Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Eat, Drink And Be Merry in Class


I know, I know...you haven't heard from me in a while. I must apologize, but between rushing for the Tri Delta Zeta Phi Epsilon Thetas, my cheerleading tryouts, running the campus television station and working on my KOKO FOR STUDENT BODY PRESIDENT campaign, I have just been slammed.

Kidding.

Yes I am back in college and yes, I am totally loving it. In case it has been a while since you have been on a college campus, let me tell you things have changed. A lot. Here are some of the things that are going on:

1. Back in my day, we had to wear CLOTHES to class. This is no longer a requirement. Apparently, you are now allowed to attend class in sports bras and mini-shorts which are shorter than my I FEEL SO FAT TODAY underpants. I think the students have re-written the Campus Rule Book. It's like, You may choose to wear a loose tank over your sports bra, but of course that is totally optional. We want you to be comfortable.

Also, it is perfectly okay to wear pajamas to your class if it is before noon. Slippers are allowed as well. We do request that you leave your blankies in your dorm room so other people don't trip over them as they make their way to class.

2. Do you remember how when we were in college you would be asked to remove the gum from your mouth? Well, now you are allowed to consume entire feasts while your World Religions  professor is talking about Buddhism. (Which btw I am thinking about becoming because they are so totally chill. They believe in no suffering, which is the opposite of what I have been taught as a Jew. We live for suffering and anyone who has ever had to get through eight nights of Hannukah with four children knows what I'm talking about.)

Yes, please, feel free to eat your breakfast during class. We realize you can't possibly concentrate when you are hungry. Sure, just uncover your tofu scramble and dig right in. Of course you can squeeze Sriracha all over it before slurping the mess into your mouth at a decibel that is keeping those around you from hearing about the Buddha under the fig tree which, btw, WILL be on the exam. Enjoy!

3. Remember how when we were in college there was really no talking allowed? Work at your seat quietly and keep to yourself? Well, now everything is done in groups. Please feel free to talk amongst yourselves all during class. We love how you all share your ideas, and exchange your thoughts on the required readings as well as on that girl who made an ass of herself at the party the other night. We agree, she is totally a slut.

Also, group work is fine, if you are not 32 years older than everyone else and therefore invisible when groups are being chosen. I am now that weird kid in 4th grade who always had to have the teacher as his partner.

There are other differences as well. The first time I went to college, I could basically zone in and out during class and still come away with a pretty good sense of what was said. Now, when my menopause fog kicks in it's so hard to follow what my professor is saying. "This sentence is an example of  FAULTY PREDICATION" my Technical Editing professor announces, pointing to a group of words projected on the wall in front of us.

I'm like "What? What did you say? What is that? Am I supposed to know that? Is it a noun? What?" Around me all the kids nod their head in knowing agreement as if to say "Of course it's faulty predication...who doesn't know THAT?"

Naturally, when asked to get onto the school computer in front of each of us and log on to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, I get the message USER/PASSWORD incorrect.  I try thirteen more times as the rest of the class is now on page two of the worksheet. Not happening. I KNOW this is the right combo. Still, I just pretend I am working and am relieved when we are told we may take this worksheet home and bring it back to the next class.

Well, I have had enough of THIS. I march myself right up to the computer help desk and announce, I CANNOT LOG ON WITH THE PASSWORD YOU GUYS GAVE ME. The young man behind the desk looks up at me questioningly and asks, "Um, sorry, but are you faculty?"

Why? Just because I am 100 years old and carry a Tumi backpack with my initials on it and have glittery readers perched on top of my head?

"What?" I screech.  "Just because I'm old, doesn't mean I'm faculty. No, I'm a student."
"Sorry," he says, "I had to ask."

Sure, there are some indignities that come with the exhilaration of learning new amazing things every day. For instance, yesterday I tried to register for my summer class and got a message, There is a hold on your account, please check with health services. What in the name of fuck, I am thinking could health services want with me. Unless they are offering free mammograms I really don't want to deal with them. But I go in and tell the woman at the desk of my plight. She looks up my student ID number and says, "Oh yes, you never gave us your immunization form."
"Look at me," and here she nods, and says, "I know."
"Where am I supposed to find that?"
"I don't know...maybe your doctor would have it?"

