Category Archives: Progeny

They Say It’s Your Birthday

Wow, my son turns 30 in two weeks. Wait. Who are you, and what have you done with my baby? Seems like only yesterday I was cutting colored construction paper to make the feathers he needed to play the Indian Chief for the Thanksgiving grade school play. I was sure he was going to be the next George Clooney as he recited his lines through the big gap in his teeth, long before I sold my soul to afford the $3,000 braces he eventually needed.

I have worked outside the home since he was three months old. I remember crying the entire night before returning to the office shortly after he was born, knowing some strange woman wouldn’t understand that certain cry of his that either alerted you to a soiled diaper or hunger pangs or just frustration from not being able to reach that mobile teasing him overhead in his crib.

My husband and I both worked full-time and still managed to chauffeur him to youth league football, birthday parties, hayrides at Cox Farm in the fall, baseball games and doctor visits. I connected and bartered with neighborhood women who became my “village” and helped raise him as if he were their own.

Even the nurses at the local emergency room soon learned to call him by first name after his numerous visits and close calls, like when a nail went through his wrist from his attempt at building a skate boarding ramp, or the x-rays needed after he went airborne from a ramp he built into the snow bank…what is it with boys and ramps?

After numerous broken fingers that he played football with before telling a soul, running into the back of a car on his bike (yes, not the other way around…poor driver was hysterical and apologetic even though it was my son’s fault), we had finally realized that this kid’s threshold for pain was much more superior than his sense of good judgment.

For some reason, I can’t remember when he first started shaving, can’t remember when his voice dropped three octaves, can’t really remember handing him his first set of keys. There are moments that have slipped by, possibly because they were without drama and occurred in their natural progression of life events. It’s funny the little things I do remember, though: stinky football jerseys, hidden speeding tickets underneath his bed, six-month old McDonald’s wrappers under the seats of his car.

There have been numerous statistics and research studying children of parents who work outside of the home compared to inside the home. I personally don’t think you can put children on research charts and spreadsheets. They are each unique, and each parent has a different threshold for patience, flexibility, acceptance and love.

The only thing I know as we creep closer to Thanksgiving and to this birthday milestone of his is that I’ve been blessed.  Through all his eye rolling, teacher conferences, his sometimes turbulent teen years, school skipping and little white lies, he is kind, has lived life to the fullest and he brings out the goodness in others.

There are no statistics or research that can truly reflect the cause and effects of simply loving a child with all your heart.  Whether you are working in the home or in an office…it is work, plain and simple. It is doing the very best you can. And the rewards are endless.

Happy Birthday, A.J.


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Blackbird, Fly

I was recently viewing a very touching video of a woman standing in front of her book club reading passages from a book on letting go of children as they journey into adulthood.   Tissues came out, tears welled up in her audience’s eyes, and memories of their adult children as youngsters flooded their minds.

Not so fast, Sister Sappy.   One of my adult children has yet to bring such tear-jerking memories to my life.  Seems this little birdie has grown very comfie in the nest.  Granted, she is teetering on the edge in her Louboutins, just about ready to launch.  But then she looks back and sees the well-stocked refrigerator, her checking account growing in leaps and bounds, Poppa Bird changing the oil in her car and Momma Bird picking up the slack on her laundry.

Time for Momma Bird to turn into a Big Black Cruella Deville Turkey Vulture.  My mission:  Make it so uncomfortable in the nest that even the bugs won’t want to burrow down in this abode.

I will have to consider some tactical measures for my mission.  Should you choose this mission as well, feel free to use these measures when you find yourself in similar territory.  Note:  This message will self destruct in 15 minutes, so write it down, especially since you’re old and you’ll forget. 

1.  Discreetly set a box of Depends right next to her fruity, pastel colored box of feminine hygiene products in the linen closet. 

2.  Leave your Long Term Life Insurance form lying around with a big black “x” marked on the Decline box. 

3.  Place her wet towels in her bedroom hamper, deep underneath the rest of her clothes, until the gagging mold and mildew odor of Phosphine poisonous gas envelops her room. Then cut up all your Yankee Candle room plug-in coupons.

4.  Place your 24-hour urine lab test in the see-thru giant gallon next to the carton of milk in the fridge.

5.  “Accidentally” replace her toothpaste with your tube of hemorrhoid cream.

6.  Call her often on her cell phone and leave voicemails instead of texting.

7.  Replace all the alcohol in the fridge with O’Doul’s non-alcoholic beer.

8.  Have your husband go out and rake leaves in shorts and black socks right before her boyfriend picks her up.

9.  Take up smoking Marlboros in the house again.

10.  Invite your ya-ya sisterhood over, chat about pregnancies and childbirth and have a contest for the most gruesome stories in earshot of her room. Say the word “placenta” often.

11.  When she comes home from work, ask her to tell you about the favorite part of her day, every day.

12.  Wear your mom jeans with the high waist. Often. Camel toe optional.

13.  Set the fire escape ladder outside her bedroom window and ask her what a six-letter word for “get married” is on your crossword puzzle that starts with e-l-o….

14.  Download your husband’s favorite Captain & Tennille song onto her IPod.

15.  Surprise her at work and bring her a bagged lunch.

16.  Accompany her into the gynecologist’s examining room.

17.  Ask her how her diet’s going.

18.  Correct her grammar on her Facebook postings – after she agrees to befriend you. Better yet, befriend her friends and correct their grammar.

19.  Tell her you’ve decided to go Commando and put your big cotton granny underwear in the clear Goodwill bag and set it on the porch.

20.  Tell her to call you with the “secret code” if she needs you to pick her up from a nightclub.

21.  Play “Blackbird, Fly” by the Beatles loudly in the car.

These should suffice for now.  If she’s 40 and still living here, I’ll go to Plan B. I might have to bring out the big guns, which will entail leaving my teeth on the kitchen counter, next to my day-of-the-week pill box.

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That's ma boy…click to read.

DJ Soundtrax

DJ Soundtrax

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