Permission

I am a newborn foal, a furry white rabbit with pink eyes, an adorable black, white and tan 6 week old puppy curled inside a warm hand; a 19-year-old dying cat. I am someone’s life-long companion and friend; I give unconditional love. I have meant more to some people than most friends. I am a pet.

The 19-year-old cat was laid to rest a few days ago. She was a well-loved cat who slept with her owner and gave her happiness every day, all the time and especially when times were tough. They were each others comfort. When the cat lay dying, her mother/owner gave her one last precious gift. She ended the long journey with pain and put her out of the miserable, uncomfortable life she had known for many years. It was probably the hardest thing she has had to do in a very long time but she did it for me and I know how hard that must have been. Letting go of someone or something you love is never easy. Never.

I know; I speak from experience. Letting someone go is sometimes the truest test of love.  I gave that permission to my dad when he lay dying in the hospital and was just clinging on by a very weak thread so delicate it was almost like a fiber. I talked to his nurse and told him to give my dad a secret message that included it was “okay to let go” and that “we would all take care of each other,” my mom, my sister and I. He died 20 minutes later. Do I believe he heard the message and felt it? I do; I have to.

The pain of life is like a current that runs through all of us. Sometimes the current is low, sometimes it’s very high. We need people, friends, family, pets, something to believe in to help us get through the challenges and the losses we face in life. Life changes so fast it’s hard to keep up, but we have no choice but to try;  it’s hard to do it all alone.  No matter who we choose to love, no matter what. Sometimes, we all need a little help and mostly, not always, it is ours for the asking; and it is ours for the taking.

We are buoyed by our loved ones when life is down, and when life is up, we sing together in joyful harmony. Life, though, is not just about the good times, really, it’s about how we cope, who we lean on and who we love. It is about joy and sorrow.  It is knowing when to love and knowing when to let go. It is hard and painful and exuberant and joyful, every day there is some surprise.  Just try to “ride the waves” a friend once told me, up and down and never, let go, until you have to and you will know,deep inside, when the time is right.

For my friend: Michal.  In Memory of Dusty.


Advertisements

(Not-So) Guilty Pleasures

I am watching “The Celebrity Apprentice” on my computer and I am enjoying every minute of it.  Last night my husband Dan and I watched “Survivor” a show we haven’t watched in years and loved it. I slipped a chocolate covered cherry into my mouth and let the super-sweetness saturate my mouth and I audibly sighed with pleasure.  I tasted the icing of the lemon cake that we received as a gift and had to stop myself from eating more than a taste. It wasn’t easy. I also ate a few spoonfuls of chocolate cake that wasn’t even particularly good, but it’s chocolate and mood elevating and even mediocre chocolate is better than none. Sometimes.

In these hard times these small pleasures help me stay afloat.   It’s not that I have any interest in alcohol, drugs or smoking cigarettes, I prefer television shows, music of the moment and food.  I am not ashamed to say that I watch “American Idol” when I can and that I tape “Grey’s Anatomy” or “Private Practice.”  These are the escapes I need while bed-ridden with bruised ribs and my auto-immune disease and while my husband is unemployed and at his computer mostly all the time and when our two teenagers are way too busy for us.

I am not a shopping addict or any kind of addict that would be construed as harmful to other people in any way. I share one beloved television show with my daughter, Glee.  After I watched the Glee episode, Madonna theme, I have been playing Madonna’s songs for the past three days. Over and over again. It’s like if I have something I love I will love it obsessively for a period of time and only when I am truly sick of it do I move on to something else. I’m still with Glee and I’m still singing Madonna songs; and most important of all, I’m still watching Glee with my daughter. I love sharing something that my daughter loves. I admit, I was unimpressed with Glee for awhile and I was totally wrong, and yes, she was totally right.

My daughter and I are obsessive about food too. If  we love something we will eat it ad nauseum until we are so tired of it that we will banish it for a very long time and replace it with something else. After awhile whatever we love becomes “been there, done that,” let’s move on to something new. Our latest food of choice are avocados, stuffed shells and baked ziti. For me, my new (newly chipped) juicer is my latest craze.  I am so into juicing and I have made carrot-apple juice, and carrot-apple-pineapple-brocolli juice. My daughter Jillian made a delightful blend of strawberry-mango juice that was delicious.   I am obsessed with juicing and if I wasn’t so lazy about cleaning it all the time, I would have different types of juice at least three times a day; but sometimes laziness wins, I have to admit.

