Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas in Portland

On the plane home
I got to write this ditty
it is 
pretty cool
this new technology
so I could write about my trip before I get home

first of all-
karen didn't punch anyone in the face
the only person she fought with was bethany and that can happen anywhere
my brother, sister in law, and the 3 boys were all wonderful
they all exceeded my expectations

the one person who disappointed me?
yep, the one person who i should be able to trust
was the one who let me down
it sucked
and it all started at the dfw airport
before we were on the flight

it was awful
it was horrible
he didn't support me over something with Bethany
so  Bethany was screaming at me
and he was just trying to get me to shut up
not Bethany
and it was
over something incredibly stupid
that I just needed to say to Bethany
but she kept interupting me
and wouldn't let me talk
or finish
or whatever
it seemed that everyone
got involved then
along with Bethany
against me

so guess what?
TSA had to come talk to me
watching me
almost didn't let me on the plane
at that point
I didn't care
i wanted the situation resolved
before boarding

since Jeff reprimanded me
in front of the TSA employee
instead of
supporting me
after telling her
that everything would be fine
it was not resolved
and I was
followed onto the plane

then I sat down
and cried
pretty continuously
the whole 4 hour plane ride
it was lovely

i was next to karen
she was wonderful
and took care of me
nor lucy
nor bethany
even spoke to me

i can't even begin to describe
the horrible feelings I was having

we arrived in Portland
my mother was wonderful to me
and my kids
my father was great to me
and my kids
my brother
shocked the shit
out of me with his openess
hospitality to me, my husband
and all of my children
even karen chose to go in his car
a few times
she relaxed
which made me feel better
my sister in law
made sure that  Bethany  got vegetarian meals
and that Lucy didn't feel left out
she took them shopping
which she really enjoyed since she only has boys
and nephews on her family's side

it was also a sad time for her
it was the 10th anniversary of her mother's death
so we spoke of her often

things with me and jeff
got better
but it did such for a few days
especially when he didn't realize
how he had treated me
and didn't see
how awful and alone I felt

there were other stupid things he did while
we were there......
for instance
when karen was worried
since we weren't all giddy that
we would get divorced
he told her he didn't know
nor did he tell me that I should talk to her
just what karen needed
something else to be anxious about

when jeff and i talked
about how important it was
for all 5 of us to talk about
the "airport incident" and
me "almost getting us all kicked off the plane"
He told the girls
that *I* wanted to get us all together
so when I saw down
it was me against them
such a lovely feeling (not)
it's over
and I may still be a little pissed
i know
i need to let it go

about Portland
we were lucky,
we got sun our first full day there
seriously lucky
then the next couple of days
it was cloudy and grey
but then yesterday
and today
it was raining
grey skies
raining, pitter patter rain
not thunderstorm rain
the kind that makes you sleepy
get under your covers and read a book
watch a movie
or take a nap drowsy

i could never live there

the night we got in
the adults went out to dinner
and the kids got pizza and rented a movie
all seemed good

so our first full day, we went roller skating with them
that is their chirstmas eve tradition
they went to mass,
we rested at the hotel
until we all met back at their home
dinner was lasagna
molly's famous meat lasagna
that she only makes at christmas
but she made her regular veggie one too
for bethany
sourdough bread
salad and christmas cookies

the next morning
we got over there early
opened our christmas gift
we all got stockings
even Jeff and I were
given something small
in my brother's athletic socks
because we didn't have official santa stockings
we gave all of them small gifts
(we saved our big ones for hanukkah)

then we had blueberry pancakes
and molly's grandfather's famous homemade sausage
that my brother now makes
it was pretty cool

we still had the jewish christmas tradition
of going to the movies
they always do it too
we split up
one of my nephews and I went to see
"the girl with the dragon tatoo"
Bethany & Lecy saw "new year's
everyone else saw "Hugo"
then we went back to their house
for a crab fest christmas dinner

all the girls (minus karen)
went shopping
and the boys plus karen
were going to go do nature things
but the boys didn't really want to go
so they went to a real
record store
and hung out
that night we went to Jake's seafood
it is an old staple
like Joe's stone crab in miami
and every single thing we ate was delicious

we went to a famous portland Deli
went to powell's books
a multi level bookstore
that is the biggest in north america
if not all of the americas
where all the kids
got to pick out their hanukkah gifts
from my brother's family
then we went to a matinee
performance of
The Santa Land Diaries
the David Sedaris story
it was hilarious, of course

we went back to their house
for our hanukkah exchange
brisket & latkes
and lighting of the candles
for the last night

(we think we lit the first night there and the last 2, at least it was something)
Bethany and karen got in a huge fight, which could happen anywhere
but they made up before we left

we all said goodbye
and i don't think there were any regrets
like I said
they exceeded my expectations!
it ended up being fabulous
and very memorable!