No. My doctor has the results of my osteoporosis preventative bone scan and my cholesterol numbers but I don't think she has a record of my rubella shot in 1963. So, guess what? I now have to go to the health center on Wednesday and have a blood test to prove I am immune to the measles so that I can register for the summer session of Chemistry in Society which does not require a lab. It will be me standing next to a girl who woke up naked at a frat party getting herself checked for STD's.

I promised myself when I started back to school, "No regrets." Do I wish I would have done this when I was young, had 20/20 vision and my brain still had lots of room left? Sometimes, but then, I remember, had I done one thing differently, stayed in school even one extra semester, I wouldn't have my kids. I mean I'm sure I would have SOME kids, but they wouldn't be THESE kids. And so, though I feel a little envious of the youth all around me, bustling around in Adidas slides carrying their tofu scrambles and Iced Frappuccinos, I feel blessed. I will finally get my degree and my four kids will be there to see me do it.

And now, I am off to Dick's where the word is they are having a humungous sale on sports bras. These kids ain't seen NOTHING yet!



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Monday, January 9, 2017

Egg McMuffins and Life Changing Moments




New Years Day has come and gone and already I have broken my one resolution which was to actually use the new work out pants I got at SteinMart.  I had grabbed them on impulse as I was heading for the checkout lane with my 2 for 1 Wacoal bras and a box of stemless wine glasses I was giving my sister as a Christmas gift, since I had broken hers when I added one of those giant ice cubes to my Chardonnay. As I held  the brightly colored stretchy little tights in my hot little hand I told myself,  I am going to do  my abdominal exercises every day. I MUST STRENGTHEN MY CORE! And I did do them for like four days and then I'm not sure how my core was doing but I did notice my lower back sending me little messages  like, "You're kidding right? Fuck this." I still love the pants though, I have to find some place where it is acceptable to wear them, other than a gym I mean.

Anyway, I was telling my mother as I do every year that I had such high hopes of getting my tummy tighter and all hopes were dashed because of my L4 and L5 and she looked at me and said,"So? Would having a tighter stomach change your life?"

Well I was taken aback by this question. Change my life? Probably not. Make my jeans a lot more comfortable yes, change my life? No.

I began to think back to moments in time that HAD changed my life. I mean the big moments, not the small ones like when McDonald's announced all day breakfast. I mean yes, I find an EggMcMuffin can cure just about any menopausal ailment that I may be suffering from on any given day, but that is small potatoes compared to say, dropping out of college on my way to a Spanish test because I didn't study and getting married three weeks later. That was a biggie.

Another life changing moment? I woke up one morning at the age of 24 and felt the incredible urge to have a baby. It wasn't just a "I can't wait to have a baby one day," it was a "I NEED A BABY NOW." It was like GET IN MY BELLY! today. Right now. And in some ways that moment was even bigger than the moment my first baby was born because once that little person took shape in my mind, I was devoted to her, I loved her in that moment, and I, with the help of my then husband of course, brought her into being,  literally 9 months later. The timing wasn't perfect, he just finishing college and not sure what type of employment awaited him, but still, there was no stopping me. And I have found that when I want something, REALLY really want it, I usually find a way to get it. Whether it's my first little baby, a little house on the water that surrounds me with peace and contentment, or the last espresso colored leather Hobo crossbody purse on the Nordstrom Rack website, I will find a way! (To Samantha at the Nordstrom Rack call center, I'm sorry for raising my voice but I really need that last brown crossbody, which is why I had to yell at you when you offered to send the metallic silver. Who uses a metallic silver crossbody during the day? Disco is dead Samantha. You get it now, right?)

Other life changing moments? The day my ex told me he was "Bringing somebody" to a party we had both been invited to. I mean sure we were separated, and sure I knew that he had been seeing someone for a while, but I mean we're still a couple, right? We're still "us" right? We are still going to go to parties as a married couple and sit together on the couch and share a plate piled high with the deviled eggs you love and the cheddar cheese squares I love and make fun of people right? Nope. It was then I saw it. We were no longer a we. They were a THEM. And that was the moment I called my attorney and told her it was time to file for the divorce I had been fighting against for over 2 years. That was a game changer for sure.