Admitting that I am lazy these days is okay too. I don’t have the energy for very much due to both my bruised ribs and my auto-immune disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I used to be very hard on myself for what I deemed “my weakness” but I’ve grown up and realized it’s just not my fault. That leap into acceptance has been long overdue. So, I will eat my favorite foods and listen to my songs of the week(s), will watch television happily with my family or by myself and learn to accept my limitations.  I will try to live without feeling sorry for myself and feeling bad about myself. Instead, I will heal, slowly, consciously and grateful for all the blessings that I do have in my life.

Mothers, Teenage Daughters And Forever 21

The almost 16-year-old young lady lies beside me as we watch her favorite show, Glee. I watch that with her to bond, to share something with her, to enjoy something together.  I try to make a casual reference to a theme in the show that I feel is important and she totally shuts me off. “I don’t want to hear about it” she says harshly, hand raised in the “stop” position. Sometimes I don’t know who she is or how she works.  Granted, she is the opposite of me in terms of personality, she is more like my husband.  She keeps things deep inside her where I wear my heart on a sleeve. If there is something upsetting me it shows on my face, 5 miles away but she wouldn’t notice that or can’t pick up the social cues. I don’t know if it’s her style or her personality or just how her brain works.  My son, on the other hand, just has to look at me from afar and ask “what’s wrong?” But he and I are much more similar in nature so that really is no surprise. We have the ability to think the same thing at the same second, to understand each other with a simple glance, to read each others mind. I love and like my children equally, believe me, but some things are easier when you can identify more with a person’s style.

I find my daughter to be embarrassed by me, by the way I say” Hi “to her friends,( I know, better to stay silent and move away) to the way I dress, eat, and even dance alone in my room.  I feel I can do nothing right with her most of the times, (and I am sure, she feels the exact same thing about me) with the exception of driving her to the mall when she wants to go, or paying for a short skirt or a bikini. Then, she is all smiles, warmth, happiness with free-flowing, easy gratitude.  It’s when I say “no” that brings out the tone of voice I find less than respectful and the teenage girl “attitude.”  Mothers, I’m sure you know what I mean: tone, eye roll, silence, shoulder shrug, etc.

I feel like I’m being used; I know I am being used. I know it’s supposed to be natural for mothers and daughters to have these ongoing battles but how long are they going to last?  I want my daughter back, please return her to me, I promise to be patient.  I’ve had differences with my own mother from time to time but they were emotional in nature and usually when I felt hurt. With my daughter, she acts like a part of the family, but sometimes in it for herself. She will smile sweetly and talk softly when she wants me to take her to the nail salon or to buy her a frozen vanilla latte from Starbucks. But, when the “boys” were out-of-town and I offered to take her out to eat at her favorite restaurant, it was a distinct “No Thanks!” because she would be embarrassed to be seen with me on a Friday night, alone. Sigh, there is a part of me that totally understands this, I probably went through similar things myself, maybe I hid it more.  But, as a parent, it still stings, no doubt about it.

Maybe it’s the entitlement issue, the me, me, me, all me generation as my husband and I call it. We don’t differ our parental styles to our son and our daughter but their attitudes are totally different. I DO NOT favor one child over another but yes, I do understand my son better than my daughter. She will not let me in, I try not to take it personally, but it’s hard to do. My daughter, at this age, basically lets her best friends in, they are her life and it’s perfectly age appropriate; family is just making cheese sauce for her pasta or driving her to the mall so she can be with her aforementioned best friends.

I feel hurt and angry and very, very tired. If only once in a while I would get a genuine sign of affection or gratitude or heaven please help me, both, it would make me feel happy, no ecstatic.  My goal is this: tomorrow I will go to the library and get the book I reserved aptly called ” Get Out of My Life but first can you drive me and Cheryl to the mall?”  Maybe I will get some answers, at the very least, I think I will be getting support and explanations.  That alone, is a very good, first, small step.

Living With Uninvited Guests

There seems to be at least one new creature who lives in our house and comes out frequently; his name is FIGHTING. He lives with us in our small house, often hiding in one room or another but he seems to be here constantly. FIGHTING joins my daughter in her attitude and tone of voice; or when she doesn’t get what she wants.  FIGHTING, also lives with my son, when my son drops the F bomb way too often, when he has a meltdown at the word “college” when we ask him if he has read a single page of a 40 dollar book that we bought at his request. FIGHTING is one of our new family members, not one I like particularly much but he has joined our family and my husband and myself have succumbed also to his impolite although sometimes quite impish ways. Yes, my husband and I have been joined by FIGHTING too. I am NOT proud of this.   Like an ill-intentioned in-law when you’ve just had a baby and they know everything better and you don’t want to hear it for one quarter of a second in any lifetime.

