Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Is it really a vacation if you spend it playing mediator?

I've been blessed with fantastic friends.  I don't think I would have managed nearly as well as a single mom without their help.  They stand in for me when work pulls me away and they make me look much cooler than I am.

Case in point:  I've had a really crappy summer.  A bed bug invasion, some scary health issues and now I'm in the  middle of a renovation project.  Enter one of these fantastic friends who graciously offered us her house in Montauk for a few days this week for free.  SWEET!!!

I love Montauk.  Being from Long Island, we were here at least once a year so it has many fond memories.

But I just spent the last 30 minutes playing mediator.  A 10 year old boy and a 14 year old girl just don't like the same things.  So the plan for the day was to pick up mountain bikes and hit a local trail.  But my daughter didn't sleep at all last night (new house, too many mosquitos and moths -- because they left the door open!) so she'd rather go to the beach.  I'd rather go to the beach myself so I'm leaning that way.  My son is furious and so begins the "Jordan always gets her way"  "No, Aidan always gets HIS way" argument.  

20 minutes of the back and forth and I've decided -- beach and lighthouse today, biking tomorrow.  Then another 10 minutes of gloating (Jordan), sulking (Aidan) and guilty feelings (Mom).

As I'm writing this the following scene ensued:

Aidan:  [sigh] I'm just going to stay here while you go two go to the beach.
Me:  No you're not
Jordan:  If he gets to stay here, I get to stay here
Jordan:  You don't have to be so mean about it.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My baby bird

It's August 15 and many moons ago that used to mean it was time to get a couple more wears out of my favorite summer outfit, finish off that last bottle (ok, case) of rose and get a few more days of beach time.

But today, actually this whole week, it's meant freaking out about how unprepared my son is for the new school year. 

My daughter's a sophmore in high school so my preparation involves putting money in her checking account for fall clothes and giving her a few reminders (mostly through text) to finish her summer reading.

But my son is going into 5th grade.  As moms of middle schoolers can attest, 5th grade is an awful year.  It's equivalent is baby birds being flung out of the nest in hopes they will fly.  Having gone through this once before, I'm particularly panicked because I know my son, my adorable little baby bird, is going to sink to the ground with a thud if I don't step up the preparation.  

What kind of preparation?

Daily homework for one.  I just spent the last half hour reviewing yesterday's math work, over the phone, because he was sleeping when I left this morning and we spent last night watching movies and eating tacos (it IS still summer!).  So today we went over, via conference call, improper fractions ("what's 19 over 6?...6 goes into 19 how many times...").   There are math problems written all over the back of an employee survey I should have been revising during this "free time".

And then there's the general responsibility stuff.  My son is lazy.  God knows I love him but it's true.  He'd rather ride his bike, play video games, shoot baskets, watch TV, sleep, ANYTHING other than something remotely school like.  So rather than talk until I'm blue in the face about responsibility and how school and chores come first, I've gotten a kick out of channeling my parents and showing him.  You only read for 20 minutes when you were supposed to read for an hour?  I shut the TV off in the middle of Call of Duty until it's finished.  You left your towel and clothes on the floor before you went to bed?  I wake you up early in the morning to pick them up and put them away.  You give me a hard time (the dreaded <sigh> and teeth sucking) when I'm using my work time to help you with math?  I ban video games for the day unless the work is done with a smile on your face (or at least what sounds like one through the phone).

Harsh?  It's better than tossing him out of the window and hoping he sprouts wings!  And I'm open to any suggestions from the moms out there.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day

I'm a horrible blogger. I've thought of writing often but by the time I had the time the feeling had passed and it was on to the next. Today, I'm checking out of the madness around me to talk to you. My thought of the day...Single moms get totally gipped on Mother's Day. Or is it just me?   I am totally blessed to still have my mom around.  She had breast cancer a couple of years ago and the thought of her not being around nearly broke me.  So by no means am I complaining. Just ruminating... My Mom and my Dad live in Delaware so this morning (Saturday) I made a spinach lasagna (her request) and drove from Brooklyn to Delaware (with a new Kindle loaded with Fifty Shades as hr gift) to spend what's left of the weekend with her.   I didn't realize she was having a big BBQ.   I'm the bartender. Cosmos are on the cocktail menu for the ladies.  Plus the men are asking for stiff drinks.  Tomorrow (Sunday...Mother's Day) I drive back to BK.  So my married followers if you still get your breakfast in bed, spa days or time to sleep in while the hubby takes the kids thankful, give your husband a long, wet kiss, a hand job, SOMETHING!  