Another life changing moment? When I changed the height criteria on my Match.com profile from 6'2" to "ANY." I mean the two men I had met that "reached"  that requirement had left something to be desired. One asked me over our initial coffee if I like to be dominated. The other told me he was taking some time off from work, (insurance fraud investigator) because he had shot his wife but she shot first so what was he supposed to do? Sit there like an idiot? So.

I opened up the playing field and I met M. And THAT was a life changing moment because I didn't realize that someone could actually sit across the table from you and listen to what you were saying without looking at their phone. I didn't realize that someone's dark brown eyes could make you feel safe and sexy at the same time. I didn't realize that someone could offer you love, respect, a safe haven and a freedom to discover the person you are now, and love that new person too. That was 7 years ago and, well, now I know.

I am 56 now and I realize with life there is good news and bad news. The good news is life is going to change. The bad news is  life is going to change. Sometimes change is good. Other times you want to hold on to each precious moment knowing that once you lose your grasp on them, you will never have them back. I wonder now, how many more life changing moments will I have in my life? And when they appear, will I recognize them and choose the right path?

Right now I am putting on my work out pants and taking the path to McDonalds where they are offering 2 Egg McMuffins for 1.00 all day. I KNEW I'd find the perfect place to wear them!



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Monday, December 26, 2016

Back To School at 56. Don't Be Hazin'


A few months ago, I made a monumental decision, even bigger than when I decided to subscribe to HULU, although I already have Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Now I can watch creepy, weird detective shows on BBC from 32 years ago, if I so desire. NOTHING gets past me. Well... this decision is much bigger than that—I have decided to go back to college. Yes, AGAIN.

This time is different though, because this time I am determined to get my degree. It's going to happen. Last time I had too much going on. I was in the midst of a divorce after a 27 year marriage and was getting text messages from my lawyer during my World Religion Class: lifetime alimony a no go but you DO get to keep the wine fridge and half of the Tumi luggage. See bill for 10k below.
I was getting text messages from my 15 year old daughter during Tecninical Editing class: hi mom, just letting you know that my friend Topaz is coming over to hang out. She's bringing her new pit bull puppy! Which I learned was code for We are going to smoke pot in the garage while her puppy shits all over our pool deck.
So, it was too much. I dropped out.

And then life happened. I dabbled in real estate. I found a new love. I had a book published! I had a job that challenged me, where I excelled. And then that job went by the wayside and I thought, "Okay, perfect. Now I can do nothing all day but write my new book."

And for awhile it was perfect. I would sit amongst the quiet. My house was clean. No laundry to do. I sat on my bed with my laptop and wrote away. 20 pages. 40 pages. 60 pages. The hours passed. The days passed. Tick. Tock.  I soon found myself drifting and turning more and more to Facebook for stimulation. Can I name all these sitcoms from the 70's? I must find out. (And yes I could as well as hum the theme songs)  What color IS my inner creative genius? I had to know! (yellow) Can I answer these 5th grade science questions? (No) You see what was happening? My writing stopped. I was stuck and when a writer becomes stuck, it can be terrifying. I began playing more and more solitaire on my iPad. Yes, I set new records. Yes, I earned lots of tokens and free lives, and yet, I felt I needed more. I needed stimulation. I needed,  you know, A LIFE. And that's when it came to me...now is the time.

So, I applied to University of Tampa and was accepted. Only 3 semesters needed to graduate. They have a fabulous writing program. It's so perfect. I am so ready to take it all in. Everything is great and then I got the email asking for my medical information. And of course this is ridiculous. So I emailed the Bursar's office and was like, "Hi! I am in  my mid 50's (and by mid I mean late) and not living on campus. I assume I do not need to send my medical information." And basically got back, "Yes you do. All students are required to."

