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.





International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day. We shouldn’t need a day. Every single day should be our day. What would that look like?

Imagine (yeah, I’m stealing from John), imagine we lived in a world where you’d be a hero for going out in  your pink robe and no makeup. You know, sort of like Hef did for years and years and years.

Imagine if while checking out the latest headlines, tabloid news wasn’t as popular, more popular, than what is actually going on in the world. And maybe if the tabs can’t be knocked off the top, we would hear more about Angelina’s work with refugees than we do about if she’s over Brad.

Imagine men worrying about showing up at the beach and if their beer belly is hanging over their bathing suit the way women worry if a stretch mark peeks out or if maybe their tummy isn’t as taut as it once was. And actually I don’t want men to worry about that, but the reality is that they don’t. Let’s be like them.

Imagine that the women who are attending marches are marching even for the women that don’t believe all of the things that they believe, and that they are marching for women to have different opinions, like, as in different, not the same. We don’t have to be cookie cutter. Gross. Why would we ever want that!

Imagine we celebrate the women in our lives, the women who empower us, support us, love us, even the ones that need a little help learning  how to be a friend, because, well, there are a lot of misconceptions out there that women can’t get along, and some women actually believe that. But we can. We do.

Imagine that International Women’s Day didn’t happen once a year. Imagine that we saw the beauty and the value every second of every day. If we did that, we wouldn’t need a march or a day or anything else.

Take a look around you. You know a lot of amazing women. I promise you that. Tell the women in your life how incredible they are. Some may know it. Some may need to hear it. Don’t just do it today though. Do it tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that, and keep going.



Emma Gonzalez

Emma Gonzalez is my hero. In a world filled with instant celebrities and movements, she took social media, and the media, by storm with an impassioned speech that went viral, making her the face of a movement.

Oh, and she wasn’t even on Twitter.

Knowing that fame is fleeting and that people quickly move on to the next big news story, she created a Twitter account,  an account that is verified, and is making sure that her voice is heard. Loud and clear.

Emma, along with those kids who suffered through an unimaginably traumatic event, started a movement.

What Emma Gonzalez, along with those teens, is doing is nothing short of amazing.  And, by the way, I don’t mean amazing because I disagree with number 45 or because I’m Republican or Democrat or Independent.

Amazing because after surviving a school shooting, that took the lives of 17 people, they didn’t go crawl into a hole, which would have been completely understandable.

Nope. They became activists.

Fierce activists.

Emma Gonzalez stands out. Right or wrong, she is the one who was picked up by the media. Maybe it was the shaved head. Or the determination. Or both, but there was something about her that made people stop and listen.

She makes a compelling figure, a young woman who survived a mass shooting at her school and then, within days,  made a choice to stand up to a country that seemed unable to figure out its crap. Maybe Emma doesn’t have all the answers, but she is calling on all of the grownups who have failed her to this point.

Yeah, that’s us.

I don’t know the answers. I think the 2nd Amendment is important for a lot of reasons. I also hate guns. So, I guess add me to the long list of grownups who haven’t done enough. How do we balance the right to bear arms and create legislation that addresses what happened in Florida, what happened in Sandy Hook, what is happening at an alarming rate all around this country?


We owe our kids,  Emma Gonzalez, all of them, we owe them conversations that will lead to answers. It shouldn’t have taken another school shooting, another 17 lives. Emma Gonzalez appears comfortable in her role, but it is a role she should never have had to take on. She should have had the luxury of being a teenager looking forward to graduation and her future.

Instead she is a teenager who now realizes that having a future is a luxury that some of her classmates will never have.

Attending school should not have life and death consequences.

Parents have enough to worry about. Now they have to worry that their kid is being hunted down by someone looking to kill as many as possible. At school?

How did we get to that point?

The grown ups need to figure it out. And if we can’t, then I say thank God for kids like Emma Gonzalez who will figure it out for us.

A lot gets said about the next generation, but what I’m  paying attention to is Emma Gonzalez, and the kids that are just like her, and the way they are taking a situation that would make most grownups wet themselves and turning it into a movement.

They are organizing.

They are showing all of the adults that if we don’t get it together, they will do it for us.


A Day in the Life

There are no accidents. I totally believe that. So let me try to tell you about my day. Without breaching confidentiality, because there was a lot of confidential stuff today personally and professionally.

