Category Archives: Tween Troubles

Familial Fantasies

I do not have the children I expected. They’re like me in ways I wish they weren’t. They express traits of their father’s that are not amongst my favorites. But, on some days I can see the best of myself and my spouse shimmer within them. I treasure those days. Even then, when I am…

Pandemic Fatigue

I am not a demonstrative person by nature. And yet… I want to French Kiss strangers, lick handrails and discard my mask. I am done with hand sanitizer, socially distant outside dining and doing my own nails. I hate COVID-19. I weep in frustration about this pandemic-imposed reality. I weep when this killer plague’s statistics…

Quarantine Family Court

“Dad, I said I was ‘sorry.’ Can you please just spank me now?” pleads my daughter with the overwrought exasperation that only a quarantined 16-year-old can muster. Family Court is in session – and will be 24/7 for at least the next month or two. Or more likely three. At least. We’re here all day…

Hand’s Solo

This post originally appeared on the Parkinson’s Community LA Blog in the fall of 2019. In honor of James Parkinson’s birthday (April 11, 1755) I am reposting it here.  My left-hand dances to a beat all its own. It doesn’t need a partner or even music. The digits just flutter.  Constantly. Faster when I’m cold,…

Certainty

The dishes whir in the dishwasher, the sun retires from this hemisphere. My husband responds to emails, the children collude with their computers to complete work while the dogs nuzzle them.  I am alone in the spotless kitchen. I listen to the rain and debate what will sate my soul’s parched tongue. I claim this…

Mom Time: Part One

]There are many roads to the Mecca of motherhood. All are bumpy.  All lead to the rollercoaster of emotions that is parenthood. The blessed and life-affirming firsts; baby’s first step, first tooth, first love and its inevitable denouement. Then there are the less savory firsts …. first time they lie, their first speeding ticket…. the…

Crazy?!

I am losing my mind. Am I’m losing it to my Parkinson’s Disease?  To age? To maladies yet to be diagnosed? I stare into space, trying desperately to remember what was right there, right there, on the tip of my tongue just moments ago. Then it hits me: I have children. It’s not the Parkinson’s…

It Takes a Coven

It’s said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is a definition of insanity. But it’s also widely acknowledged that, because randomness makes children feel unsafe, routine is essential to the task of parenting. And, naturally, it’s not a routine unless it’s repeated. Regularly. I routinely ask – nay,…

Flu Fret

“If you’ve got your health, you’ve got everything.” Well, then, I am lacking. I am afflicted. But so are many. My conditions are my constant companions. They’ll shuffle along this mortal coil with me for as long as I shuffle along upon it.  But there is a gift in my conditional state: my chronic ailments…

Trait Fret: Part 1

The ‘must do’ nature of homework sometimes gives us strong-willed sorts pause. If it’s too easy, e.g. Spanish, it’s a waste of time. Too challenging, a longer essay, say, in English… possibly with the Odyssey as its subject… well, then the Frustration Monster and her bestie, Anxiety, rear their raging, irrational heads. “You’re not helping….

Do The Right Thing?

“Excuse me sir.” “Yes.” “I think there’s been a mistake.” “Oh?” “Yes. You forgot to charge us for the Arnold Palmers.” The waiter took the check from my hand, “Oh I did. Oh ma’am, oh thank you so much.” “I cannot tell a lie.” “I know, mom.” “I would’ve asked him to correct the bill…

Wrong Fret, Listen Fret

I was wrong. Turns out that that young onset Parkinson’s Disease starts at 50 not 40. That explains why the medical community hasn’t jumped at the chance to use the term ‘Precocious Onset Parkinson’s Disease’. On the plus side, at least ‘young’ is a descriptor that I can still claim on one front. I’ve been…

Election Apology

At a recent school meeting our headmaster reported that he’d apologized to the older students for the tenor of this presidential campaign.  Unable to use this race as a teachable moment — like normal elections — he’d told the children that adults had failed them – and urged the assembled adolescents to do better. He’s…

Compliment Fret

“That’s a pretty necklace,” I said to a random woman with a lovely heart pendant who I passed on a bathroom run.  “Thank you,” she replied with a smile.  And the intersection of our lives was over. I ‘practice’ yoga as much as the next privileged gal in search of a stretch. I think kind…

Room to Fail

“…becoming insolvent or bankrupt” is a definition of failure per Dictionary.com.  Our two party political system has failed.  We are in the tail end of a presidential campaign between two candidates with the highest unfavorables in history.  The resulting negative campaign has been a horror to watch.  I read the news as if driving by a car accident…

Morning Fret

I wake up early every morning to enjoy the quiet of the house before the family rises.  My dogs and I head downstairs — after I’ve taken my Synthroid with the requisite eight ounces of water.  I open the backdoor releasing ‘the hounds’ to their ‘exterior toilet’ hoping to simultaneously breathe in cool, consciousness-inspiring morning…

Start of School

Staples aired a great commercial in August and September. As an adult male dances through the store’s aisle gathering school supplies, Andy William’s Christmas classic, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” plays. Genius. By the time the September rolls around I, for one, am done with attending to my children’s needs, trying repeatedly…

Sex Ed Fret

A recent “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver highlighted the lack of standards for teaching our children about their bodies and how our species reproduces. Yes, it’s true that while parents, teachers, politicians and others debate the Common Core, no one is talking about the lack of standardization amongst various sex education curricula. We use…

Pop Culture Fretting

Sadly, for my listening and opining pleasure, music tastes change. “Kids’ Place Live,” “is for little kids,” both my ‘older’ kids grumble should I dare select the station when we’re driving together — a forced intimacy that will remain a constant for at least a few more years. Sadly, driving in silence isn’t going to…

Fret Not Built for Speed

My children will never be world-class athletes. I know this. Because, if either (or both) of them were truly a gifted athlete, that sparkle would’ve shown through by now even though they’re eleven and seven. Sure, there are the outliers like Misty Copeland who didn’t grace ballet until she was 13, but these ‘late bloomers’ are the exception…

Fret About The Other Side

“No woman is ever happy with her boobs or her hair,” observed a friend of mine as we tried on t-shirts advertising an upcoming event we’re working on together. And she’s right. Those with curly hair want it straight. As my Drybar stylist noted when I went last… okay, earlier today, “If a woman walks in with…

Maternal Engineering

Judaism requires that we bury our dead within 48 hours of their passing. This is followed by a week of intense mourning called shiva, Hebrew for ‘seven’. After these nine days, ‘normal’ life is supposed to resume for those who were close to the deceased. This reminds me once again that my practical tribe started in the desert and is…

Halloween Fretting

I was skimming websites and catalogues in search of a Halloween costume for my 10-year-old daughter earlier this month.  When I complained that even the ‘doctor’ costume is suggestive my husband told me that I should just add the word ‘whore’ to every costume description leaving me to contemplate various choices such as “Angel-Whore”, “Nurse-Whore”,  “Waitress-Whore”, “Teacher-Whore”. If…