Having a Junior in High School and a Sophomore in High School at the same time brings us a little more energy and upheaval than an ordinary family would generally have. Pair that with an unemployed dad who is desperately trying to find a job for more than 6 months already and a mom who has been sick for over two and a half years with one thing after another. FIGHTING has been reunited with his siblings,  TENSION and STRESS; we come to find out that they are triplets.  Now, all three live with us, most of the time if not all the time.

It’s like the guests from Hell who seemingly will not leave. There was a definite begin date but no happy ending in sight and probably not for a while.  We all try, as hard as we can, to keep the triplets under control but sometimes they just break loose and dance around us satanically while we succumb to their uncontrollable and hypnotic,  evil, evil ways. No matter how hard you try to control them there are times when they get the best of us and win. We shout, we cry, we roll our eyes, doors are slammed, curse words are used, arguments are not only overheated but overheard; we become undone.   We try to regroup after each incident and we do but it isn’t easy when they come in rapid succession.

Every family goes through rough patches and I, of course, am aware of that and empathic. However, we have been hammered and it’s hard not to feel sorry for yourselves once in a great while. Yes, I count my blessings, yes, I am grateful for the things we do have but, when all of the negative issues play against each other and win,  it is really, really  hard to write everyday in the gratitude journal of life.

If you’re Oprah it’s easier to be grateful, gracious, compassionate and generous; if Fighting, Stress and Tension wanted to move to her house, she would just put them all up, lovingly, in various other houses or guest cottages in different countries. For us regular folk, we have no choice. We live with these demons day in and day out and try to cope the best way we know how.  We have no choice. However, if Oprah has any helpful hints or ideas, please tell us; we really would love to know.

Sleeping Backwards And Other Oddities

Last night, April 7th 2010 I started the season (early, I might add) by sleeping backwards. I have been doing this since I was a child. When the weather gets warmer I turn around on my stomach and lie where my feet should be. I don’t know why or how this started, I believe it was an effort to be cooler, but since then I have done it every year of my life. I don’t see it stopping anytime soon either.

April is really early for sleeping backwards I have to admit. Usually the season starts in May or June but yesterday’s weather in the upper 80’s made it impossible for me to sleep the “normal” way. I always know when to sleep backwards, it’s just a feeling, an intuition.  Arms are flung off the bed, legs in a spider position, hair, off my face in a high pony-tail and definitely sleeping on your stomach. There is no sleeping backwards on your back, it does not exist, at least for me. There is, of course, “sleeping backwards etiquette.” Lying on your back, sleeping backwards is totally unacceptable.

My husband is not a big fan of my sleeping backwards. He has a pillow/feet issue. Not that my feet are touching his pillow but they are definitely too close for his comfort level. He has a thing about sheets (don’t scratch them, he hates the noise) don’t lie on them (with clothes or freshly showered), and don’t, EVER put your feet anywhere near his pillow. When the children were much younger they used to take their freshly bathed toes and touch his pillow anyway. (okay, sometimes they still do it) We all have our own idiosyncracies and we’re better off if we accept them,(even though we may think they are the stupidest thing we have ever heard of.) Accepting them keeps marriages together, believe me. Loading the dishwasher is another marital deal-breaker; he has a pattern, I don’t. Once I put dishes in the dishwasher he changes them ergo I have stopped putting dishes in the dishwasher and now put them in a sink. Harmony restored.

Just as I thought I was the only one to turn a pillow over so you don’t get the warm spot, who knows, other people might do this too. If so, I could probably form a “Sleeping Backwards” Facebook group. I would be the President and CEO. It’s amazing the little habits we all have that we think are ours alone. Sleep backwards if that suits your fancy, turn your pillow around to find the cool spot, arrange and rearrange the covers so that they are perfect (hint: Danny). Enjoy life, if these things make you happy, just do it, but just remember your spouse or companion will definitely have their little odd ways too. Try to accept them.