And now I am rethinking. Because first of all, I don't think they have enough free space in their computer system to hold all my medical information. I mean I am a 56 year old hypochondriac who has had 4 children. I can see it now, the 17 year old office assistant looking over my stuff: Hey does anybody know what Fosomax is? Or, What is Effexor? Is it like that Ecstasy drug? Hey, isn't osteoporosis that disease where you keep falling asleep?

Still, I think my strong desire to succeed will overpower my embarrassment that everyone in the main office knows I am on lipitor. SO WHAT? IT'S A LOW DOSE!

Yes. I want this bad. And I'm not letting anything stop me. In fact, this week I am doubling up on my Calcium and Glucosamine Chondroitin. I don't want to break a hip when I try out for cheerleading.

Rah.





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Monday, November 14, 2016

Election Exhaustion And Women I Love

I know, I know. We didn't think he could do it. But he did it. And the country is in an uproar. And more importantly, I am very tired. Are you guys tired? I woke up Wednesday in such an emotionally exhausted state. I was in a foggy haze worse than when I woke up in my hospital room after I had had my first child and saw her in that little baby thing on wheels next to my bed, and I was like "Who the hell is this now, I'm trying to sleep" until it hit me, "Oh yeah, I had a baby a few hours ago." I mean I was totally wiped.

Yup, we are pretty beat. And you people who are really into the whole political thing must be really tired. I love my country and I care about who runs it, of course I vote, but beyond that, I stay out of it.  I figure, you know, those guys have it covered. They probably don't need my help. As a matter of fact the closest I ever got to being involved in politics is when I ran for Junior Class Secretary in high school. The only reason I did THAT was because my dad said if I didn't get involved in some kind of school activity he wouldn't let me go out with my boyfriend on the weekend AND my mother said I could get a new jean skirt. Also, no one ran against me, so I felt  I had a very good shot at it.

Now, where am I going with this you are probably asking yourself because you have shit to do and this is starting to drag on. Well I am NOT talking about the election, believe it or not. I am not telling you who I voted for, or how I feel about the person who was elected. For all you know I may have written in my choice. Maybe I voted for Don Draper. He would make an awesome president, just look what he did with that smoking campaign. And he really carries himself well. So cool.

What— too soon?

Okay, what I want to talk about is women I admire, and this came to me after watching Hillary's concession speech. No tears. No recriminations. Wearing PURPLE for God's sake. And even in defeat, leaving us with a message of hope. How classy is that? Forget about the whole email thing. Frankly, I screw up my emails all the time. One time my friend sent me an email about her boss screwing her over on a promotion, and I wrote back HE IS A MOTHER FU---R and then accidentally sent it to MY boss. So, you know, I can see how it could happen.

Other women who have left a permanent mark on me? Princess Diana. Can't even write about her because I will cry and I have a dentist appointment shortly.  Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Can anyone ever really see a pink suit and a pillbox hat and not get the chills? I can picture her standing at JFK's funeral with her children, she all  draped in black, back straight, elegant yet so obviously deeply mourning. I had snot running down my face for 3 days after my dog died, so, I am in awe.

The list is endless, Eleanor Roosevelt, Ellen DeGeneres, Michelle Obama, Meryl Streep, Gloria Steinem, Nora Ephron, Erma Bombeck,  Rosa Parks, J K Rowling, All the women astronauts, my mother, okay fine, Oprah. These are just a few who come to mind in this minute. This doesn't even begin to sum up the list of women who I admire, who I feel have contributed to this world of ours where women are now finally beginning not only to sit in the front seat, but to actually drive.

Would it have been great to see a woman president? Of course, but I have no doubt the time is coming. I will see that in my lifetime, of that I am sure. Think of what we have seen, in the last few generations. Look at the daughters that we have produced. You think ANYTHING will stop them from getting what they want out of life? No way. The glass ceiling Clinton spoke of will soon be just wide open blue sky.