First, I was able to spend a perfect day with two kids that I love beyond belief. They are a daily reminder of how blessed I am, even when it feels like my life is shitty. These kids have been in my thoughts a lot as I figure out my life. You know, because I’m 50 and I reflect regularly on how I should have discovered how to be a Kardashian before they figured that shit out.

Oh, I say shit a lot. And some other words too, but today that’s the go-to word.

Next. Another kid has been on my mind a lot lately. Mostly because I see conversations about addiction and people don’t get it. Some, just because they’re stupid and don’t want to get it. Some because its a tough thing to understand. I don’t understand it and I’ve lived it. But anyway, even though I like to believe its always about me, its not. Well, like 5% of the time its not, but even now I can make it about me because I’m the one writing this, so suck it if you really believe its not about me.

But, this kid. He OD’d in my house a few  years ago. I’ve written about him a lot. Yeah, go hit the search bar on my site. I ran out in my pajamas tonight because I had some other shit going on and I felt like everyone has pajamas and if people can’t handle seeing me in the store in my pajamas they should stay home. So I came out of the store and just felt eyes on me and not because of my fuzzy pants.

Yeah, it was this kid. He got out of his car and hugged me. And then I hugged him again. And I hugged him again. And then he hugged me again. And we said, “I love you,” a lot. And I hugged him again because I didn’t want to stop hugging him. He looked absolutely beautiful. Being alive does that for a person. And I will never forget the night when I watched him go from white to blue to, and…, well, he’s alive. Not only is he alive, but he is doing great things. So I hugged him again. And told him I loved him again. I wanted to hug him again, but I didn’t want to freak him out, so I resisted the urge. But, I did tell him that I loved him again.

Then I came home and thought about how I’ve been searching lately. Turning 50 makes you think about things. I’ve made a lot of mistakes. But I’ve also done a lot right. Just as I was thinking about that, something came across my Facebook feed that reminded me of some professional things, yeah, the confidential part.

So I did what any normal person would do and I wrote an email to my CEO. Ok, keep that between us. Technically I’m not breaking confidentiality, but its sort of nuts that I have nothing better to do on a Friday night than send some crazy emotional email to my CEO. I can’t tell you why I wrote him because then I’d have to breach confidentiality, but just know that he’s awesome and I wanted to say thank you.

Then I thought about the perfect day I had with those kids. Then I called my daughter, who didn’t pick up because, well, she’s busy living life at college. Then I spoke with a few friends, but one in particular who I just adore. No, that’s not to start a competition among my friends. I mean, if they want to fight over me, ok. But then I thought about how lucky I am.

So let me say it again. Wait. Did I say it? Life is good.

I spent a perfect day with kids I love. I ran into this beautiful kid I love. My kids are healthy and happy. I have amazing friends. I have great acquaintances. I love my job.

Life is good. Even if the Jets suck. Life is good.




Girl Power AKA the Power of Girls

I had a friend once who would look at me and say, “if only you could see what I see.” It took me a long time, too long, to see what he did, but I did. Ok, so that’s a little bit of a lie. Sometimes there are days I could use a little reminder, but for the most part no. I get it. I’m pretty awesome.

He taught me to know my worth.

Its a tough thing for many women, too many women. I now have a friend or two that I look at and say, “if only you could see what I see.”

And no. I’m not going to blame men or a male dominated society or any of the other trendy things that are floating out there  about the oppression of women.

I put the blame on women, squarely on women.

We need to be better to ourselves, to each other.  We need to stop the petty bullshit. Well, some of us.

I love women. I know some extraordinary women, many who know their worth, some who don’t.

And the thing is that I love the ones that know their worth. I love how smart and fabulous they are. I spend a great deal of time telling them how much I love them and how amazing they are.

I also love the ones who don’t. I spend a considerable amount of time trying to get them to see what I see.

The whole women can’t be friends line needs to be retired. My world is filled with smart, strong, amazing, incredible women. Real women. True friends. Even the ones that started out as strangers have somehow found their way into an unbelievable circle filled with women that inspire and challenge me regularly.

Knowing all of these exceptional women, whether they know their worth or not, always brings me back to my friend, the one who wanted me to see what he saw. I know my worth. Maybe it took me too long, but I know it. And I look around at all the women in my life and it cements it. Why? Because they are all a reflection of my worth. And, hey, if I’m to be judged by the company I keep, well, I’m pretty freakin fabulous!

