Carry on Tuesday, All you need is love

Sad boy

Sad boy (Photo credit: jodiwilldare)

Dear Mama,

It was hard leaving you and Papa when Roger started his new job in Connecticut. You were so kind to have us live with you but it wasn’t fair to you. Believe me, we miss you too and living back in Georgia.

My first impression was not a real good one. People are very different here. They are so loud and everyone is in a rush and in the beginning driving here scared me, those fast cars, horns always honking. Mama, don’t tell Daddy but I used to hide in the bathroom, every night, turn on the shower and cry my aching heart out. No one even welcomed us here, there is no Welcome Wagon like home, no cakes or pies or dinners brought over. People seem cold and unfriendly but I ‘ll get used to it, it’s just their way, I suppose.

We do love our own sweet neighborhood which is wonderful. The summer was great. Kids on their bikes, playing in the streets, moms looking out for each others kids. Once school started everything changed. I guess this town is split in two and I never knew that one side has a lot of money and the other side, like us, well, we don’t. Seems like a lot of kids in Jason and Jeremy’s classes lived in mansions. The houses some of these kids lived in we used to watch on that television show “Dallas.”  Mansions so big like you see on t.v .some with electric fences, some driveways so long you can’t see the houses, some with great big pools or baseball fields in the back. I swear.

Mama, have you ever heard of a live-in nanny? I sure hadn’t. I guess the rich people who live in the mansions have them. The parents get up early in the morning and take a train to work in the City and they stay late into the night. The nannies feed, bathe and put the kids to bed.  Some moms work, others don’t but they still have full-time nannies.  I’ve heard the moms and some dads too go to the gym, or play tennis and go to lunch with each other.  In our neighborhood, we just stay off to ourselves doing regular things: grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, and cleaning. We get our kids on to the orange school bus and we are there to help them off, they get a snack, do homework and then they can play. I had never heard it any other way before.

This pains me to tell you but one day Jason’s new friend came over for the first time. Jason had a new play date with a child from his class the other day, the child came home with him on the bus. Jason was looking forward to this all week-long. I heard them laughing and whispering and going up the stairs to Jason’s room. Then it got quiet. Apparently, the first thing that wretched child said to my son was: “this is worse than I ever imagined it could be.”  My precious boy ran over to me, his face crushed and repeated what the boy said. I told him calmly that it didn’t matter one bit what the boy said, it wasn’t important and was just plain silly, wasn’t it? I got them started on a fun project with rocket ships and special brownies for a snack and they forgot about the room. Lord, as I am standing here, I wanted to cry but of course I couldn’t.

That night when Roger came home Jason told the rest of the family what happened with his”mean” friend.” Mama, It was hear-breaking to see. The boy had behaved poorly and he was rude. This boy’s family had lots of money and did live in a mansion, with a fancy pool but the mom and dad worked really hard all day and night. They had a nanny and a babysitter so the kids didn’t even see their parents very much. The older brother had already  been in trouble with the police. That family didn’t have a mom who stayed home and went to their Open Houses at school or their baseball games; their dad didn’t come home at six pm so that the family could have dinner together.We were all eating my vanilla cake with chocolate frosting AND vanilla ice cream. They couldn’t talk about their days or play games every night at dinner like we did.  We were the ones who were lucky. Money, cars, houses, pools are nice to have if you want them but they are not important.  “It’s not the size of the house that matters; but the amount of love inside that truly counts.” We are truly blessed.

Love, Hope

Cheeseburger On The Lam–The Aftermath

I was feeling so proud of my blog last night, the 104 entries, the fact that I stuck to it, it was my  challenge and it was my accomplishment. It was my biggest accomplishment after, of course, the births of my son and daughter. Last night however, things changed and I have the painful stomach ache to prove it.

After hearing a lecture in school on Internet safety during Seminar Day, both of my children were made aware of the dangers of their  photos, ANYTHING on the internet with their names attached to it.  Inconveniently that same day I wrote a blog about my two teenagers because both my husband and I were in bad moods and felt incredibly cranky. First mistake.

To those of you who read my blog called “Cheeseburger On The Lam” aka “The Teenagers” let me tell you that I shouldn’t have written it. I want to apologize to my children for publishing something that they took offense to. I have been feeling sick, really sick and stressed out all day because of it. Honestly? I didn’t think it was that bad, just cranky parents needing to let off some steam. But, my children took offense to it and I deeply apologize for that.

It was a mistake, I now know, to publish it, because they were very angry, defiant and upset about it. I was hoping the audience were parents of teenagers that could possibly relate and to those people who are also unemployed and tense. Unfortunately, the audience of two that mattered the most to me, were my children. Thanks Seminar Dude. You ruined our evening and I do not, repeat not, think you were referring to vague references of sons and daughters written by a cranky parent!

It started a prosecutor extravaganza which was no fun for anyone that lasted a good hour. Before I even published it I even sent the blog to my husband asking him if he thought it was okay to publish, he said it was “Excellent!”  So, I published it but what I really should have done was just thought about it a little longer. If I copied my husband and asked if it was okay, then maybe I was ignoring my own, deeply hidden thoughts or questions of judgment. I  really don’t know.

