Friday, August 14, 2015

This Is It

The day that most parents both dread and look forward to is here.  After an incredible 18 years of raising two amazing young people, tomorrow is the day we let them go.  We are off to taking our children to college.  I really can't believe it.  This past week has been anything but easy, but also had some wonderful moments to cherish.  

I've been fighting a cold all week and losing.  My daughter has been sick for a week.  No antibiotic can fix what ails me.  I was told that a cold is your body ready to lose something.  Well, my body might be ready, but I'm not.  Don't get me wrong, I know that this is part of the evolution of child-rearing but the terror that I didn't teach them enough is nagging at me all the time.  It's not a rational thought. It's irrational fear.  It's a very exciting time and I also know that.  Please, don't worry about me. I'm not expressing this for pity or morale boost.  All the parents of college freshman are having many of the same conflicting feelings: nervous, happy, scared, excited.  It's my mantra right now.  

I hear the birds and their babies.  I know that this is mirroring the same cycle.  It is time to let go and pray that I have imparted all the knowledge and wisdom to help them maneuver through life.  This period of life seems much easier for birds.  They encourage them to fly. That's the Mommy bird's job, but oy, it's not easy.  Life is about to change forever.  No more knowing where they are and when they come home.  I have tried to practice that this summer.  It's amusing because our parents never knew where we were.  There were no cell phones.  We managed to grow up in one piece.  Maybe some better than others, but we figured it out.  

I am not the first parent to go through this.  I will not be the last either, but we all go through it both differently and the same. The only thing that may change my evolution is it's two at a time.  It's ripping a bandaid off really quickly.  One huge pain and recovery.  I've been joking that there will be a new river down 3rd Avenue in New York City.  I will be fine.  It will hurt.  It will be quiet.  It will be new.  It will be uncomfortable.  I will survive.  

To all the parents of college freshman, cherish every last second that you can, remember what's important, try to let go of all the small stuff.  How you say goodbye is what they will remember until Thanksgiving.  And freshman, be kind to your parents.  I've always said that it's much more exciting and easier for the ones leaving than the ones staying.  This time we are all going on new adventures.


Friday, August 7, 2015


Watched the entire Republican debate last night.  I am still shaking my head.  I actually needed the commercial breaks to be sick to my stomach.  The candidates stances on women, women's rights to choose, Planned Parenthood, immigration, taxation, Church and State, and so on is so terrifying and disconcerting that I can't see how anyone can support a Republican candidate.  They have gone so far right, including and if you believe him, Donald T***p.  I don't believe for one second that he went from pro-choice to pro-life.  Don't think he cares really either way at all. His saccharine and embarrassing anecdote about his friends that were going to get an abortion and chose not to and ended up raising a fine young person.  Okay, non-sequitur, really.  That's not the point of pro-choice.  I love the nun this week who's been trending with this insightful quote: 
 "I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not pro-life. That's pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.". --- Sister Joan Chittister, Catholic Nun.  Yes, sister, you are so right! 

Look, it's not that all of these candidates have nothing valid to say, but the overall stance is so backwards.  They want to take us back to the 1950's where women knew their place, minorities knew their place, things seemed simple, God was added to the Pledge of Allegiance, and things were black and white. No gray.  No complicated thoughts.  Honestly, I'm sure it wasn't simple at all in the 50's but thanks to television and movies indelibly imprinted in our memories, it seemed positively pastoral.  

All of these men during the primetime Republican debate, threw out red meat to the base.  I resented the audience and applause and boos.  It made it a sporting match.  Maybe if there was no live audience, the candidates would have to delve more deeply and not throw out sound bites and quips.  The "esteemed" Fox News panel had their moments trying to get the candidates to actually answer the questions asked.  That was novel.  Even if they still didn't, it helped highlight to the audience at home how slippery they all are.  When Ben Carson said he wants to overhaul the tax system to tithing, I almost fell out of my club chair.  T***p hardly answered a direct question, though the panel did hold his feet to the fire when he wouldn't pledge not to run as an Independent.  That was the first question to the candidates.  He got boos.  

The final question the Fox panel asked was a Facebook question from Chase A. Norton, who wanted to know “if any of [the candidates] have received a word from God on what they should do and take care of first.” I had a visceral reaction to both the question and the answers by the candidates.  I can't bear that we are tearing down the separation between Church and State. That question has no business in government or politics.  That the Fox panel chose not only to use this question but end with it really made me uncomfortable.  

I think we are on a very slippery slope.  Many of the candidates mentioned religious liberty.  What about my religious liberty?  What about yours?  Why is your liberty infringing on mine?  It's unbearable.  It's scary.  If this is the path the Country wants to go down, we really will be in trouble.  It's not inclusive.  It's not liberty.  It's only their "Christian" way.  

Here's the upside to this experience, for two hours I got to forget that my children are going off to college.  

Sidebars:  Summer television has been a great distraction. I've chosen to watch trash and light fare over the much ballyhooed stressful summer series or binge watching those that have won multiple Emmys.  I'm okay with missing out.  The Bachelorette was a ball.  Bachelor in Paradise is filling the trash void perfectly though they are really milking it over two nights.  America's Got Talent and American Ninja Warrior are fun for the whole family.  Having purchased the MLB package, I can be tortured 6 days a week by the San Francisco Giants.  It's been a roller coaster.  Still a lot of season left.  The Yankees and the Mets are doing shockingly great.  Honestly, I can't complain.  No one thought that the Giants or the Yankees would be much of anything this season.  Both teams have given me a lot to root for daily.  On a serious note...I've been struggling with the Iran deal. Trying to figure out what the options are and no one has an answer to that.  If Congress votes it down and there's no deal at all, then what?  People may hate the deal, but without any deal isn't that worse?  I'm not saying I'm for it, but I just can't get the answer either way.  If you've got it, let me know.  It's Friday.  My kids are leaving in 8 days....Eight days a week, I lo-o-o-o-ove you!

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