Friday, December 16, 2011

my biggest comes home

she did it
she made it
she survived
so did i

she finished her first
semester of college
in a different city
in a different state
without me
or my husband

we were on the phone
multiple times daily
i didn't mind

the point is
that she did it
and feel so good about herself
she made friends
new friends
real friends
real people
who know her
who live with her
understand her
that helps her
feel so much better about herself

2 years ago
i didn't know
if she could even leave home
if she would want to
or could even do it

and she did
she did it
so well
so far away
so grown up
so mature

there were days
she questioned herself
her anxiety
her depression
her feelings
she was scared
would all happen again

one day i told her
i wasn't worried
if i was
i would tell her
i was so proud of her
she made so many
great decisions
so often
she didn't realize
how strong
she had become
how mature
she had become
how much
she had grown

she is so happy now
it makes it all worth it

when things were bad
really bad
i never
a day like today
would ever come

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Being a friend

i just want to be there
for her
to be a shoulder to cry on
an ear to listen

i want to help
i know
nothing can
make the pain go away

how can a pain
like losing a child
ever go away

i feel guilty
even talking about my kids
knowing that one of hers
is gone

i know she wants to
celebrate our victories
i know
she also
has sadness
every day

i just want to help
be there

i want to fix it
i can't
for that reason
i feel so worthless

Friday, December 9, 2011

Selfish Birthdays

this year
i didn't feel like celebrating my birthday
too much has happened
some friends lost a daughter
my daughters lost a friend
another daughter
isn't here
she is in college
she is alive
not with me

when i told my daughters
at home
that i just wanted to go
to a movie
they thought
that was depressing

so i called another friend
to meet for lunch
on my birthday

so i went to class
my Mindfulness class
where i focused
on me
that doesn't happen often
then I met my friend
for lunch
and it was sweet

i went to a movie
with a diet coke
and junior mints
it was a perfect afternoon

i focused on myself
i don't do that often enough
i tried not to answer
any emails
or texts
or phone messages
i wanted to

that doesn't happen often
i do so many things
for so many
other people
some days
it is okay
to be selfish

i just need to remember that

Friday, December 2, 2011


i cry when sad
when angry
when happy
when anxious
when hurt
when depressed
when surprised

i just cry
and don't know why

the urge overtakes me
and i try to
think of a reason
why i feel that way

am i sad?
am i angry?
am i happy?
am i anxious?
am i hurt?
am i depressed?
am i surprised?

usually it is a combination
i do know
i cry often
too often
i think
and it scares me

i feel guilty
feel overcome with emotion
and just don't know
how to express it

crying releases feelings
sometimes good ones
often not

i even cry
when i see others cry
i'm not even sure why

it hurts
i hurt
and crying
is the only way i feel it

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

i set the table
i cooked the turkey
the sweet potatoes
the stuffing
2 kinds even
white bread
then updated
mashed potatoes
brussel sprouts
green beans
and rolls
had lots of types of rolls
and pies
4 kinds
with Cool Whip
i love cool whip

everyone came over
casual as always
it is the spirit
just being together

after everyone
filled their plates
my beloved husband
said some words
he laughed
when he saw my paper
i can't speak
off the top of my head
without preparation
i need to think first

so here goes-
this is what i said

Being Thankful

I like to start this off by saying how thankful I am for everything
But I won’t feel like I have been honest if I also don’t recognize a huge loss in our life

When we lost our sweet 17 year old friend, it rocked our family to the core, she had been a part of all our lives for about 10 years-I guess you can say that we took her laughter, smile and abundant energy for granted, because she was always around.

So, instead, I will say that we are so thankful that we were lucky enough to be part of her short life, her smile always shone so bright, that we are thankful we got to experience it.  We are thankful that we can help honor her by always being kind to animals, speaking up for those that don’t speak up for themselves, by being mindful in the moment, and live  for her, because she always wanted everyone to live for those who can’t.

