The Five Things I Miss the Most About College

I just spent family weekend at my oldest son's college and boy, did I notice the age gap between college kids and me. I don't usually feel old; I usually think I'm around 23 until I try to stand up too quickly and I pull something, but spending the weekend with a bunch of college students was eye opening. Let me clarify, it wasn't so much that I felt old as it was that I felt that college was such a long time ago....more

Creating Family Traditions is a Bad Idea

Hey, you, over there, taking the photos of your lil’ punkin in the pumpkin patch, put down the camera and step away from that cute family moment.I’m doing you a favor here. You may think that this is the beginning of a great family tradition that will last a lifetime but really you are merely starting down a path that will lead to pain and misery.Seriously....more

Childhood Keepsakes (Or What Do You Do With 40-Year-Old Baby Teeth?)

Why do we parents save our kids’ childhood mementos? Are we saving it all so we can occasionally rummage through the boxes and reminisce or do we plan to give it all to our children when they are older?If you agree with the latter, consider this scenario:Many, many years in the future you hand your grown daughter a box of her lovingly preserved childhood mementos. You await for what is sure to be a squeal of delight as she sifts through the treasures.Then she screams and slams the box shut....more

What Your Kids Should NOT Bring to College (And a Few Things That They Should)

Around this time last year, just as the first Hello Kitty notebook hit the shelves at Target (signaling the start of the back-to-school frenzy), my older son and I started shopping for his dorm room.Ugh!It should have been fun—all the possibilities! But my son had very little enthusiasm for the process and I had very little patience....more
unrehearsedtiff I forgot about the air fresheners. That was something else that I tossed in my ...more

What Should Teens Do This Summer? Get a Job??

I was driving my younger son and his friend to soccer practice when they both started lamenting their busy summer schedules. My son’s friend is starting driver’s education as soon as soccer ends because, as he explained with a touch of sarcasm, “I can’t have one day with nothing to do.” My son groaned in sympathy. “I know,” my son added. “I don’t have a single day off this summer.”Insert eye roll here....more

How To Survive Summer Break With Your College Kid

Nine months ago I wrote about how my oldest son was off to college and I worried about how I was going to adjust. I was so sad and so convinced that I would never grow accustomed to setting the table for three instead of four and I would always mourn his absence.Well, I got used to it....more

The First Child Experiment

Our poor first-born children.We parents have no idea how little we know about parenting our oldest child until our subsequent children go through a similar experience. Only then can we look back and say to ourselves, damn, I screwed that up!...more

A New Holiday Tradition

Have you heard about the new holiday tradition? It’s non-denominational, it can happen any time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day and you can’t plan it (I don’t think).It’s the Traditional Holiday Fight and everyone has one.I never thought of it as a tradition until a friend of mine asked me if I had had my holiday fight yet. I laughed because, of course, I had. We are deep into December – it’s to be expected. She had her fight over Thanksgiving, which might be the way to go since it helps defuse the tension that is sure to build up by December....more

It's a Thanksgiving Miracle!

The Thanksgiving season is usually not considered the time of miracles and yet something miraculous happened yesterday. Not the miracle of weeping icons or spontaneous healing, mind you, but miraculous just the same.Let me back up.My 18-year-old, college freshman came home for Thanksgiving break last night and within 45 minutes our battle for control began.And, no, the miracle is not that it didn’t happen sooner.After several hugs for the dog, a couple quick hugs for me, and a discussion about laundry he disappeared into his room....more
Oh my gosh, I feel your pain, and mine haven't even left the nest yet.  I still have a year or ...more

Top Five Ways That Teenagers Are Like Toddlers

Lately I’ve been mourning the loss of my boys’ toddlerhood – the days when they hugged me with abandon, belly laughed over a silly sound and viewed the world with wonder and amazement.I miss the days when I had little people who smelled yummy and wanted to be around me ALL THE TIME. Now, they are teenagers who are very different creatures – they smell like sweat and body spray and they wouldn’t be caught dead holding on to my leg or arm let alone spending hours at my side....more