We, women, have come so far, even in my lifetime. We can do anything and be anything. Yes, one day one of us will even become President.

For now though let’s take a good look at ourselves and love what we see in the mirror. No, not the fabulous make-up job or great hair, but the person we see. Let’s see what our friends see when they look at us, and let’s find those same things in the women that we love. That’s true #girlpower!



Addicts Shaming Addicts

I’m not one to ever shame an addict. Yeah, you just read the “but” in there. At least I hope you did. I don’t shame addicts because, well, that’s ridiculous. While I’m unsure about what causes addiction, the whole addiction is a disease thing, or really a lot about addiction, I hate when people say dumb things about addiction, like its a choice. Actually, I just don’t hate when people say that,  I actually think really awful things about them, even idiotic people who are addicts and write dumb things on social media about how addiction is a choice. Does that make sense? Maybe not. To me it does. I’ll try to explain.

I’ll spare you my whole rant about the billion dollar rehab industry and their 10% criminal success rate.  Well, for now. Instead I will talk about the town I live in, the town I grew up in, the town that I raised my children in. It ranked pretty high in drug arrests. Some will say it ranked number one. It also ranked pretty high in rates of overdose. I hate statistics, mostly because I don’t have a math head and  also because I believe one death is too many. Sadly I know of more than one funeral due to a drug overdose. I hate to throw race in there, but despite what many believe, these are white kids. Yeah, I know. Once it hits the rich white kids, people pay attention. Or you’d think they would. Instead they do the WASPy thing and try to sweep it under the rug.

Until very recently my local school district claimed that there was no drug problem. I’m not sure what finally made them acknowledge that there’s a drug problem in this town. They certainly weren’t admitting it when my kids were in the school or when many of their friends were in rehab multiple times. Yeah, while in high school. I don’t know how many needed to be in rehab before the district acknowledged that drugs had hit our town, our schools. I guess they didn’t because it was just the “bad” kids.

So now one of those kids is posting things on social media about addiction being a choice.   He’s one of the first kids I knew was an addict. He was actually the kid I wanted to keep my kid away from, not because I believed addiction was contagious, but because I knew that they would bring out the worst in one another.

My kid lives in another state. He went to a pricey rehab. He relapsed. He went to another rehab. Then he went down to Florida, where halfway houses and rehabs have the worst reputation. I can’t tell you how many nights I couldn’t sleep because I was too busy checking to see if my kid was breathing. I slept less after one of my kid’s friends overdosed in my house after over a year of being clean.

My kid hasn’t been home for Christmas in two years. That’s huge in my house. I imagine it would be huge in your house as well.

So when I read ignorant people writing things on social media, or anywhere else, about addiction, it gets to me. When I read addicts, whether recovered or not, it really sets me off. When I’ve said prayers after hearing they’ve had their stomachs pumped multiple times or offered sympathetic words to their family members after they’ve committed drug-related crimes, it doesn’t just sadden me to read things they’ve written on social media about addiction not being a choice. It actually infuriates me because they’ve been in a position to know better.

I don’t wish bad things on people who write stupid things, especially addicts, recovered or not. So while I never shame addicts, I do shame anyone who purposely refuses to understand that addiction is not a choice. I shame anyone who writes ridiculous things on social media, or anywhere else, especially an addict, recovering or not.

I want nothing more than to have my kid home for birthdays and Christmas. I want to have my kid living with me, if  not, at least within driving distance. I appreciate the people who love my kid, who have taken him in, but I’m also ridiculously jealous, and jealousy is something I’ve never felt in my life, because that’s my kid and now for his own well-being, he can’t live with me, or even close to me.

Addiction is not a choice. Nobody actually chooses that. I’ll spare you the lecture about how the rehab industry is criminal, but only for now because right now I just want to put out there that addiction is not a choice.

I’m not one to ever shame an addict. I love too many addicts. But I will shame an addict who writes asinine crap about addiction being a choice. It is not a choice and the addict who has had his stomach pumped multiple times and been arrested for multiple crimes should never ever write stupid stuff about addiction being a choice. I’ll pray for him, that he gets clean and that nobody ever shames him because I know the road he’s been down. I know the road his mother has been down.