***** Join my Facebook Group: Sleeping Backwards

Painkillers Are Easy; It’s Life That’s Hard

April 16, 2010

It’s always the unexpected things that happen, the ones you can’t prepare for, that freak me out.  The ones that pop out at you in the middle of the night when everyone is in dreamy night-sleep, lumbering, putting their cares to rest. Suddenly, out of the blue, the phone rings, something happens to you, to someone you love, to someone you know, that flips you like a sizzling-hot flap-jack. All that you knew for certain was suddenly gone in a split second. That, is called Life. I hate that part.

Mice, rats and bats are examples of things I also hate that appear, no dart, out of nowhere surprising people. It’s their unpredictability that frightens me, roaches too. If a mouse were to introduce himself to me, slowly, I might not mind the little critter but those rapid, sure-fire motions make me actually scream out loud and yes, I do climb on a couch or a chair or whatever will elevate me to the highest position I can handle.  Fear of heights, though, is another matter altogether.

Unexpected things scare the hell out of me and probably I am not alone but most people try to avoid thinking about it and are somewhat successful. After all, you can’t prepare for it so you have to just roll with the punches, as they say. I am not a very good roller, I must admit.  I need to get used to something albeit for five minutes. I’m great in a crisis for other people but not for myself. I need time to acclimate, to fidget, freak out, worry and adjust.  I need to wrap my head around something new and I definitely need to percolate.

I am an old-fashioned coffee maker that sits on the stove top and slowly, very slowly starts to boil, and drip, boil and drip. You can rely on me to make a good cup of coffee but it is always the same, nothing better, nothing worse. Don’t surprise me by turning the flame on too high because I will burst into flames and burn, don’t turn the flame off completely because then I will just sit there and die, and the coffee will taste like luke warm soapy water.

There are also times when I am amply prepared for what is about to happen and cry anyway. My son is a Junior in High School, next year he will be a Senior and then off he will go to college. Tonight, I burst into tears because I know I will miss him so much. Yes, I am glad he is going to go, yes, I think he will have the time of his life, yes, I am proud of him. It’s knowing that it will never be the same, once he heads out the door, that makes me cry. “I am going to miss him” I sob when he just took the car for five minutes.  Things happen like that, unexpected, unrelated emotions that just burst forth uninvited. For all those future moments of sadness and depression, sobbing and wailing I will say that I expect them, but in no way does that mean that I will be prepared.

The Zoo Keeper

I plunk my chubby body down into an outdoor green steel chair that is covered with grime. It doesn’t matter that I have lost 20 lbs, I think of myself as chubby, probably always will. I see the portable telephone out of the corner of my eye, my eyeglasses, a crumpled Living Simple magazine bent over.  I am trying to sit in the sun for a few moments, not because I want to but because people tell me I should. I finally got dressed out of my night-time Tee shirt into an old blue shirt and black track pants. I had even put on sneakers as if I was really going to walk somewhere but I knew it was all a mind game.

My dog came out with me, she didn’t want to play either, and she sat by my side as I ran my nails through her thick black, white and tan fur. She knows better than anyone that I really don’t want visitors, don’t need visitors, when I am not feeling well. With the exception of my dog, who stays comfortably at my side, I really think I prefer to be in the zoo without people looking at me, or making small-talk or asking me how I am. I am not well, but it doesn’t mean I want people to come over and wave excitedly like they do to the seals, I am not asking people to throw crackers at me. Basically, if I had a choice, I would burrow under the covers, accompanied by only the light of day and nothing more.

I would like to wait out whatever illness or bruise or breathing problem I have until it is better and then I will go embrace the public; then I will drive the car and be social and say “hello” pleasantly to people I generally don’t care about; but not now. Now I am raw, raw honey and I want to close my eyes and think of nothing, feel nothing, say nothing. I would like to rejoin reality at my pace, in my time; when that is, is anyone’s guess but it is not now, the time has not arrived yet. I hope to know when it does arrive but maybe I won’t.

I will know when I want to share a skinny vanilla latte with my friend Sarah, I will know when I want to see my sister to share a tuna-salad sandwich at the Thornwood Diner. Now, what I want to do is sleep, and have the time go by so that the day is shorter and that when I try to sleep on my back, with a white rubbery binder around my ribs, that I will sleep through to the morning. Then, again, I will try to get out of my shell and start the day the same way until the days get better, feel better and not a second before.