I am very thankful today that we have all 4 of our grandparents with us.  They are all healthy and I thank god every day for that and their constant guidance.  They are our inspirations and mentors.  We learn from you and are so thankful you are here for us and the grandchildren.  We know that our kids are so lucky to have you each and every day.  Because even though they don’t see you every day, they speak of you with kindness and awe always.

Of course, it should have been the first thing I said, but I am so thankful for my husband.  Jeff is there for me, supporting me, being strong when I am weak and keeping me centered. His support and love help guide me daily, without him I would definitely fail, You are my partner and I love you, Thank you for being you

 My children, my 3 girls---I am so thankful Karen is home with us this short week.  And I am also thankful she is growing and learning about herself as she also learns about the world while away at college.  As hard as it is for me when she goes back, I am thankful for this opportunity. 
I am so very thankful that Bethany has found her way at Hillcrest.  Last year at this time, she was still new there and meeting new people.  Now, she is a permanent fixture, she is responsible and commands respect.  She is one of the cream of the crop, as her cheerleader sponsor says, and has the consequences to prove it.
I am so thankful that Lucy has taken Hillcrest by storm.  Never one to show her anxiety, Lucy walked into school that first day barely knowing a soul, now she is rarely home or has 5 girls over here laughing and creating energy with all her new friends. She feels smart again and continues her relationships with friends from all over the city.

I am grateful for cousins, aunts and uncles who are here, you make our home special every time you visit.

I am also grateful to God, who showers us with gifts: mystery, beauty, ideas, art, music, literature, language, nature, humor, family, friends, and love. I feel I am blessed to be able to give thanks for all my uncountable blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Honoring others and myself

it is that time of the year
as our invitation
always states
after 10 years
of the same party
i just can't bring myself to change the
words of the invitation
because i feel
i worded it so beautifully
the first time

honoring friends
and family
by thanking them
for being a part of our life

appreciating others
i like to do that
i like to be appreciated

i know that not everyone
wants to same types
of appreciation
or honor
since that is what i like
i tend to give it out too

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

More Time

i keep thinking it is a dream
really a nightmare
how can a child
be gone

the days go by
the nights go by
and the mornings come
and i wonder
is it really true

too much sorrow
i wish it wasn't true

some of my other friends
ask about my friends
who lost their daughter
"how are they"
they naively ask
i almost want to answer
"how can they be"
their child is gone
they will never get to see her again
touch her again
kiss her again
"how would you be"

i know they mean well
but there are no words
there are no answers
there is not a wrong way
or a right way
to behave
to grieve
to believe

i visit her grave
that sweet plot
full of flowers
arizona tea bottles
sweet reminders
of a lost life
of a sweet girl
who touched so many people

Thursday, October 13, 2011

need to catch up

the oldest went to college
the middle started her junior year in high school
the youngest started high school

where did the time go
i know
i feel it
just yesterday
i was changing diapers
and washing faces

they are older
they are sassy
they can be independent
but they can also be dependent

transition has been difficult
for all of them
for me

some days the oldest calls
6 times a day
just once a day

the middle one
needs me some days
and others
not so much

the youngest one
is gently
becoming her own person
knowing that a smile helps
that she doesn't need me around all the time any more

i hate it
i admit it

when my oldest and I
are together
we have so much fun
but then she leaves
or I leave her
i get depressed all over again

when my middle one gets angry
at me
or the world
i want to fix it for her
she is suffering
over the loss of her friend
but i can't help
nor will she let me try

my youngest is quieter
she is helpful to her friend
who lost the sister
so she takes her lead from her
in how to react
she is making new friends
keeping in touch with all
her old ones

some days
i just wonder what to do....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

way too long

i've lost track
of how many times
i have thought about writing a post
because i just looked at my blog
for the first time in almost months

how did i get so far behind?
i know
i do
i just don't want to admit it

life was moving along
drama was always to be had
having 3 teenage girls in the house

the phone rang
on august 3rd
my mind still goes back to that day
and i doubt i will ever forget it

i could tell my friend was upset
i would never have known the depth

a 17 year old girl
daughter of a friend
friend of my daughter
had died
in a tragic traffic accident