Ellen repeated a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt the other day in trying to cheer up those who felt devastated by the election results.  She said, "It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."I love that. Because I know that even as women take their rightful place in the world, and accomplish more than generations before ever thought possible, it will always be us, the women, who carry the matches and keep the candle burning. And the dripping wax will burn the hell out of us and leave some scars. Still it is us who will be keepers of the flame and who will continue to illuminate the road ahead. And make no mistake; we are unstoppable as we head strongly and confidently towards the light.

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Friday, November 11, 2016

An Exciting Recommendation From the TV Show Whisperer



Three things I am not afraid to admit: 1. I Love Barry Manilow. I still cry when Ready to Take A Chance Again plays on my ipod as I am pulling into Publix. 2. Sometimes I only PRETEND to turn up the resistance on my spin bike and then act like it’s super hard to pedal and 3. I am addicted to TV. Not only am I addicted,  I am actually sort of like a TV Show Whisperer. My friends will text me, “Help! Just finished Downton Abby and need a show!” And I can recommend something they will love based on what I know about their television habits. Documentaries? Got a list of them for you. Sitcoms? Not my thing but I know the best of  what you’re looking for.  Offbeat foreign series? I totally got you covered.

My thing? I love shows that center around women. I guess that’s because I am one and I like to see how other women handle their shit.  Do all of us hide a secret bag of potato chips behind the purses in our closet?  Do all of us keep those size 2 skinny jeans knowing the day will come when our terminal illness will kick in and we can wear them again? Don’t we all stalk our doctors on Facebook? No? Oh, me neither. Still, I love my women based TV.

As your TV advisor, I need to tell you about a beautiful new show I found that, you know, totally gets me! The Other F Word by writer/director Caytha Jentis had me hooked from the very first scene, which involved four late 40 somethings getting ready to jump from an airplane with their significant others. Don’t get too attached to the SO’s because this show is all about the ladies. And these ladies are asking themselves as I do a lot of the time, WHO AM I NOW?

All of a sudden, they find themselves empty nesters,  feeling their lives lacking direction and purpose. One woman contemplating her new future asks her husband, “What am I qualified to do?” “Pampered Chef!” he yells, as he jumps from the plane. Hilarious, yes! Thought provoking, Yes! Familiar? Yes!

The Other F Word  can be found on Amazon Prime and there’s good news and bad news. The good news is you can binge watch the whole series (8 episodes) in under an hour. The bad news? You can binge watch the whole series in under an hour! But fear not, I have it on good authority that Season 2 is in the works. Do yourself a favor —pour yourself a nice glass of something and start streaming The Other F Word. Trust me on this one.

You can see The Other F Word here! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LDXWSIO


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Friday, November 4, 2016

This Week In Review

Ach! You won't believe what happened to me this week. Aside from the usual, I mean, which includes daily trips to Publix for their cut up fruit and I have to go daily because I just pick out all the watermelon and throw the rest away. It also includes two Pilates sessions which I have cut down from one hour to 45 minutes because A. it saves me a little money and B. I think I have adult ADD and those last 15 minutes of laying there stretching with my legs over my head and my arms flung out makes me realize how waterboarding victims feel, because all I can think about is END THE AGONY! and let me go get an Egg McMuffin which is how I reward myself for exercising.

It also includes my weekly therapy session, because as many of you know, I do struggle with anxiety. And before you judge, realize I come by this condition honestly because, 1. I'm Jewish. 2. I'm menopausal. 3. I'm the mother of 4 adults, one of whom texted me the other day and asked me what color her eyes were when she was filling out a passport application. So, come on, let's not throw stones. Anyway, the thing with weekly therapy is that when you  are in crisis, it is invaluable. You know that in just a few days you will meet with a trained professional who will talk you down and make you see that whatever you are dealing with is probably not going to end in a catastrophic death, the need to declare bankruptcy or jail time.

However, during that rare week when all is well, it is basically an hour worth of awkward  silences where you try to think of something to get help with as your ex husband has put a waiver on your insurance that does not allow for any mental health reimbursement. So, you hear the minutes ticking by and realize each one costs a dollar and you have to say something. So a session might go like this:
THERAPIST: What would you like to talk about this week?
ME: (heart racing THINK OF SOMETHING! THINK OF SOMETHING!)  Well, I'm really upset about my hair.
THERAPIST: I see. And why is that?
ME: (Holding up a piece of hair on  my head that sticks up like Alfalfa's)Look don't you think this is too short?
THERAPIST: (thinking of her waiting room full of suicidal patients) Okay, well if there's nothing else see you next week.