So, here in print, I would like to apologize to my children for offending them. NOTHING is more important to me than these two amazing children. Children who bring such utter joy to my life. I would do nothing to hurt their feelings on purpose and if I did than I am deeply ashamed. The buck stops here.

I always tell my children, to be honest with me; I am now being honest with you. Yes, your dad and I did feel frustrated yesterday, the climate in the house had reached a point that we were very high-strung, over sensitive and uptight. So, I did what I do best and wrote about it, never thinking you would take offense. From now on, I promise you, I will think before I write and certainly before I click “Publish.”

I love you both more than my life. The thought of upsetting you made me feel horrible all day; yesterday’s meeting was not fun for anyone. I hope you accept my apology and now we can move on. Parents make mistakes, just like every person. As I’ve always taught you, if you have done something wrong, just be honest and apologize. Back at you.

Love, Mom

*******P.S. SORRY DAUGHTER FOR THE “OTHER ONE” TOO!

Mother and Daughter Wars

Last night I had another angry dream about my mother. We were  in Israel and supposed to be coming home. I remember my kids were with us as well. I was both daughter to my mother and mother to my children.  My mother decided she wasn’t coming home, she was abandoning us (me) and staying in Israel to be with her boyfriend. I believe she said something like “I never wanted this to begin with.” I begged her to come home with us, I sobbed,  I pleaded. She stood her ground and wouldn’t budge. I remember her crying in the dream as she walked in the opposite direction, but ultimately, she stood her ground and stayed. She had planned trips with her boyfriend. Until the very end of my dream and continuing as I gradually woke up, I was in a state of total disbelief. I’ve had this dream about 3 or 4 times a week for about two months.

My relationship with my mother now is definitely uneven, up and down, intense and cool. My mother and my sister are very similar people but I was always closer to my dad. He understood me, he made things better, he was more diplomatic; he was my warm and loving parent. He died 8 years ago. I feel that whatever I do for my mother is not good enough. Even though I TRY much harder to please her (visits, dinners, lunches, grandchildren…) than my sister,  it never feels like it’s good  enough.  My mother and I  are so different that it gets in the way. It gets in the way that with every thoughtless comment and(self-perceived)  dig she makes. When I am this angry it makes me  want to see her less. She drains me, she hurts me, the one time she came to see me when I was on bed rest with my leg, she arrived demanding a sandwich from my husband.  There was no pot of chicken soup in her hands or even a few bagels, not even a cookie. She came, demanded a sandwich and then, complaining about the stairs, went upstairs and said hello to me, after she was fed. In her defense, she is a diabetic, in my defense, I just wanted to see her first.

Several days ago I returned home from a very important Dr. visit in the city with my Guru Dr, as I refer to him. He was so pleased with my progress that I was beaming. He said the first time he saw me I definitely “grabbed his attention because I was so sick.” Then, the first visit after, I had improved a little bit. This visit he exclaimed “You Look Great.”  I felt better, I looked better, I had lost ten pounds and I was absolutely thrilled.  As a daughter, the first thing you want to do is call your mom and tell her  the good news and so I did. She listened and then said”Now I’m going to ask you a question that you won’t like”  to which I replied “do you have to” and she said “yes I do, I have to.” Sigh. Groan. She asked the following: What did the Dr. say about your weight gain? ‘Huh? What? I just told you he was thrilled with me?!  She then replied “but what did he say about your weight gain?”Telling her, again,, that I had indeed lost  ten pounds did not mollify her. She wanted to know about the total weight gain… I gave up.  I was hurt, I was disgusted. And, of course she pulled the weight button, goes off like an alarm every time.

A common theme in our relationship has always been about my being overweight, chubby, FAT. I was very thin as a child and she used to carry Nestle’s Quik all around the world trying to fatten me up. Boy, has that changed.  Ever since I was about 10 and  she left the NY Times Magazine on the kitchen table open to “Overweight Camps For Girls”it has been a big problem (try and forget THAT!)  Of course, when I starved myself to 121 pounds (that lasted about 5 minutes) she was nagging me to gain weight. Is there anyone who wouldn’t need Psychotherapy after this?  Not that it helped….

I summoned the courage to have the “talk” with her. It was heated, we both feel we can do no good for the other person. But then we listened…I told her how I felt, she told me how she felt. It wasn’t that different after all. She needed attention and she really needed advice. She did not know, honestly did not know, what mothering meant. She had grown up without a real mother, just a twisted, nasty, dishonest stepmother.

I told her what I needed, she told me she understood. She also told me that she doesn’t say personal things to make me feel bad, she just means it as a fact. Yes, I do take things way too personally. We agreed.

Today, she came over with bagels and cream cheese for lunch. She said hello to the dog,and told her outloud “I want to see Laurie”  and walked upstairs. The first thing she did was say hello to me, her brown eyes twinkling. I love this woman who looked so cute and fashionable in her little blue outfit. I will always love her;she is a part of me that will be with me always. I want to make her happy, I want her to know how much I love her and I do.  I just can’t promise to always agree with her. But that’s ok, as long as we keep on talking it through and leaving our hearts all the way open.