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Day 4

Very rarely do I allow myself to admit I need a man around.  I've grown enough to accept there are moments when it would be more convenient. Like emptying the car after a Costco run. Or when Aidan has questions like, "Mom, why is my penis so hard? It hurts and I think it's going to break.". A man would be useful then but I get through it. I leave non perishables in the car and take a few things out daily. And I remind Aidan that Daddy is a penis (I mean HAS one) and to call him.  But today, actually this trip in general, has humbled me. I'd like a man around (note I still won't say I need one!).  Today was supposed to be zip lining. We were to leave at 7:30 this morning. It's 9:25 and I'm having breakfast while the kids are still in bed.  Why?  With all my talk to the kids about not letting fear stop us from doing things we want to do, I let fear get to me.  I was afraid something would happen. That the kids would get hurt.  That they'd freak out when we got there and I'd be stuck in the jungle thousands of feet in the sky with a screaming child and no access to tequila. It seems so silly now in the light of day. But at 2am, this thought kept me up.  And for the second time this trip, I wish I had a man with me. I'd feel more secure. It's a tremendous feeling in a marriage (or any relationship for that matter) to know someone has your back. To feel better as soon as they enter the room. More relaxed.  Confident that everything will be alright.   I lost that feeling well before I got divorced so no regrets there. But I miss it sometimes. Good friends (and I have great ones) mask the absence most days.  But every once in a while it seeps back in.  It is truly a feeling only a man, the right man, can give you, you know?  When his physical presence alters your mood in every way.  But as I started with, very rarely do I admit this. And I am now filled with regret that I let it get to me and missed out on what could have been a great experience for me and the kids.   :-( P.S. 9:45am. I went back to the kids with some breakfast and announced my newfound realization that I let fear keep us from our adventure and to make it up to them we'd go horse back riding today. Jordan: You're crazy. Can you pass me the watermelon? Aidan: Whaaaaaat? Can't we just spend the day in the pool again? And with that, I was happy.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Day 2

I've been in Costa Rica for 2 days and I've spent most of the time trying to coax Jordan out of the room. The rest of the time I've been in the pool with Aidan trying to make sure this is a decent vacation for him. Thank God he makes friends easily which means I can get out, pull up a lounge chair and sip my warm, watered down margarita until he calls me for one thing or another. Mom, take my goggles. Mom, can I have my goggles? Mom, grab that ball... So how did this vacation come about? I only have myself to blame. My kids have a lot of shit. A LOT. 2 PSPs, 2 DS', an Xbox, a PS3 and a Wii. Plus the requisite peripherals: Kinect, Move, Guitar Hero. The list goes on. I grown tired of buying more shit just to have it sit around. They don't need it. So this Christmas, I said no more gifts and gave them an "experience" instead. A trip to Costa Rica! YAY! Something for everyone. Beach and pool for Jordan. Animals and adventure for Aidan. Should have been perfect. But we got here and Jordan refuses to leave the room. She doesn't "feel comfortable". What the FUCK does that mean, I ask? (without the fuck of course). No further explanation. Just a repeat of the same. She wants to go home. Why can't we go home? So yesterday Aidan and I go to the pool without her. She gets in bed, begs me to buy the wifi (which I was going to do anyway but almost didn't out of spite) and falls asleep. We come back 2 hours later and I have to damned near pull her out of bed for dinner. This morning I reschedule our zip line excursion thinking she needs time to acclimate. I come back to the room, wake them for breakfast and she refuses to leave. How does a child "refuse"? Well after the first 40 min, I pull her out of bed. She just sits there. I begin to wonder if she's completely gone off her rocker. If she doesn't need a Xanax, I do. Then the tears start. "Mommy, please! You don't understand. I don't feel comfortable. Why do I have to leave? Can't I just stay inside all day? Can they not clean the room just today? Pleeeeeeeeeeaaaaaase?". We miss breakfast. I finally call her father. I ignore the feelings of inadequacy that I can't solve this myselbeans begin to give into the feeling that he or his dumb ass girlfriend are the cause. Jordan was so excited for this trip. Then she goes to her dads and comes back a nervous wreck. Anyway, I call. She talks. And cries. And then I get on the phone. He honestly sounds shocked. But I've been here with him before so I'm not completely convinced. He talks to her again. She gets in the shower, gets dressed and pouts all the way through breakfast. She refused to put on a bathing suit so she sits by the pool and stews for two hours while my guilt keeps me in there with Aidan playing volleyball with this super athletic family from Nebraska that laugh every time I miss a pass and once when the dad hit me in the head with the ball. Finally we take her back to the room where she sleeps for another 3 hours. We go back to the pool for more volleyball. I decide that I will definitely schedule an adult vacation as soon as I'm back home. Now It's 45 min til dinner and 3 hours til bed. Then on to Day 3. Oh the joy.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ok, so I guess not really single anymore

