Wednesday, April 29, 2009

There's News, And None Of It Is Good

So we have the economy to worry about, that takes up a lot of our time. Swine flu is a new preoccupation, and yesterday I made the mistake of watching Oprah, who was imparting in graphic detail the horror that is MRSA staff infection. People are running around wearing masks for protection, trustworthy looking medical students are raising unholy hell, Sunday school teachers are killing children, and just for fun, the White House sent one of its planes accompanied by a fighter jet and scared the hell out of everyone in Manhattan 9/11 style. Makes you want to stay home in your pj's and cry softly, doesn't it? There is a reason Susan Boyle has captured such interest, and it's because we need a miracle here and there. Something to believe in, something to surprise us and make us smile. We could also benefit from some good old fashioned fun. Watch! And for the love of God, go wash your hands.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Like all Moms I love my kids. They are really just wonderful young people to be around and have around. My son is back home after graduating from college last year, working at the music place he did his internship for. My daughter is also back home after having spent half her freshman year of college away and deciding it was not a good fit for her. She's going to community college full time and is happier.  They are very different people in many respects, my son is a mad guitarist, has his tongue and his lip pierced,  and is very laid back with a hilarious sense of humor. 

My daughter has inherited some of my well known Lucy Riccardo traits. She has a tendency to drop her cell phone in the toilet, lock her keys in the car and otherwise get herself into a pickle. She said very little the first two years or so of her life, and has been making up for it ever since. She is charming, delightful and extremely messy.

I don't think my son  went to a single football game while in high school, and my daughter was her class Prom Queen.  It's hard to see them grow up, because you want to hold on to them, but it's also wonderful to see them grow and flourish. I remember when they were little on Christmas Eve giving them Nyquil to get them to sleep (shut up, yes, I did) and now I have to blast them out of bed. 

With all the home made presents kids give their moms growing up, it's really the moments, little snippets of magic, that mean the most to us. My son was in a band in high school, and it had quite the local following. They played the pep rally, talent show and coffee house at their high school. They got their first "real" gig at a local club and there was much excitement about it. I had a home inspection that day that I could not move, and they were due to go on at a certain time, and of course I wanted badly to be there. Their first show! I figured if all went well I could make most of their set. My son was anxious for me to be there, too. 

The inspection dragged on and I was increasingly worried I'd miss the whole thing, and not one bit happy about it. After it finally finished, I hopped in my car thinking even if the band was walking out, he'd know I TRIED. I walked in the club and as luck would have it they had just gone on stage. The little club was packed with their high school friends and some supportive parents. 

My son was up to introduce the next song, it was dark, the spot lights were on them, and he said into the microphone, "This next song is for all the ladies in the house, and also my Mom, who couldn't be here."  A kid in the audience yells, "Dude, your Mom is here!"

 I had been trying to be as unobtrusive as possible. He is looking for me, the lights in his face making it difficult. He finally spots me, breaks out in big smile and says, "Hey Mom," and off they went into their song. 


I met my daughter for lunch yesterday between her classes. I see her waiting for me in her car as I pull up, and I think how can this little girl be driving? We have lunch, casual; pizza. She uses too much salt. Me too. We chat, she's full of stories about one of her professors, the college making the entire campus no smoking, whatever. It's a beautiful spring day, we walk around a little and admire the cherry trees in full bloom. She's wearing jeans, flip flops and a top with spaghetti straps. I look for sunglasses, since I lost mine (the apple does not fall far from the tree). We get back in our respective cars, she back to college, me headed home. We're at a red light and she looks over at me, smiles and waves.

If the sun wasn't already out, her smile would have coaxed it. How lucky am I?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

I'm on my way to an appointment this morning and I'm stopped at any one of the million traffic lights that lead to our local outlet center. These traffic lights are close together, and are carefully and strategically timed, so that the resultant situation on the roadway resembles Los Angeles rush hour. On Labor Day. Only with more cars. Maybe less honking. The outlet center attracts shoppers from all over the world, literally. People come from Japan and stay in hotels in order to shop here. No fooling. You stroll around, and the announcements over the loud speaker are in at least five different languages. One of them is English. So, I'm sitting waiting for the light to change and it happens. The car next to me has their window rolled down and its occupants are looking at me plaintively. I have nothing better to do for the next 27 seconds or so of my life, so I slide my passenger window down, and being polite, ask "Can I help you?" A couple is in the car; the man apparently is in charge of both driving and speaking. "Where's the mall?" he shouts. "Up your ass" is the first thing that wants to come out of my mouth, since he is without any manners whatsoever.  As I am with manners, however, I say, "Do you mean the Outlet Center?" "Yes!" comes the reply. "Straight ahead," I say. He points over to the exit ramp to the right, which will take him on the thruway and far, far away from the Outlet Center. I consider this. "No," I tell him, "straight ahead." (He could throw a rock at it at he's so close.) I can only hope someone stole his wallet.