My husband Mark and I are dinosaurs. Not only are we raising teens in our mid-50’s, we are also extremely slow to let smart phones enter the lives of our children. Our grown sons know of our technology lag – it was a source of conflict in our home during their teenage years. Smart phones just weren’t the particular issue as they weren’t mainstream at that time...
Ok, ok, I will admit it. Rather than having a traditional mid-life (I am being generous here, but I do have a living grandmother who is pushing 99 years of age) crisis, I have a mid-life shoe obsession. I have always loved beautiful shoes. And I have a fetish for those that are red.
Recently I was afforded the privilege to hear two women who had spent fifteen and sixteen years behind bars. They are a part of my church community and were invited to tell their stories. I was immediately captivated as I opened my ears and heart to people that I don’t knowingly cross paths with in my everyday life. One woman is white and the other is black. They formed a deep friendship during their years in a place that for most of us holds a forgotten population.
On December 16, 2016, our youngest child broke her elbow. The details around this event were crazy and turned into a type of fire drill. You can read all about it here.
As is often the case when an injury occurs, I had no idea how much time and effort would be required as she recovered. We are coming up on the six month post-break date, and these six months have been full of activities that were not planned. For the first four months, she visited an occupational therapist twice a week and did daily exercises 4-5 times per day. Her teachers were gracious and allowed her to leave the room during school to accomplish this.
Several weeks back, my husband and I walked to a wonderful local theater to take in a play. We have season tickets and do this about four or five times a year. That night I was feeling a bit "young" and decided to wear these shoes to the show. It was just three blocks away...
I believe that I just witnessed history in the making. It lasted a little over two hours.
It's May - a fellow mom friend of mine labeled this month "Mayhem" - and all parents of children in school anywhere will understand what that means. Throw a rookie book launch into the mix, and my cup is abundantly overflowing.
Last weekend, most of our family gathered in Chicago to celebrate the graduate school graduation of our oldest son. My husband Mark, our two daughters, and I boarded a plane in Raleigh and headed to O'Hare International Airport. We needed to do a little business regarding an upcoming international trip that we are taking, so we headed to Terminal 5 where travelers arrive from literally all over the world and first step foot into this country. It brought back memories of the days when our daughters arrived to this place as toddlers. The moment that we deplaned after a very long flight from China, they became American citizens.
On Saturday, I was faced with the task of setting our dining room table for a five-course meal. For ten! A bit of back story on how I got to this point is in order.
I grew up in South Florida. Though there was southern tradition on my dad's side of the family, that was not a very large part of my upbringing. I did attend a public school in Palm Beach - most famous these days because Donald Trump travels there most weekends to stay at Mar-a-Lago - but I lived a good fifteen miles across the bridge and north of this island that is filled with wealthy people with names like Kennedy and Trump. Palm Beach Public School was not where any of those people went to school. I guess they found creative reasons to truck in extra kids from across the bridge to fill this school. My younger brother attended cotillion, but for some reason I never did. It would have helped me on Saturday night.
I have had quite the April this year. Between helping a daughter rehab a broken elbow (we had no idea that this would involve 6 months of physical therapy and home exercises post-surgery), helping another do all the things needed to get ready for high school and an Outward Bound week, AND finishing the writing part of my book, I am both exhilarated and exhausted! Those are just bonus activities added to our already very full and abundant life. It has been quite the helpful change to me personally and our family as a whole for my husband to ramp down to a 60% schedule.
A few weeks back, I attended the wedding of a young lady that I have known since she was around four years of age. Both the ceremony and reception were beautiful, inspiring, and planned with impeccable detail. Even the thing that can't be ordered - the weather! - was perfect.