i screamed
i cried
i defended
that it couldn't be
how could she be gone so fast

so much has happened
and so little
in so long

time stopped
or it stood still
it didn't seem possible
it didn't seem real

we drove to the house
my family
the daughter who was closest to this girl
was out of town
not far
but still gone
i tried to call her
i couldn't get it
so i left messages

we got to the house
it still haunts me
the mother in tears
the father broken down
the sister silent

the sign up welcoming the daughter
back in from out of the country
she never got to see it
the phones ringing
the voices talking
the cars driving over
the crying
the screaming
the sadness enveloping the room

my middle daughter
finally called
and at that point
i didn't even know the full story
except to tell her
that her friend was gone
there was no easy way to say it
i knew i was shattering her world

my poor baby
away and crying
she had friends to console her
thank goodness
some of those girls knew the departed one

but i wanted to hug her
i wanted to console her

my oldest was distraught
i was worried
the mother was concerned
she told me to leave early
here she was
heartbroken over her loss
but knowing how much my oldest had struggled
knew it was not good
for her to be in that situation

we stayed for a bit
then she and i left
we were silent
we went home
watched tv
then went to get ice cream for dinner

the boy behind the counter
told me to get some sleep
my eyes were red
my face was white
there were no words
to describe how i felt

the next morning
when i woke up
i screamed
because i knew it was safer
to be in bed asleep
than to be awake
into the nightmare

Saturday, June 25, 2011

friends on the same path

it saddens me
that lately
I hear of more friends who have to go down this same path
that our family has taken with mental health

what has become of our world
our society
our schools
our families
that so many children
need a break
to help themselves find themselves

so many kids
are on the wrong path
because of
the pressure
the anxiety
the worry
the expectations
of society, schools and families

I hate that these people have to experience
what we did
I hate that there is not one answer
because there isn't
every child
every parent
needs their own time
and their own schedule

some people have asked me
if we had gotten our daughter
help earlier
would it have been different

I don't think so
when she went
even though she didn't know it at the time
she knew something was wrong
and she needed help
before that
she never had remorse
she didn't care
she felt she was owed something

she thought the world was treating her unfairly
that everyone else was causing stuff to happen to her
until she could see that she was causing the scenarios
to happen
she could never get the point that she needed to be
to start to get help

for all my friends
and another other person having to go on this path
I wish for us and them
that there is always a better tomorrow

Sunday, June 19, 2011

childless couple

our kids are gone
for 10 days we are alone

when was the last time it was this quiet
no complaining
no noise
no mess
since 2 are out of the country
and 1 is at camp
they really can't call that often
so we are alone
in our house
for the first time
for this long

some summers
we have gone out of town
but this summer
we decided to stay home
what a great decision
we made

we will eat dinner out
we will eat dinner at home
we will go out to movies
we will watch movies at home

we can do whatever WE want
what a concept
we can sleep in
we can wake up early

we can cook
ha ha ha ha
i make myself laugh

the best part is
we can pick what to do
and do it together

this is a treat
I don't think I can do it all the time
I miss my babies
so does my husband
but it is fun
for 10 days

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Camp, same place, only the faces change

driving down 35
i see the sign
the marker
exit 318
3 chai
it never changes
I pull off
to the right
because I am always
driving from the north
whether I was in high school
or married with kids
the north of Waco

exit 318
I pass a gas station
that used to serve gas
I pass a railroad track
that I think
still has a train
I pass the post office
that has long since closed its doors

the houses
on the way
on the drive
stay the same
or change color
we name them
my girls and I do
the dome house
the beehive house
the yellow house
or the house
that used to be pretty
we drive down that road
and our hearts flutter
we know that we are near

the gates
real gates
an electronic gate
with beautiful lettering
spelling out the name of the camp
Greene Family Camp
not the old metal gate
that was ages ago

there are some parts
that are the same
the cabins
the moadon
the courtyard
the lower courtyard

it is actually prettier
even though
camp is not about the beauty
of the buildings
it is about the beauty
of the people

there is a new sports complex
a new office building
a new dining hall
tennis courts
art room
and infirmary

i drive in
and still think about
the lower pool
the portables
the old staff cabin
that was just one little room

a lot has changed
all for the good

but then
we dress for shabbat
and everyone comes in
the dining hall
wearing white
the songs are being sung
the smiles are brilliant
and there
in front of me
if I squint
it is all the same
only the faces have changed
that is the best feeling of all