Swallowing Razor Blades

I was hospitalized a little more than a week ago for having Epiglottitis, otherwise known as my throat is KILLING me, it’s as if I had been swallowing razor blades, one after another. It truly was the worst pain I have ever had, birthing quintuplets naturally would have been less painful. Since I was released I have been on numerous medications to help (help-NOT) with my symptoms, especially the ulcers on my epiglottis, near my vocal chords.

I missed a scheduled trip to Washington D.C. with my family because the thought of moving, anywhere, was out of the question. I was sleeping a lot, aching all over and generally very miserable. I did go on the trip to Boston with my family where I stated that “I will be going there even if it’s on a stretcher.” Luckily it didn’t get to that but I was feeling terrible still and kept having to put my head down for fear of passing out. I couldn’t do any of the walking since I was so tired and out of breath; I was also coughing continuously. Bought over the counter products, DayQuil, NyQuil, In-BetweenQuil, Robittusin cough syrup and enough throat lozenges to feed an entire country for a week. Nothing helped.

Today, after all the doctors who took last week off for Spring Break returned, I had to, once again, go in to see them. We started with an ENT who scoped (that is such an unpleasant procedure) a camera through my nose to look at my throat. Progress, that seemed like it had healed.  Why was I coughing incessantly? He didn’t know and referred me to my Internist. Basically, she had blood work done, a chest X-ray and an EKG. She then told me to see a Pulmonologist later in the afternoon. After a brief nap, we trudged along to another office to see the Pulmonologist who gave me an assortment of (more) medication and a follow up visit tomorrow for extensive breathing tests. He also alluded to a CAT scan in the future if the cough doesn’t go away in two weeks. Not something to look forward to. He fears that the all too powerful methotrexate given to me for my auto-immune disease (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) may possibly have damaged my lungs. Just great.

Wednesday, I have to go in to see the previously-known-as-the-guru-Dr.-in-the-city. I’m sure he will try to make me take methotrexate again.  Or perhaps he will put me on Prednisone (again). These rating scales of pain are basically useless. At least all the people I know who have chronic pain and fatigue think that they are. When I was in the hospital with my throat pain, they asked me my pain scale from one to ten, ten being the worst pain ever. I gave them eleven as my answer. Enough said.

I’ve been on Prednisone, Plaquannel, Synthroid and a slew of other medications. I hate being on all these different medications especially when I still feel like crap, worse than crap. It’s time now for the new nasal spray, cough syrup and anti-acids prescribed today. My poor body, my poor soul. We are both spiraling downwards quickly in the haze of pain and emotional spirit.

Someone please catch me before I fall.

Ferris Bueller ROCKS!

Carly Simon wrote a song called “My Older Sister” the first line being: “She rides in the front seat, she’s my older sister..she knows her power over me.” That has been the anthem of my life but it took me years not only to appreciate that I have an older sister but to embrace it. I am the 53-year-old “baby” of the family and I have an older sister who is 59.  For siblings, that’s a HUGE difference in age, it’s like we were born two separate, only, children.

When I was born she had no use for me and especially as she got older, I was just in the way. A nagging little sister who wanted someone to play with her. When we sang together she sang vocals, and I sang back-up.  Always. I became the little sister to one of her friends, who loved me and played with me. “I wish Mickey was my sister” was said by me more than a few times. She didn’t seem to care. To this day, I am closer to Mickey (Michal) than she is, that bond never broke.

When my sister and I were growing up our parents referred to us as night and day, sun and moon. There are no two siblings that were more different than us. Even our appearances are completely different, I have a very pale complexion (known in the family as cream cheese) and she is robust and ruddy, as if she is sunburned all year round, white vs red.  The only thing that we have in common is our voice, we sound exactly alike on the phone and often used to fool people  by pretending to be each other. When my sister was bored talking to one of her friends she would ask me to take over and I would,  them being none the wiser. We still laugh about it. We could always fool our father, that was easy, but taking mom down was much tougher; I think in all the years we tried she only fell for it once or twice. She prides herself on that.

That which separated us before, brings us together now, with humor. When my sister loves a certain Dr. and swears up and down that I will love him, I will go but sure enough I will see him and hate him. I did that two months ago, I hated his cold, brusque demeanor, his rapid (and painful) examination, the smirk on his face.  After her exuberant description, when he walked into the room I thought it was another Dr. that had just borrowed his white coat. That’s how strongly I felt against him; this is my sister’s favorite Dr;. she looks forward to seeing him. Different people, different siblings.

