could stay home and spend a glorious day in your pajamas.

If you had to go to work, oh well.

What  you didn’t have to worry about was whether or not you were trying to find someplace warm to sleep, the train station, a supermarket, a 24 hour fast food place that would let you stay if you ordered something from the dollar menu.

I was taking pictures tonight of the snow. You know, because Instagram would die if I didn’t post some picture of the snow, a picture that a million other people were posting.

While taking that picture I thought about all of the people out there who weren’t taking pictures of the beauty, but were instead wondering where to go to escape the brutal cold.

Not everyone had the luxury of posting a pic and then wondering which filter to use. Not everyone had the luxury of taking a pic and then pulling up a pair of flannel pajama bottoms and turning up the heat.

Some people looked at the snow and wondered how they were going to sleep tonight. Some wondered if the train station waiting room would be full, would be safe, would offer shelter.

Some looked at the snow and wondered how they could make the store by bus and get milk for their kids considering all of the people who could beat them by car, people who were worrying whether they had enough junk food to make it through a possible snow day. Those people weren’t worried how their kids would eat or if they’d be warm.

So while some of us were looking at the snow, while we were seeing the beauty, there were some who didn’t view it that way. They were seeing the hardship, living the hardship.

I posted pictures of serene scenes. Then I watched Netflix with my son. After that I turned up my heat. Then I thought about all of the people who didn’t have those options, the people who were trying to figure out if they’d be sleeping in a train station waiting room or a Dunkin Donuts. Or in the snow.

Then I felt guilty. Because we live in a country with unimaginable wealth. And we have kids living in homeless shelters. For years.

For now though all I could do was post pictures on social media and be grateful that I have a roof over my head, that my kids are safe, and that I am not sleeping in a train station.

But please feel free to like my Instagram photo.