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


she was honest
i have to give her credit

i saw some pictures on facebook
because my girls have to be my friend
but i saw these pictures
and could tell something was different
the look in her eyes
the distant smile
the disheveled clothes
i had a feeling that alcohol was involved

so i texted her to call me when she was alone
she did
i just asked her
and was thinking about other girls too
if there was drinking
yes there was
she told me
yes she had some
she told me
she said she wanted to be honest
she asked if I was mad

i wasn't
she was telling me the truth
and isn't that what I always told her to do
she was in a party bus
so she wasn't driving
and then
she was spending the night
so she was staying put
she made good decisions
she did
she was honest
she said she was in control
and had been in a good place
for about 3 hours now

she really was drunk
for the first time
honesty is the best policy
now that I know the truth
should I feel better...
because I don't

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lovely time with British Girls

More Fun
Summer is beginning

I help recruit families
in the dallas area
to host
our international staff
before they need to go to camp

the international staff
gets here early
instead of going straight to camp
we have them go live
with our families
to see what
American life is like

they arrive from
of course
south africa
or England

I get to help
make decisions
so I chose
2 girls from England
they were so cute

both girls
were blonde
and fun
and my daughters
fell in love
not just with their accents
but these people
they adored them

we took them shopping
out for mexican food
to the movies
to a dinner
at another family's house
to meet other staff members

we went to target
and bought silly things
for them to take to camp
we gave them t-shirts
and shorts
and cereal
i guess
they don't get Lucky Charms
in england anymore

they were fun
we had fun
my girls enjoyed this
little break

we want to go to camp
even more
I never thought
that could be possible

Friday, May 27, 2011

My daughter the Valedictorian

after 8 years of wishing
my oldest daughter got THE phone call this past Monday
She had the highest grade point average in her class
so finally
she was officially the Valedictorian of the Winston School 2011

Here is the speech she wrote
She spoke so beautifully
of the support
and trying times she had experienced in recent years
 She received a standing ovation
she deserved it wholeheartedly
I was in awe of her truthfulness
I am very blessed