Okay, so my week also includes my job search. Every week I apply for jobs which is a big step for me because it means overcoming the fear that I will actually get one. And lo and behold I get an email from one of the companies I sent a resume to that says "We are impressed with your resume and would like to talk with you further." And the job is for an editor of a "large publication." And I am like OMG this is it.  Immediately I think of that Tumi briefcase I always wanted and wonder if it has a slide in pocket for my laptop. And also, do I need to get some pant suits so that I look professional? I mean being an editor of a large publication, I want to be dressed to impress, yet appear approachable to all the writers who will be coming to me for my valuable writing advice. I once tried on a pantsuit that instead of a jacket had a long hanging vest. It made me look like Maude. Maybe skirts and kitten heels...

The letter goes on to say "We would like to schedule a skype call at 3:00. Would you please check out our website so that you are familiar with our publication before the phone call." And I emailed back "Of course, Looking forward to it!" which I thought sounded excited but not desperate.

And I go to the site and as I'm waiting for it to download I'm thinking, maybe it's a fashion magazine, or better yet, a news publication! Maybe an entertainment e-zine where  I can write weekly wrap ups of the Real Housewives of wherever. Which will lead to my interviews on Entertainment Tonight, which could lead to a job and me having to move to Los Angeles —I mean so much to think about.

Finally the download is complete and the screen comes alive with...well...vaginas. And boobs. It is a "Gentleman's Quarterly" apparently. And of course all visions of briefcases and kitten heels went right out the window. And I emailed back, "Thank you so much for the opportunity to speak with you but based on my current line of work, I don't think this is a fit for me." And that was the last I heard from them.  And of course, my current line of work is sitting on my bed writing blogs hoping to inspire women and also make them laugh,  and working on a book that will one day be read by millions. Okay, thousands. Okay, hundreds. Okay, my immediate family.

There is a bright spot in this experience however...I already have my topic for my next week's therapy session! So, there's that...





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Monday, October 24, 2016

Labor, Delivery And Then Comes The Hard Part

HEY! New mothers! Stop showing us pictures of your "Before Kids" and "After Kids" body. It's bad enough that I get on Facebook and see my friends going to GooGoo Dolls concerts, wandering the streets of Amsterdam and scuba diving in the Galapagos after I just got done googling "When will season 6 of Veep be out?"  During my morning Facebook session I take an "ARE YOU A CHILD OF THE 70's QUIZ" and pass with flying colors, then continue scrolling down to the Free People ads and then— there you are! And I'm not sure what you are trying to accomplish? Should we feel sorry for you because you have a little stretch mark on your otherwise unblemished tummy? Yes, that is sad, but look on the bright side, YOU HAVE A BABY! A GORGEOUS TINY LIVING BREATHING PERSON! in your life now. So, you know, there's that.

I know, I know. You want to show us your "battle" scars. The thing is I am now in my mid 50's and I have raised four kids and I need to tell you this... YOU HAVE NOT YET BEGUN TO BATTLE. Right now, you're like a kid in high school, standing in front of a recruiting station, thinking maybe he will join the Army and see the world for a few years instead of enrolling in ITT Tech. That's how far away you are from REAL battle right now.

Perhaps an example of a real battle is a 3 hour plane ride with an infant who's GI track just realized "You know what? I don't think organic creamed spinach agrees with us." On my first plane ride with my adorable six month old baby enroute to Orlando to introduce her to Aunt Judy and Uncle Irwin,  this fact became abundantly clear to me and my two well dressed seatmates. The three of us were covered in green sludge, spewing from her diaper with such force that I got slightly hysterical. "There's something wrong with my baby!" I shouted to the flight attendant, holding her out arms length in the aisle, like, "Here! Take this!"

