Tag Archives: daughters

Pinch Me. College Age Daughter Actually Wants To Come Home For A Visit.

“Mom, they cancelled my shift on Saturday. I don’t have to work until Wednesday,” #1daughter whined over the phone.

Boy, this is a switch, I thought. The realities of college expenses are finally sinking in.

I’m dying to ask her to come home, spend some time with us before the boys start school, but I want to be the “cool mom.” I want to be the mom who gives her daughter the space and independence she needs to become a functioning, healthy adult.

So, I bite my tongue. I ask about weekend plans, instead. I suggest biking or checking out the pilates class at the school fitness center.


I joke, “If you were a little closer you could come home for a few free meals.” (Okay. I’m not really joking but I’ve run out of suggestions.)

“Really?!” she says excitedly.

“Of course!”

“Okay! I’ll pack a few things and call you as soon as I’m on the road!”



Four hours later my angel was home. Teasing her brothers and taking them out for frozen yogurt. Watching the Olympics with her mom. Late night B-movies with her dad.

Given a few free days and my daughter actually wanted to come home and spend them with us.

What a relief. Maybe I am doing something right.


Filed under Adult Children, Motherhood, parenting

Spotting Signs Of The Ever Elusive Teenager

If you have a teenager in your home (or you think you do) you know what I’m talking about….

After a long, hard day you clean the kitchen after dinner. The dishwasher is humming. The leftovers are safely tucked away in the refrigerator. The counters shine and the sink sparkles. Passing through the kitchen on your way to bed you smile and admire your handy work. And then, you wake up in the morning and you find this…

Or, after dropping your two youngest off at school and running errands all morning you come back to the house, hoping to enjoy a few minutes of peace before school is out and a whole new set of chores will be begging your attention. And you find this blocking your way…

And then, of course, there are the times when you find little notes like this one on your kitchen table…

Yep. That’s when you know you have a teenager in the house. And I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Meet my elusive teen! She’s my !!! for this week!

For more !!! visit Momalom or Bad Mommy Moments.


Filed under The !!!

Out Of Touch Mom Gets Lesson In Pop Teen Culture

My daughter is currently between boyfriends. The other day, I asked her a question…

“So, any crushes you want to share with your old mom?”

“No. Not really,” she mused.

“Not really? Ooooo, sounds like there’s someone!” I said, smiling.

“Well, I suppose there’s always Taylor Lautner but there’s no chance of THAT ever happening,” she answered.

“Why not? Don’t sell yourself short! You are a beautiful, intelligent, wise, amazing young woman. Taylor would be lucky to have you! Why wouldn’t he be interested in you?”

“Well, geography for one thing,” she grinned.

“Your dad and I had a long distance relationship for a while and it worked out just fine,” I replied.  

“Mom,” she laughed, “Do you even know who Taylor Lautner is?”

“No. Why?”

“He played Jacob Black in Twilight. Really, Mom. He quite honestly doesn’t even know I exist.” She’s laughing now, trying to hold it back.

“Oh,” I chuckled, “I see. Well, you’re probably right.”

And now we’re both in a fit of uncontrollable giggles.  

(So I suppose my self-deprecating comment earlier about being her “old mom” is absolutely spot on. Oh, I am so out of touch!)


Filed under funny, Lessons Learned, Motherhood

China’s Sex Selection And One Child Policy Bites – Seriously

I knew it would bite them in the butt sooner or later. I read this headline on Yahoo News, “Skewed Birthrate To Leave 24 Million Men Single” and smiled wryly. No, I’m not happy that Chinese men will find difficulty marrying and insuring that their name will live on. But what do you expect? Especially where sex-specific abortions are condoned. Now I’m not going to turn this into an abortion rights debate. And please, you don’t either. Let’s look at the bigger picture here.

My sister, a more active feminist than I, will often bring up injustices that women suffer around the world. I’d listen politely. I’d nod and smile (or frown if the conversation warranted it.) But as soon as the conversation was over I’d go make dinner, tie a shoe, read a story to my kids or watch my favorite show. I don’t get involved or even educate myself. How could lil’ ol’ me make a difference?

The only time sex specific births made an impact on me was when I was in the throes of adoption. Oooooo, I’d think, chances are we’ll get a girl, or another girl, as the case may be. Someone to get girly with! What fun! And then a flash of concern would enter my mind and I’d think, for a few minutes or two, how horrible it must be to be unwanted in your own country, your own family. How terrible little girls are treated in countries that favor little boys. I might even stop to think where those countries might be: China, Korea, India, Iran. But those are sad thoughts and Pollyanna Jane doesn’t tolerate sad thoughts for very long.

But maybe I should have tolerated them. Maybe I should have nurtured them and seen where they may have taken me.

The article further states that men in poorer areas will probably have the most difficulty finding mates. That this difficulty has already led to abductions, trafficking, illegal marriages and prostitution. That  a wider age gap between couples will be common. (I’m thinking forced marriages – similar to those in polygamist cults) How will this affect the young women of this country? What will be the fall-out?