When I was in fourth grade, I learned they had an award for being the best at academics. So ever since, because I have always been a hard worker and studious, I’ve dreamed of becoming valedictorian. If anyone asked me why, it would be very hard to explain. It was something I dreamed about at my previous school, a very competitive private school that constantly filled me with stress. When I began to excel at Winston, it was something I hoped was finally possible. And when I missed the first six weeks of school during my junior year because I was at a residential treatment center, I hoped I had not messed up my chances. To me, valedictorian has always represented the achievement of overcoming the odds, which is why I am proud to stand before you today. I have overcome my difficulties, and without Winston, it would not have happened.
At my old school I did nothing but study, or cry that I needed to study. I came home and passed out on my bed fully clothed from all the stress. My parents pulled me out of that school, something I will always be thankful for. They sent me to The Winston School, which is right behind my house, and that I walk to each day. I’ve always thought that was pretty sweet.
I felt better at Winston, but not all the way. This is because I had more problems than my learning differences, dyslexia, dysgraphia, and ADHD, which my peers have also. My main problem was my anxiety and depression, which could not be cured through a simple change in environment. My stress from the academics of school was lifted, because Winston’s atmosphere fit me a lot better. I loved that people were not asking me my grade on my last test every second, as this kind of competitiveness can get very taxing. The problem, though, was my anxiety and depression were causing me problems socially.  I had no friends. I did not even really start talking to people until the end of my 10th grade year. But when I did start to talk to people, I learned that our class is one great bunch of kids.
When I started to stretch my social muscles, our class of 2011 was always very inclusive. They are nice to everyone, and through this they taught me to be more social. I’ve learned how to approach people, and to not stay in the shadows. This is one of the reasons I will always love Winston.
Of course, it is not the only reason. Winston will always have my appreciation for how they helped me at the beginning of my junior year. I missed the first six weeks of school to go to a residential treatment center to work on my anxiety, depression, and anger. I was nervous about missing so much school, which I guess isn’t saying much considering that I have chronic anxiety, but it truly was driving me mad. Then, while I was at the treatment center, I got a card from Mr. Della Costa. This one card made me feel better. I was worried about teachers being mad at me about missing too much school work, but Mr. Della Costa’s card not only made me feel better about returning to band, but also about returning to school in general. Mr. D wished me well, told me how band was going, and said he would not start drum line until his student director returned. The last line said, “So hang in there and whenever you are ready to start band- come in!” And I did hang in there. I got out of the residential treatment center, as a much happier and calmer person, right before my birthday. I was back at school just in time for the second six weeks grading period, and everyone was very nice about my return.
My first day I walked in the school as if I was walking on broken glass, because I was scared to see anyone and hear what they were going to say. This worrying was unnecessary because the first person I saw welcomed me back and gave me a hug. People also knew not to ask me too many questions, which filled me with relief. My friends had even gotten a bunch of people to sign a welcome back poster for me. When I returned, my peers made me feel important. They helped me with my transition back to school.
Everyone at Winston understood that I was going through a hard time, and they were very accommodating. My teachers were understanding about the situation, and helped me get caught up in all my classes. I was very worried about the college process, and I thought my time at the residential center had ruined my chances of making it into a “good” college. Ms. Carlson, though, showed me that everything was fine and I still had the chance to go to any college I wanted. She also showed me that a good college is not defined as an Ivy League school, but the school that is right for me.
I felt sick a lot, so I would often go to Nurse Heck, who I met that year. She always helped me feel better, and she was always there to talk. Sometimes I would just talk to her for almost a whole class period, because she had the ability to calm me after any panic attack. I also had to leave school early, but the administrators and my classmates were always very understanding. Slowly, the Winston environment was helping me to grow.
The next year I was voted Homecoming Queen, and I must say I was probably the most surprised person at that football game. This had been voted on by my peers, and it showed how far I had come. Thanks to Winston I had friends, people thought I was kind, and I now had the confidence to stand in front of friends, family, even strangers.
This year, I have felt more confident and hopeful. Despite all the college and senior excitement, Winston allowed me to dedicate my time to Vogel Alcove, a childcare center for homeless children, two days a week during spring semester. I am sure my absences worried some, but to me they represent the first time I could emotionally put others ahead of my academics. This was an enormous step for me and thanks to everyone who allowed this to happen.
So I stand here today, as valedictorian. My goal was reached, but my feelings are different. I have worked not only on my learning differences, but also on my anxiety and depression, which I know some of my classmates have struggled with as well. I have made friends and grown as a person. To the Winston community, I will always be grateful. To my classmates, The Winston Class of 2011, if you guys can help someone like me, which all of you did in your own way, you can do anything. All of you are amazing people, who I know will go far in life. Also, speaking on behalf of the class, I would like to thank all the parents, siblings (in my case sisters) and extended family, because like my own family, you have helped make us become the successful adults we are today.
Congratulations Class of 2011, we are graduating today, having overcome one thing or another. Look back at your lives, and you will also see how far you have made it. We should all be proud of what we have accomplished.
Thank you!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

parenting another

i have 3 girls
so I adopted a boy
not just any boy
but a little brother
for me
not my girls

it is hard sometimes
because he needs a mother
even when she comes in town
she is not a mother
a typical mother
she only thinks of herself
and I can tell that
needs a mom
he actually needs a woman
he can trust
so I became that woman
on my own
and I told him so

this spring
he discovered he had a tumor
in his jaw
thank gawd
it was not malignant
it still needed to be cut out
and bone had to be replaced
by metal
and surgery was going to last hours
and more hours
in the hospital
and days recovering
possibly months

I wanted to take care of him
like I always do
I have been there
for nose surgery
emergency surgery
on said tumor
whatever he needed
he knew to call me

leading up to the surgery
he told me
his mother
was coming in
I freaked
in the 10 years I have known him
she has never come to town
he assured me he was fine
but I worried
that I would not be
I worried
that I would go off on her
I didn't
she helped me
understand him

that ended up being a good thing
I was nice to her
I listened to her
I helped calm him down
when he was bothered by her

it was time for her to leave
he was not better
his mouth was wired shut
so he could barely eat
he had to take strong medication
and he
threw up
that was the scariest thing
i ever heard

i drove them both
to the ER
and I spoke to her all night
she was scared to leave the city
she needed to get back home
to work

