Friday fodder: Eeyore, Pollyanna, and a note from Miss T

I had little love for the “Mad Men” season opener; it was bound to happen.  For years, I didn’t care much that these people were mostly dreadful – selfish, greedy, gluttonous.  They embodied nearly all the seven deadly sins, but their approach was so stylish and compelling, the husband and I returned week after week to Don, Betty, Roger, Pete, Peggy, and Joan.  Last Sunday, however, they lost me.  In a series of vignettes not connected in any obvious way, the arcs of their characters appear to … [Read more...]

Monday motherhood: hugs and kisses

I’ve long been convinced that physical and verbal displays of affection and support are more valuable to a child’s success than any other device we have available as parents.  This is purely based on assumption and anecdote - and it’s a careful balance.  The only child smothered with attention and praised as perfect, regardless of evidence to the contrary, can often be annoying.  But show me a well-adjusted, confident problem-solver, who isn’t afraid of reaching out to/for help, and I’ll show … [Read more...]

Monday motherhood: Felix Baumgartner

In 1984, I jumped out of an airplane with my friend Frank Spinelli.  Haven’t seen him in years but we’ll always have New Jersey, where we spent the morning learning how to pull a rip cord to release the backup parachute in the event the main one didn’t open.  It did, for both of us, and so we lived to tell of our stupid adventure – which was definitely a positive outcome for our future children.  I'm a mother of three.  Frank just had his first. Did you see Felix Baumgartner jump from space … [Read more...]

A few words about parenting: we’re okay, dammit

This weekend I was on the sidelines in Riverside, California watching soccer, soccer, and more soccer.  Other parents joined me screaming at the girls during the games -- mostly encouragement, some instruction, occasionally underneath the breath, “Ah, you shoulda had that.”  We’re not convinced they hear anything we say but we say it nonetheless.  We’re enthusiastic spectators.  As parents, we’re doing the best we can.  There’s room for improvement; we know that.  But perfection?  Doing it … [Read more...]

Monday motherhood: pay now or pay later

Running with another is preferable to running alone.  The time goes by faster because, generally, to fill the silence and ignore the pain, there are stories to tell.  Yesterday, during Mile 2, my friend told me two tales.  The first involved a girl my friend’s 10-year-old twins knew who reported to them that she calls her mom a stupid a**hole.  The second story was one my friend witnessed firsthand while she was getting her nails done recently.  In another chair at the salon was a woman having … [Read more...]

Saturday cafe: candy before noon

I dragged my kids to see “Toy Story 3” with me today.  Wait.  What’s wrong with that sentence?  It wasn’t like pulling their teeth but they’d already seen it.  I hadn’t and if given the choice, they would have stayed in their pajamas all day and drooled on the couch watching reruns of “iCarly” but here’s the thing: I didn’t give them the choice.  I hauled them off late morning to hang with Woody, Buzz, Jesse, and Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. Naturally, I snuck in my own treats in a small backpack … [Read more...]