China implemented its “one child” policy back in 1979. When ultrasound technology became more widely available in the 80’s, sex selection became more prevalent. A recent Chinese study determined that this ” policy has averted 400 million births.” Averted. Interesting word. To prevent. Turn away. Avoid.

Avoiding having 400 million sweet, adorable little daughters. I understand the population problem over there. I do. I don’t have another answer. I’m just greatly saddened that this policy, technology, and family choices have created such a problem.

A problem that only makes it worse for the women already there.

All over again.

Check in tomorrow, for the inaugural guest post during Won’t You Be My Neighbor Fridays!


Filed under Be-Causes

Black Friday Is Worth Every Penny And Then Some

I grew up a bit of a tomboy. I’ve always lacked some very typical “girly” genes. Much to my daughter’s chagrin I’m not much into jewelry and lots of make-up. I don’t like to talk long on the phone. I’m soooo like a guy when it comes to talking (or not talking, as the case may be) about my feelings or arguing or even just communicating in a relationship. (I know, nothing to be proud of. I’m working on it.) I played softball but wanted to play baseball as a kid. I love camping out under the stars. I wore garter snakes around my wrists much to the delight of the boys in the neighborhood. And I’ve never liked to shop. Ever.

Still don’t. So when my 17 yr. old daughter asked if we could shop on Black Friday I laughed. Out loud. When she told me she was serious, I eyed her suspiciously.

“Only if we go at 5am,” I said, confident that she would back down immediately. You see, I’m a morning person. She’s a night person. A very late night person. She sleeps ’till noon every chance she gets. I knew I was safe.

“Ok!” she said enthusiastically.

Huh? What the…? How did that happen? I then tried to weasel out of it.

“Seriously? You’ll get up at 4:30? I don’t think so. Besides, I don’t think the stores you’ll want to shop even open up that early.”

Remember? I don’t like to shop. So in my forty-something years I’ve never shopped on Black Friday. I’ve avoided it like the plague. I thought only large discount stores and appliance stores were open at that un-godly hour the day after Thanksgiving. 

“No, I already checked,” she said, “The mall opens at 5am.”

Rats. I was stymied. I had no idea where to go from there to get out of it.

“Ok…….” I said, voice trailing. I still had 5 more days to figure out how to get out of it. Surely, something would come to me.

But Thanksgiving Day arrived and I still didn’t have a way out. And she was so excited. Sharing this story with my sister on the phone she chastised my lack of enthusiasm.

“You set that alarm for 4:30am and enjoy yourselves. You’re creating memories,” she said, “Just don’t forget your helmet and elbow pads.”

Yikes. That got me. Especially since my stomach sinks every time my daughter receives a letter from a college trying to recruit her. I’m trying to cherish every moment she wants to spend with me. What was my problem?

So on Friday morning, we woke up before the crack of dawn and set out. We drove past our local Wal-Mart at 5:15am. Every, and I mean EVERY parking spot was taken. People were parking on the grass, off the curb. I’ve never seen it so busy. What was I getting myself into?

We arrived at the mall by 5:30am. It was busy but not unbearable. We shopped. We laughed. We waited in lines. I had to go check out the deals at the Disney Store (of course) and she reluctantly tagged along. The line was about 10 people deep and she rolled her eyes. “This is just like waiting in line for the rides, ” she groaned. But when we went to Hollister (her favorite store) the line for the cash register winded, weaved and wove through the store. “This must be SOME roller coaster!” I said excitedly. She pretended not to know me.

We chatted on the way to other stores. We chatted over coffee. We chatted in lines. We chatted in the car on the way to lunch. We observed people and talked about that. She shared with me things that were going on with school and with her friends. We reminisced. Mostly light things but some heavy things came up, too. And when the heavy things surfaced it slipped into our conversation easy, calm. I was able to share things I’ve always wanted to say – things every parent should say. She shared with me her feelings with little awkwardness. (She is a teenager, after all.)

It was an amazing day.

I remember hearing Dr. Phil impart his wisdom on teenagers once. He said (and I’m paraphrasing here) that if you want your kids to talk to you about the big things then you’d better listen to the little things. In theory, I wholeheartedly agreed. But then, I was able to see it in motion.

I’ve always felt I was a pretty involved parent. But days like this remind me I can always do more. Listening to those little things – how many sisters we could tell were shopping together, who her friends were dating, the latest fashion must-haves, how awful school lunches were – turned into conversations and snippets of some really big things. (And since I’d like to preserve some of her privacy I’m just going to let you guess what those were.) I heard her thoughts. She heard mine. It was amazing conversation with a little shopping thrown in. We enjoyed ourselves so much we’ve decided to make it a yearly tradition.

I saved a good bit of money on Black Friday. I lost a little sleep. Looking back, it was a simple gesture that became grand. And I can’t believe I tried to get out of it. What a shame that would have been.


Filed under Lessons Learned, parenting