I helped make a schedule
someone was going to stay with him
at his house
for 3 nights
then he would move in with me
my family
my husband
my daughters
while that person
went out of town

he was pissed
i knew he would be

but I was not prepared
for how he acted
when he got to my house

like a toddler
like a child
who didn't get their way

all I wanted to do was help
he saw it as
taking away
his freedom
I had to let him go
I took him home
after 24 hours
he needed that

he needed to be in his own bed
i needed to trust
that he was okay
it is all about letting go
i will learn that soon enough

i parent 3 teenage girls
i don't need to parent
a 30 year old either
i can be his sister
his older sister
not his mother

that is good enough for me
and for him

Thursday, May 12, 2011


oh my gosh
am I going to make it
is she going to make it

Karen has been thinking
and been getting hints all year
that she is the
of her high school class

but the school
doesn't announce their decision
until the Monday
before graduation

Karen is frustrated
teachers have made comments
students have made assumptions
even some administration
have given hints
Jeff even called the headmaster
to ask
but she was more concerned
that teachers and administrators
had over stepped their bounds
than Karen
having an anxiety attack.

it is so frustrating
i know it is killing her
she can't sleep
she is anxious
and pulling her hair out
she is on edge
she is obsessed with this
she can't focus
she can't think straight
this is all she wants
she wants to know
if there is even a chance

I want to help
of course
the enabler in me
the one who wants to fix things
she will have to wait
like everyone else

i hate that.....

Monday, May 9, 2011

Last Greenhill Luncheon

just this week
i was at my last Greenhill Parents Association Luncheon
i saw with friends
who say they will miss me
and i think they will
and i saw old friends
some spoke
others didn't
i saw some administration
who totally ignored me

which is sad
but is the truth
they won't miss me
or my girls
after all these years
i will be gone from this institution

a place i worked
a place i respected
a place i trusted
a place i let my children run free
a place i thought was safe

it was
yes it was
i felt safe there
i felt my children were safe there

all of that has changed
the saddest thing of all
is that many just don't care
they only see who is still there
who will put up with this sh*t
who will believe that it is their ticket to a "good" school

we now know
that a "good" school is not always what others think
the best school for one child
may not be the best for another

we also know
that our children should feel good about themselves
they don't need to forsake sleep for studying
they don't need to give up friends for books
they should have a life
that involves going to school
AND being able to play

we want our daughters to enjoy
this time
it is short
and should be fun

go to school
live life
make friends
make memories

there wasn't much smiling today
or so it seemed
everyone was trying to impress one person or another
where their child was attending college
or a summer program
or grades

i tried my best to stay out of those conversations
i know what is important

Saturday, April 30, 2011

wisdom teeth take 2

Karen had her wisdom teeth out 2 weeks ago yesterday
she was told
be still
be quiet
don't talk after you wake up from surgery
change your pads every 30 minutes
don't drink with a straw

Karen was anxious
as normal
then when she woke up
she felt all the stuff in her mouth
was relieved to wake up
then was quiet
and did what she was told
we got home
she had lots of ice cream
and smoothies with a spoon
watched tv
and rested

Bethany got her wisdom teeth removed
when she woke up
she wouldn't sit still
or shut up
she kept talking and talking
she kept spitting out the gauze in her mouth
the nurse was getting frustrated
my husband was getting frustrated
Bethany thought it was funny
she would laugh
then cry when she thought her daddy was mad at her
she was a mess

we left the office
and i know they were happy for us to go
and stopped to get her a smoothie
she wanted to go in
I told her no
she asked why
and I said
because she just can't
she cried and told me i always give her a reason
she kept talking
there was blood pouring out of her mouth
we got home
she kept talking
she didn't want to eat a lot
she didn't want to sit still
we had to watch her at all times
it was like she was a toddler all over again

she ended up getting sick to her stomach
she kept getting sick
not sure if it was from the pain medication
or her not eating enough
she was not happy
because the only way to get that better
was a suppository
no fun

today she is still not feeling well
in pain in her mouth
and in her tummy
2 children
same family
2 totally different reactions
to the same surgery

just goes to show you
even if you are related
everyone reacts differently
to the same thing

remember to apply that to all procedures, camps, schools etc
there is not one answer that can apply to all people

(Editor's note, much later-Bethany ended up with Dry Sockets and an infection.  She had to have something packed into her gums, then on an antibiotic.  The next month she went to see her dentist who saw another infection, so she needed more oral surgery and antibiotics....but this wonderful oral surgeon didn't charge us that time!)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

anxiety specialists--never knew this existed

i never heard of this before
how had I not?

