P is for Potential

January 6th, 2014

images“Your kid really has potential!”

Are there sweeter words you can hear about your daughter or
son from a teacher, a coach or the parent sitting next to you at the school play?

Potential. Promise. Aptitude. A talent in the making. The chance for greatness.
It is thrilling to see the possibilities in your child, and sometimes even more
thrilling to see that others see it.

I can—I do—get carried away
imagining various amazing futures for my full-of-potential daughter. This is good. And bad.It’s good because it shows how much I admire her talents, which are so very different from my own. And it’s good because it keeps me excited and hopeful during times when things are not going that well.

And then there’s the flip side.

It’s the overeager mother side. The “jump into your life and take over” side.

Read more. Here’s the new post, P is for Potential, at mom.me.  Take a look! Comments encouraged.

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O is for Optimism

November 10th, 2013

optimismThese days, Lizzie and I are both volunteering at a free meals program for the homeless in our city. This is an act of optimism. It’s not just that we think, with the few hours a week we devote to the program, that we can help make a difference in some people’s lives. Yes, we do think that. It’s also that we exist within a community of volunteers and activists who also believe they can help. So we are surrounded by optimists. More than that—and this is a huge life lesson for both me and Lizzie—the people we serve, the homeless folks—often show themselves as optimists. It’s easy to be an optimist when life is pretty good. Not so easy when you live under a bridge and carry what you own on your back.

I believe that optimsim may be the single most important attitude, trait, behavior, way of seeing and being in the world that I can help instill in my daughter.  Here’s the new post, O is for Optimism, at mom.me.  Take a look. Comments encouraged!!

N is to Never (ever)

October 13th, 2013

never-ever-do-thisOh those things we vowed we’d never, ever do once we were mothers…We were teenagers screaming into our pillows late at night after our own mothers committed some egregious act (second-degree interrogation of new boyfriend, orders to wash off all that mascara before leaving for school…the usual crimes).

And now, here we are, mothers ourselves, committing our own set of egregious acts.  Or at least things we’d never dreamed of doing, like whipping up a box of that neon orange mac ‘n’ cheese.  Like random acts of invasion of privacy.  Maybe time to revisit our teenage vows?

Read about what a mother (me) vowed not to do — oops – and what a daughter (yes, my teenage werewolf) swears, swears, swears she won’t do if and when she comes a mother.  Our new post, N is for Never, is up at mom.me.  Take a look. Comments encouraged!!

M is for Mother

October 6th, 2013

Portrait-Of-A-Mother-And-DaughterI think about my mother more now than I ever did when we lived in the same house, when I saw her every day, when she was the single most important person in my universe.  I think about what she taught me — both good and bad — about being a mother.  And this makes me wonder what my daughter is learning from me about being a mother.  Lizzie and I decided to tackle this thorny subject in our most recent she said/ she said dual blog post, M is for Mother at mom.me.  We hope you’ll take a look.  And we’d love to hear your thoughts.  (Please post comments at the mom.me site.)

L is for Luck

September 10th, 2013

word luckDo you think you’re particularly lucky?  Or particularly unlucky?  Lizzie wanted to write about LUCK for our “A to Zs of Teenagers” feature at mom.me, and this really got me thinking:  Do I even believe in luck?  I used to when I was Lizzie’s age.  The most interesting thing for me with this new post was not what I had to say (!) but the insight it provided into Lizzie’s mind.  It prompted several conversations we’d never had before.  You might want to try this with your teen.  Ask her to talk about (or list)  the 5 ways she thinks she’s lucky, and the 5 ways she thinks she’s unlucky.  You might be surprised.

Here is the new post from Lizzie and me, L is for Luck at mom.me.

K is for Know

August 21st, 2013

I knowI’ve spent my time in the mothering-the-teen trenches.  Battle scars notwithstanding, this rollercoaster of an experience does not make me an expert.  But I have learned a few things.  In this new post, I write about the “10 Things I Know about Mothering a Teen,” while my teen writes about (gulp) the “10 Things Moms OUGHT to Know about their Teens.”  At least hers is worth reading!

Here is the new post by Lizzie and me, K is for Know at mom.me.

J is for Junk Food

August 14th, 2013

junkfoodAs a teen, I was a junk food junkie.  Now I’m the mother of one.

But when I make rules about junk food in the house, when I rag on Lizzie for eating at McD’s with her new boyfriend, when I make a comment about the occasional Big Gulp vessel (the thing can hardly be called a “cup”) I see on top of the trash, I am swimming against the tide.  Junk food is not just a personal issue or a family issue, it is a societal, cultural, global issue.

The question is: Do I want to spend what mommy capital I have on label reading, nutrition “teaching moments,” dinnertime lectures and Biggie Fry rants?

Here’s the new post from Lizzie and me, J is for Junk food at mom.me.

I is for Internet

July 24th, 2013

INTERNET-AFRICA-2Technology has so altered our culture that the 21st century teen-dom of our kids is completely and utterly different than our own teen years — and so foreign as to be incomprehensible. Really?  I’m not so sure.

I think Lizzie may be spending her teen years doing just what I did for the same reasons I did — but in a different (and completely understandable) way.  If you’re looking for a bridge across the digital divide, take a look at my latest post,I is for Internet at mom.me.  I think you’ll also be interested in Lizzie’s take on the importance of her online life…and her disdain and hatred of smartphones!

H is for Help

July 10th, 2013

no helpHelp is what we want to give. It’s why we’re here. It’s what we’ve always done: helping our kids learn to walk and talk and feed themselves, to read a book, throw a ball, pet a cat, ride a bike. We were so useful! Their little arms reached up to us as they asked for, pleaded for and gratefully accepted our help. Remember those days?

Fast-forward 14, 15, 16, 17 years.

When was the last time you offered to help your teen? When was the last time she accepted?

Read more:  H is for Help at mom.me

G is for Girlfriends

June 21st, 2013

two-girls-holding-handsYou love them. You hate them.  They sabotage you.  They rescue you.

Lizzie and I talk about the ups and downs of girl-to-girl friendships in our newest post, G is for Girlfriends at mom.me.  It’s part of our series, The A to Zs of Teenagers.  That’s seven letters down, 19 more to go.  Will we make it?