I just deleted my profile!  And not because the only date I've gone on through Match was with a gay man.  Nope.  Despite that, I've held onto the membership, continuing to pay every month.  So why have I taken this apparently drastic step?  Well, because...I have a boyfriend.

Saying boyfriend after a certain age just feels a little ridiculous.  Now I know why my aunt and all of my mom's single girlfriends used to call the various men in their lives their "friend."  I'm way too old to change my Facebook status to "dating..." so I guess the way this 40-something will announce it is with a whisper (lest it go...POOF!) and a removal of all profiles across the online dating universe.

But before I hit "cancel my subscription", I took a look at what I wrote and damned if it wasn't the perfect description of the guy I've got.  Ain't life grand?  Here it is.  Feel free to borrow it.  Maybe it's got some good mojo.

Hi! I've been divorced for over 2 years and although single life has been an adventure, I'd love to find someone to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon with.

I'm funny (at least I think so), sarcastic, equal parts driven and lazy. I'm just as comfortable out dancing all night as I am spending the evening w/Netflix, pizza and a bottle of wine.

My perfect mate loves to laugh...often. 

He's equal parts cool and corny.


Family is important to him. 

He's not afraid to talk about his feelings. 

He's smart.

Interested in seeing the world

Not afraid to take the lead.

He's handsome, interesting looking and sexy.

Someone who can put a smile on my face just looking at me. Someone I'm hot for even when I'm pissed as hell at him. Someone who can make me laugh even when I'm about to cry.

If that's you...I'd love to hear from you! 

Thursday, January 26, 2012


This morning I found a gray hair in a place where....(well, you can guess). 

There have been some amazing things about turning 40 -- self awareness, boost in confidence, the I'm-gonna-do-what-I-wanna-do-and-not-give-a-f*@^ attitude, great sex...the list goes on.  But this...this unexpected and unruly reminder that my body is not fully under my control does not make the list. 

What makes it's mere existence even worse is that whenever these reminders pop up (it's happened more than I care to admit in the 359 days since I turned 40), I get anxious.  Because it's a reminder the clock is ticking.  That I can no longer talk about all the things I'm going to do "someday" and be looked fondly upon as FULL OF POTENTIAL.  No, I have approached the age where FULL OF POTENTIAL turns into WASTED POTENTIAL .

Over the last couple of years I've looked at my single, no kids (SNK) friends who've picked up and moved to new cities, traveled the world, started new businesses and I've come up with a laundry list of reasons (excuses?) why I can't do the same:
  • I can't move the kids away from their dad!
  • I have college tuition to save for!
  • Where would I find the time?
  • I'm a single mom, I can't quit my job!
But then, it hit me.  When my kids ask me to help them with something, my response is often, "Be solution oriented."  This isn't (only) lazy parenting.  My job as their mom is to raise them to be happy, self sufficient, successful adults.  Doing everything for them runs counter to that.  They hate it (especially my son...what IS it with boys?) but they've come to expect it and I hope are better for it.

So this year I'm taking my own advice. Rather than focusing on what my SNK friends are doing and making excuses (there, I admitted it!) for why I can't do the same, I'm spending 2012 focused on what I CAN do within my own personal parameters -- single woman living in one of the most expensive cities in the country with two lovely kids with expensive tastes in private school, one only 3 years from college and dreams of going to a very expensive school across the country. 

And then I'm doing it. 

This blog was the first step.  I'll let you know when I've figured out step 2.