I remember when Rory was in high school. One evening, she was dutifully attending to her studies in the home office. She randomly yelled out to me, “Mom, do I have a curfew?”
Someone must have just asked her this question.
Okay, I have to admit there was that moment of “Oh my gosh, I knew there was something I forgot!” And then the following moment of “Oh my gosh, all the good parents have curfews for their children!” And then the culminating few seconds of, “I failed miserably as a parent!”
Then I snapped back to reality. And answered the kid who was doing non-stop school work. With a rhetorical, “Why? Do you need one?”
No. She did not have a curfew. Even if the town did! Because every situation, every outing really depended on who she was going to be with, what they were doing, and where they were going to be. That was the important thing to us. Simple as that. We decided on a case by case basis.
Every kid is different. Rory didn’t need a curfew in high school. And that was our decision as parents. Did not matter what other kids or parents were doing.
Believe me, we have made plenty of parenting mistakes. That just wasn’t one of them.
The reason I remembered this today was because I was with a group of parents. Most of whom had eighth graders heading to high school. There were questions.
One was, “What age do they date?”
And the answer is this. When you allow them.
There is a whole lot of information that needs to be examined. Your personal views on dating. Your views as a family. What does “dating” even mean? Does it mean they “like” each other from across the lunch room?
And then you make the best decision for your child. You try to be flexible. But you listen to your gut. What leaves you comfortable. No caving in to adult peer pressure. Or to the whining of your child due to their own peer pressure.
Does not matter if the issue is curfew or dating. Applies to any decision we make for our children. We are the parents.
We all make mistakes. But if we really listen to our guts then we just might make fewer.
Posted in Family, Growing Up, Kids, Musings, Parents | Tagged curfews, dating, gut instinct, school, teens | 4 Comments »
Today is my best friend’s youngest daughter’s birthday. She is eighteen. Totally seems like yesterday when she was born.
She’s a great kid. An all around nice girl. I would expect nothing less from a child of my oldest friend.
As I was sending her a birthday greeting today a memory was triggered. About a birthday party of hers a few years ago. I cannot even tell you the venue. My memory is that bad.
But I do remember my friend relaying the story to me.
She had invited a group of girls. And you know how the RSVP thing can go when people do not practice common courtesy. So my friend was annoyed from the get go with the lack of response. Not sure if she followed up to see how many would make it.
Anyway, day of party arrives. The only kid who showed up at the birthday party was her very best friend.
Maybe there was an event or something going on that day. I do not know the reason for no one else showing up. I just know that no one did.
My girlfriend was fuming. But beyond the anger, my girlfriend’s heart was broken. That this would happen to her daughter on her birthday. That her heart would be broken. That she would be crushed. Her special day ruined.
What mom wouldn’t be?
But the two kids went off bowling or did whatever they did at the party.
Do you know, at the end of the day, that kid looked up at her mother and thanked her. She said, “I had a great day. That was the best birthday ever.”
My eyes are tearing up again as I write this and it was years ago.
I remember feeling so darn proud of that kid.
For not forgetting to thank her Mom.
And for realizing sometimes a day with your very best friend in the world IS the best day ever.
For just having an outlook on life that others could only dream about and will never have.
Still so darn proud of that kid. I wish her a billion best days ever.
Posted in best friends, Friends, Growing Up, Kids, Musings, Parents, Positive Thinking | Tagged friends, motherhood | Leave a Comment »
March 16, 2013: 22-year-old Sunil Tripathi went missing.
I blogged about his disappearance on March 26th.
His name was splashed all over the media on April 19th. Falsely identified as one of the suspects in the Boston bombing.
April 23rd, 2013: His body was found in the Providence River.
His poor family. I cannot imagine their despair. Having a child missing. Feeling like you should know and feel where he is. He is yours.
I have a 21-year-old college student. My heart really, really hurts for them.
Did they have nightmares of him calling for them?
And then insult added to injury.
My oldest daughter told me that her friend, a Brown student, had texted her after hearing that Sunil was a possible bombing suspect. He was frightened and asked if he could stay at my Mom and Dad’s.