"I'm sorry maam, you have to remain seated until the pilot turns off the seatbelt signs," she said and looked disdainfully at my crying daughter and then disgustingly at my white blouse that I was so excited about wearing, literally the first shirt I had worn in 6 months that wasn't made for popping out a boob when someone got hungry. Now it was stuck to my chest with green colored goo. Yes, that was some battle. But we both lived through it. Battle won.

The battles get more intense as the child ages. You may be asked by your child's Kindergarten teacher, as I was, to "Come in for a quick chat." I was not sure what to expect. Perhaps my five year old has shown himself to be THAT special child? The one who goes to college at age 11 and becomes a world reknown oncologist and then wins a Nobel Peace Prize for developing a tiny pill that can cure Ebola, Zika virus and male pattern baldness? Of course it was apparent to me from the very beginning that the child was a genius, but am I ready to release him into the world? And yet, can I really keep him to myself knowing that he may hold the ticket to the end of disease and suffering? A quandry for sure.

I entered the field of battle hopeful, calm, knowing something great was about to befall me. I squeezed myself into a bright red Little Tykes chair, which quite frankly, was a battle in itself. I made the first advance, "So, tell me! What is happening with my son?

Expecting her to say "We think he needs to  move up to a middle school level," you can imagine my surprise when she said, "We think J may need to go down to the fours. He's having trouble using his scissors."

 Of course I panicked. What to do? Get him tested! Get him examined! Is there something going on at home? Is he perhaps anxious about something? Did he get some weird scissor gene that has to be passed from both parents and is seen in one in a million kids? Maybe he needs medication? Therapy? Does he need some kind of therapy? Help us! Please help our child!

I went home hysterical and told my then husband what I had learned. "What a bunch of horseshit" he said. And this time he was right. That son graduated college last Spring and has a great job writing code and making up apps and doing shit I have no idea what he's talking about. Now yes, I do have to help him wrap gifts at Christmas time, but other than that, he seems to be able to function okay in society. So, I'm saying, battle won.

Eventually, battles will lead to all out wars. A war begins with a phone call at 2 am when you have been pacing around like a caged cheetah and the sound of that ring nearly brings you to your knees. A war will start with, "Mrs. Koko? This is Sergeant Smith of the St. Pete Police Department..." and before he can say another word you will begin screaming, "Is he okay? Is he okay? Please! Please! Tell me he's okay!"And IF you're lucky that phone call will lead to a little weed in his pocket and the loss of driving priviledges until he leaves for college. And if you're not lucky, well..I can't event think about it.  It is too hard to even write it.

Then there is the war you wage against yourself. One day you will realize that you are a grown adult who literally hates an 11 year old child. For instance, one Friday when my daughter was in 6th grade, I pulled up to school at pick up time and saw a gaggle of girls standing in a circle, Lisa Frank backpacks at their feet bulging with Limited Too pajamas, fuzzy pink pillows, slippers with bunny ears. I saw my daughter standing at the edge of that circle, half in, half out, trying to be part of the group. A red Volvo pulled up, the group leader, Veronica's  mom of course, and they all piled in heading to her Friday night sleep over, leaving my daughter standing there alone as they drove off waving. I will never forget seeing her little skinny legs all alone on that pavement, as she looked down the carpool line for my car. And you know what? I hated Veronica then. HATED. And you know what? I saw her a few years back in the mall with a little baby of her own and you know what? I STILL HATED HER. So, yes, I deal with that, I don't really see that changing, I mean therapy can only do so much.

So, as I said, compared to actually raising your child, pushing him/her into the world is a walk in the park. The one thing I don't need to tell you is that as soon as you heard that first cry, your world is changed forever, no matter how old you get to be. One day you will be 65 and your child will be 40 and you will wake up in the morning like you do everyday and the first thing you will think is WHERE IS MY CHILD? HOW IS MY CHILD? IS MY CHILD HAPPY? IS MY CHILD SUFFERING? And basically if your child is in a bad place or is unhappy in any way, well..your day is shot to hell.

So get ready because as we all know, "War is hell," yet, of course in this case so worth it. So utterly, completely, life alteringly worth it.
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