I went to a lunch I heard about
through SMU
I let some other W-here moms know
that 2 professors at SMU
were anxiety specialists

they explained anxiety
they believe all can be cured
or treated
or understood

I listened
I took notes
I was in awe
of their knowledge

one said
he lives and breathes anxiety
and one of my mom friends and I both said
we do too

the understanding
the information
calmed me
just the knowledge
that someone can help my daughter
calmed me

the Godbey Lecture series
helped me become a better mother
it showed me a way
to help my daughter
because the anxieties that she feels
about meeting new people
especially with going to college soon
needs to be addressed

and for her to hear someone
who believes her
who understands her
who can help her
will help calm her
and me
at the same time

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Houston...we have a mitzvah

my best childhood friend
we lived near each other
in 2 different neighborhoods
grew up riding bikes
to each other houses
all over the streets
nothing we can let our own daughters do now

she lives in Texas
just a different city
has twin daughters
who look nothing alike
it is so cool
these daughters turned 13
and were having a b'not mitzvah
so I got to take 2 of my daughters to the event

I took Lucy and Bethany
Lucy is obsessed with "frockets"
also known as pocket t's
just a t-shirt with a front pocket
the "most famous frockets"
are from a store called Buccee's
Buccee's is a famous truck stop
between Dallas and Houston
so we got to stop there twice
get frockets
and other fun accessories
during this weekend trip

Lucy's best camp friend
also lives in Houston
so this friend got to join us
in all the activities too.

It is always good to just get away
seeing old friends makes it even better

Seeing my old friend
her family
and a new camp friend
made the weekend complete

watching these children
act so much like their mother
made me laugh

watching my children
interact with her children
made me smile

times like these are so beautiful

Monday, March 28, 2011

Austin. Movie Madness

celebrating 21 years
my husband and I
went to Austin
to see our favorite Movie Director
Kevin Smith
also one of our favorite movie characters
Silent Bob
one and the same

we drove to Austin
stayed downtown
near the famous 6th street
we had fun
we ate
we drank
we walked everywhere
we just had time together

We got the see the movie
Kevin's new film
and hear him talk before
and after
it was so very cool
so very memorable
and a great time
with my best friend.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

job is about to end

my job is ending
i don't want it to
i don't have a choice

since feb 13, 1992
i have had one job
maybe other jobs at the same time
but one job
that became my career

i am good at it
i really am
not all women
are meant to be mothers
and not all mothers
are meant to enjoy it
i do
i did
i have
all the time

i volunteered at their schools
their camps
their summer programs
their field trips
their bake sales
any opportunities

in face
all my outside
volunteer work
was still geared around them
all 3 of them
soccer moms
religious school snack moms
room moms
network moms
gala chair
social chairs

summer camp
i wanted to be there
watching them
enjoying them

snow days?
bring them on
i want them home with me
i love them
i love watching them
i love being with them

driving carpools
except not too early
watching soccer games
except when it is too cold
basketball games
softball games
field hockey games
track meets
gymnastic meets
theater camps
school plays
talent shows
band performances
tennis matches
volleyball games
t-ball games
soccer games
dance recitals
cheerleading performances
end of camp recitals
art shows
choir performances
dance performances

broken bones
teeth pulled
scoliosis specialists
plastic surgeon
(hate that man, he slapped my baby)
(bethany had 5 broken bones in 18 months)

for 19 years
this has been my primary job
my most important one
and my payment
has been 3 beautiful
young ladies

i couldn't ask for anything more
from them

they are all i ever wanted
i just don't want my job to be over

it is good
it is fabulous
my first child is going to leave the next
i can be happy for her
sad for me
at the same time

i can be so proud of her
and all that she has accomplished
feel an emptiness
inside myself
that will never go away

i can be thrilled for her new experiences
i can be grateful that she has matured enough to make this change
i can be overcome with emotion that she has made it to this milestone

feel that my title is being taken away
that my job is coming to an end
that i can see that it will slowly be fading
and i don't have to like that part

this is how I define myself
a mother
of 3 girls
not little girls anymore
3 teenagers
the best and brightest
the greatest kids in the world

the people I want to spend time with
the lights of my life

i don't like change
i want things to stay the same
i know when i have felt like this before

always during good changes
and i feel guilty
these big milestones
things get better
but they have to get worse first...