That didn’t end up happening since two new suspects were soon identified. But this irresponsible act of screaming and streaming false information through the media did cause panic in people. Brown University kids living on campus that might not have known him. And his family, while knowing Sunil’s nature, could not hazard a guess as to the nature of other people armed with this information. Scary stuff.
I understand that everyone wanted to put two and two together. Put an end to the Boston madness. I’m totally okay with that. But there needs to be some discretion. Fact checking is a need to do and not a nice to do. Google is not God. Let the investigators do the investigating.
There were distraught people in this equation. An already wounded family was the target.
Sunil’s desperate family. All they wanted was for him to come home. They knew he was depressed. They loved him and wanted to help. A special family. I am sure he knew how very fortunate he was to have them.
The only good thing (I thought at the time) that could come out of this was that Sunil’s name was in the media and maybe it would prompt more folks to look for him. And hopefully find him.
His illness was just that. An illness. No reflection on anything or anyone. We are complicated beings. Made up of amazingly intricate bits and pieces. Instead of being shocked when humans don’t work like they should I think we should be absolutely flabbergasted when things actually do work properly.
I am quite certain that Sunil knows the great lengths his loved ones went to find him. Everyone should have the blessing of such a family. Everyone should have someone looking for them. And everyone should be found.
Rest In Peace, Sunil. May the beautiful memories of you comfort your family now.
Note: The beautiful photo above is one of many messages from around the world meant to encourage and welcome Sunil home. This particular one was by a relative of mine. Mairead’s use of this color blue was striking and soothing at the same time.
Old blog posting below about depression and reaching out for help.
Posted in Family, Friends, Musings, Parents, Why? | Tagged Boston bombing, current-events, depression, fact checking, missing, student, Sunil Tripathi | 2 Comments »
Because there is nothing I like more than to have my hair done while having a drink.
Oh, could this be the reason for the boasting?
Better than the SAD-SAD RENT.
Penang side street.
Ironwork in Penang.
It just sounds so specific. The salesman. Not salesmen. Just the one.
Aisle 10 of my local grocery. Just in case I forget I am in Southeast Asia. I also see that Margarine in the background needs some help.
Aisle 9 of local grocery.
Ummm, I guess I’ll have some noodles.
At a temple in Bangkok. We will not be blamed for the foreign element.
Not a one of us perfect.
Thailand. Be careful when across the street. Not here but across the street.
Love this but it should be called Lust Lane since it got its name because this was where the wealthy Chinese men in Penang kept their mistresses.
All of these made me smile for one reason or another. Hope they make you smile. Have a great week!
Posted in Just Plain Ole Funny, Musings, Positive Thinking, Travel, Malaysia, Expat Living | Tagged Penang, Bangkok, George Town, artwork, murals, happy hours, funny signs, noodles, Southeast Asia, ironwork, salesmen | 2 Comments »
Sometimes I just don’t know what to say. Maybe that is why I write. I am a talker but once in a while I just run out of words.
Especially when I don’t understand things and words completely fail me. And sometimes even when I try to write. Like right now.
Like Boston. I don’t understand why someone would set off bombs designed to maim and kill innocent people.
I do understand that the evil doer succeeded. I am reading the stories. Evil killed a sweet eight year old boy named Martin. Evil also maimed his sister with a leg amputation. And evil injured his mother’s brain. A family destroyed forever. They were just waiting for Dad at the finish line.
So, I understand that this evil succeeded. I just don’t understand why.
I got choked up reading about one brother calling his mother to tell her that he was badly hurt. He and his brother, who were cheering their buddy on near the end of the race, both lost a leg.
There are going to be plenty of stories. About the three dead and the many that were severely wounded. And we will hear wonderful examples of bravery, generosity and spirit. That will lift our own downtrodden spirit. But the reason for our faith in humanity needing restoration will always be a hurtful reminder of a horrible day.
Little Martin Richard from Dorchester was a beautiful, innocent child. Who just wanted to cheer his daddy on in a big race.
Why on earth and why in Heaven should he have died? Because I do not understand. And I will never, ever understand.