Restaurants are tricky too, the Asian -Fusion place I adore, she thinks is only mediocre, if that. We do agree on the delicious tuna sandwiches at the Thornwood Diner and the sandwiches at Lange’s Deli.  The book I have loved, the tv show I hated, all opposite opinions. It’s so unpredictable that it is indeed predictable. It’s the bond of opposites.

Movies were the first thing that showed us how different we really were; that truly separated us. When I saw the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” I called her excitedly and told her it was the best movie I had ever seen. It was witty and sharp, cute and funny; to this day I love that movie. She saw the movie and called the next day asking if I was “on drugs and questioning my sanity?”  She absolutely HATED the movie, every second of it; she may have even walked out. Game on.

What used to divide us, now brings us closer together. Now she calls me plum and I call her sugar; she calls me Ferris and I call her Bueller. For years before we went to bed we would say good-night to each other through the fake wall divider and say: “Goodnight  peanut butter, Goodnight tuna. Goodnight shrimp, goodnight applesauce. The Waltons had nothing on us! It was a vast improvement of our early names for each other which were “stupid” and “ugly.” And, when all was said and done and we tried to settle into sleep, I would inevitably ask “what time is it?” and she would always fall for it and tell me and then we continued to laugh.

If WE could find a middle ground, anyone can. After many years, two extremely different people,  have somehow settled on this newly paved path of love, understanding, friendship and respect. Our mother always said “the most important thing is that you have each other” and it is true. We are each others piece of history, without which we would be very much alone. If we were dark vs light before, we’ve arrived at a long overdue acceptance, a mixture of colors, bright red, muted yellows, lilac and florescent green; bold and subtle, and very, very warm.

dedicated to my sister, Emma.

“Please Come To Boston In The Spring-Time”

My husband and I  are sitting in the huge auditorium at a college in Massachusetts, visiting with our son who is a Junior and our daughter who is a Sophomore in High School. It’s the first college tour for me and I am both in awe and incredulous. Like an ice-cold hand  pressing on a sunburned body. Shock. Excitement. Surreal.  An out-of-body experience and, the new reality that is your life.  The first college tour ever is probably the one you, (more than your son and daughter) will remember, because after all these years, your baby, your first-born is really, truly, thinking about college; and eventually, sooner rather than later, is going.  Gone are the Mommy and Me classes, the grade school performances, the middle school musicals.This is being a Junior in HS,  this is big.

As much as the focus is on the student you will find, as I did, there is a moment of part regression, part longing that whispers into your ear  “Why can’t I go to college  for four years and have fun and study? I sat through talk after talk, part of me knowing now how much fun college was but not appreciating it back then. I listened intently as they spoke about community involvement, special clubs, volunteering. It was all I could do not to raise my hand. But this wasn’t about me, this was about my son.

Watching your baby (and they are all our babies) sitting in the auditorium, intently listening to the Admissions Officer or Student Guide talk is fascinating in itself, regardless of what school you are in. The baby whose hands you clasped just minutes ago, to cross the street, is the one bounding up the stairs  with a bold grin to be on a tour with a student who is also a Volunteer Ambulance Corp and an EMT. That’s a connection, something your child is passionate about; something that at this college exists.

My point is that irregardless of the all too familiar campus spiel  (and after a while they do all sound the same) and how great this and that college is, there may be a pivotal, random moment (and it could be ANYTHING) that will have your son and daughter make his or her mind up in half of one second. You will know it when you see it, your child will absolutely glow. It could be the food in the cafeteria, or a particularly nice day outside or what the girls are wearing on campus. This is what I am here to tell you as we get started in the process. It may not make sense to you, but it will for your child. That one second buzz word (like Volunteer Ambulance Corp and EMT)  could have been the moment his decision was made. It  could be made in a blink of an eye or a particularly sunny day, or the french fries in the cafeteria. What they are looking for and most certainly find, is a spark, a connection, the right buzz word for your child. If you know your kid, you can’t miss it and you won’t. It most certainly doesn’t mean he or she will get in but it will be a moment to remember.  Pay attention to it.

Go, little bird, fly away and be happy. You and I both know I will cry when you leave; saying good-bye is not one of my strong points.  All parents really want, is for you to be happy, be safe and come home to visit even if you bring your dirty laundry. We’ll take what we can before we send you out back again into your new exciting life, away from us, in your new fun-filled, marvelous world.