Hardly Mother of the Year

Back in the days of raising grammar school children, life wasn’t just hectic; it was like careening in circles on Space Mountain in Disneyland with no way off. Each morning, as I dragged my still tired brain out of bed; I went to the calendar to check the color dots – one for each of my four hooligans. It was my way of visualizing who’d need my undivided attention after school. Some days, it was all of them.

In those early years, I dreamed of […]

Grandma Envy

Coming home from another baby shower, I threw my purse across the room, clenched my fingers into a fist, and screamed, “If I hear one more time how wonderful being a grandparent is I think I’ll kill myself! No, better yet, I’ll kill that nauseating grandmother. It can’t be that good!”

Pouring myself a glass of wine to calm my annoyance from all the ooey-gooey gurgling about how cute, funny, precious, and sweet they are, as if grandchildren were the end all and be all […]

The Good Mother

With her frail, pencil-thin body lying on the living room couch, I held my mother’s eighty-five-year-old hand as she asked the same question, again, “Honey, was I a good mother?”

Bending over the shriveled frame that once held the sophistication of Coco Channel and the unconditional love of the Blessed Mother, I kissed her cheek feeling impatient. Then, looking into her pleading eyes, I reassured, “I don’t know why you keep asking this. You’re the best mother a girl could have.”

When I was a child, […]

Inside the lines

Curled around my down-feathered pillow, as Chicken Pox created a polka dot motif all over my body, my father stood at the end of my bed with the best pill for relief – ever.

 

“Honey, I have a gift for you,” he smiled. “I know how much you love to color.” Then, handing me a Shirley Temple coloring book, along with a fresh box of Crayola crayons, I instantly forgot the feeling that a thousand mosquitoes had just attacked my body.

 

“Thank you, Daddy!” I squealed, […]

You’ll Be Just Fine

Staring at the senseless symbols cluttering my already cloudy understanding, I lowered my face onto the hardbound book and did what any highly hormonal, PMS-ing 16-year-old would do: I wailed hysterically.

 
“When in the hell will I ever use this stuff?” I blubbered, chucking the algebra book across the room.

 
Hearing his daughter fall apart down the hall, my dad came to the rescue with his math genius know-how.

 
“Honey, would you like some help?” he asked, tapping lightly on the door before entering my room.

 
With Maybelline […]

Once a Mother, Always a Mother

“Remember, drive slowly. There’re little kids living in the neighborhood.”

 

“Geez, Mom,” the moaning began, accompanied by that well-recalled look, “you’re bugging me!” But knowing my concerns were only out of love, my son wrapped his 27-year-old arms around his mother and proudly declared: “I’m a man now. I know how to drive.”

 

Four years ago, Tim, the baby of the Haugh dynasty, decided to impersonate Gilligan and took a three-hour tour to Europe only to become shipwrecked in Barcelona, Spain. During those years, he traveled […]