I guess I really don’t want to understand.
Posted in Musings, Why? | Tagged Boston, innocents, marathon | Leave a Comment »
I fondly recall one of our driving trips through Europe. Looped parts of Switzerland, Italy, Austria and then back to Germany.
Annie, who was young, would send daily messages to her Nana (my Mom) informing her of our activities and where we would be staying.
One of my ideas, on this particular journey, was to stop and see Otzi, in Bolzano, Italy. We talked about it as we headed toward the Italian-Austrian border. No, Otzi was not an old friend of ours. Although he was quite old. Otzi is the well-preserved mummy of a fellow who died about 3000 years B.C. That’s a very looooong time.
Ice is good for so many things. Bumps, bruises, margaritas and the preservation of bodies!
I was fascinated. I had read that the scientists could tell us the contents of his last meal. What his diet generally consisted of and what his overall health was like when he was alive. They even knew how he died!
But there were also two other people in the car. My male partner was just itching to show Annie a castle. What is it with power tools and huge fortresses?
Castle or Otzi?
The castle won. I didn’t get to see my mummy. We continued over the Austrian border and into Germany.
I was just as fascinated by the isolated Mad King Ludwig who lived in the Neuschwanstein Castle. He was found dead, at forty-one, in the nearby lake with his Doctor in waist deep water. Weird. His brother Otto had also been declared insane. Let’s just keep those genes in the family. Thank you very much!
We toured the castle upon the hill. But we missed the last bus heading down toward the little town. So, we started hoofing it. Of course, it started pouring. Then it became quite dark in the woods. Not a sound and not a person around anywhere. Totally creepy!
I said, aloud and maybe even a bit smugly, “Well, at least, if anything happens to us in these woods, Nana knows just where we are. Thank God for that!”
Annie stops, looks up and says, “Ummmm, Nana thinks we are in Bolzano, Italy visiting Otzi.”
So my Mummy thought we were with the mummy while we were actually in the midst of madness.
Anyway, it really was a wonderful adventure filled with a lot of laughs. I do recommend visiting the castle and the surrounding areas. It is a beautiful part of the world.
Do some reading on poor King Ludwig and Otzi. Both very interesting subjects.
And here’s my last bit of advice. Always let someone know where you are! But make sure it’s the right place!
Have a lovely weekend!!
Posted in Family, Husbands, Just Plain Ole Funny, Kids, Musings, Positive Thinking, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged Austria, austrian border, Bavaria, Bolzano, bolzano italy, driving, ermany, ice, italy, last bus, Mad King Ludwig, mummy, Neuschwanstein, neuschwanstein castle, new, Otzi, schloss hohenschwangau, Swan King | Leave a Comment »
You all know how interested I am in genealogy. I love it. And not just my own. Anyone’s. I just find it fascinating.
One thing I came across, time and again, during my research, is the importance of having someone to claim you and having someone who always knows where you are in the world. It really stayed with me.
I realized it when searching the old World War II Draft Registration Cards. Down on the bottom left hand side of the form. In bold type: Name and Address of person who will always know your address.
Of course, this was probably so they could track you down if they needed you for service.
But it is usually also an indicator of the person closest to you. That person who will always know where you are.
And I realized it again while perusing an old letter (1927) written by my Granda’s aunt. It was sent to my grandfather, Patrick, his brother Peter and their cousin Jimmy who were all living in New York City at the time. The letter is about the death of their grandmother in Ireland. But Aunt May also added a few lines about a fellow heading to America that had no one there to claim him.
I also realized it very recently when following the story of a missing Brown University student, Sunil Tripathi, in the United States. He has people to claim him. They are desperate to find him. And doing everything they can to spread the message. He just disappeared into thin air. I don’t know anything else about him. Because that’s not important. It’s only important that his loved ones know where he is.
Everyone should have someone who will claim them. And everyone needs to have a person in their life that will always know where they are.
It’s important. It’s always been important.
Posted in Family, Friends, Musings, Parents | Tagged current-events, genealogy, missing Brown student, old letters, Sunil Tripathi, world war II draft registration | Leave a Comment »