Tag Archives: parents

Guest post: To Make Ends Meat, Don’t Turn Your Back on any Electrical Outlets

By @taniaha. Read more Guest Posts here and here.

When I was a kid, I was terrified of walking on a boardwalk or pier, convinced that I would slip through the half-inch crack between the boards and plunge into the ocean. I also believed that a person’s race dictated the color of dog one could own.

Knowing I couldn’t be the only person who had labored under this type of delusion, I posed the question on Facebook – what was something dumb or silly you believed as a child? Close to 30 people responded with their own childhood misconceptions and stories of confusion, which ranged from odd to hilarious.

THA

Did we all at one time believe the bathtub drain could actually suck us down?

Some themes bubbled to the top: Continue reading

We almost lost him. Someday we will.

For the first time, I understood.

Instead of thinking “Daddy, please don’t die. Don’t leave me,” I just wanted him not to suffer. The selfishness of a daughter evaporated.

The doctors had Dad sitting perfectly upright, a mask covering his entire face and forcing air into his lungs. He was sedated, given morphine for pain. When I spoke to him and stroked his hand, Dad  opened his eyes and tried to reassure me.

“Rest, Dad. You need to rest. Don’t worry about me.”

And then I went out into the hospital corridor, nearly biting through my bottom lip as I tried to stifle my sobs.

With Dad during carefree times

With Dad during carefree times

Continue reading

Suddenly we were on the bridge to Brooklyn

First read this related post.

Suddenly we were on the bridge to Brooklyn. The Manhattan Bridge this time, not the Williamsburg. I laughed.

“Don’t laugh. This isn’t funny!” Mom said.

I kept laughing. What else are you supposed to do when a Chinese New Year parade and dozens of NYC traffic cops thwart your Little Italy lunch plans and Canal Street spits you onto the bridge to downtown Brooklyn without any choice?

Just thirty minutes earlier, everything was fine. Great really. Mom came in from Scranton for a post-birthday (hers, not mine) visit. I had a present waiting for her at my apartment in Williamsburg. We planned to drive there after shopping and lunch at Pellegrino’s.

We shopped at Lord & Taylor. I found a dress that might be fun for my friend Candace‘s wedding in Jamaica. We got Mom’s car out of the lot ($26 for two hours, and that’s the Weekend Special) and headed downtown.

And sat in spectacular traffic once we passed Bleecker Street.

“I’m never doing this again,” Mom said about driving downtown, and agreeing to drive to Brooklyn for her birthday gift. But she has said that many times during my life about things she has absolutely done again so I laughed some more.


Each summer, my parents and I would drive eight-ish hours south to Nags Head, NC. Once, when I was a seven or eight years old, we arrived the Cabana East Motel only to find that our reservation was actually for the next day. No rooms were available.

Click link for photo credit

Dad, not the adaptable sort, was furious at Mom who, although she might have gotten a date wrong, also did all of the heavy lifting for planning our vacations with no offers of help from Dad. Even though we were able to get a room for the night at the Beacon next door, I don’t think my parents exchanged a civil word for 24-48 hours.

I wished we could all just be happy about the extra day at the beach.


When we found ourselves on the Manhattan Bridge, I turned to Mom (who was getting progressively more hangry thanks to my laughter) and said “why don’t we eat in Williamsburg? You can eat food you don’t eat around Dad.”*

I felt tense during the drive up the BQE but tried to hide it with chatter. We parked near the restaurant and then walked down the middle of the street to avoid the ice-covered sidewalks. The ice was another strike against Brooklyn in my mother’s eyes.

Miraculously, she stepped across the restaurant threshold and expressed her approval.

Mom and Jen

We went to Mesa Coyoacan for Mexican food. Tamarind margarita for her, michelada for me. We gorged on tortilla soup and esquites and guacamole and tacos. When we were done with that, I surprised her with churros con chocolate y caramel with a birthday candle. She no longer seemed mad at me for laughing.


Guess what? Mom loved my black nail polish. She proclaimed my hair too “gold.” I’m keeping it though.

 

*Between his health concerns and narrow idea of what constitutes Good Food. (In my dad’s opinion, every cuisine that isn’t American or Italian might serve him cat for an entrée. Don’t ask. I have given up.)

The Mother’s Day gift my Mom isn’t getting

And yes, I know Mom isn’t supposed to be capitalized when preceded by ‘my’ or ‘your’ but it just feels wrong not to capitalize it. I will break this rule every time. 

Spring for me is the triple whammy of gift giving: Dad‘s birthday, Mother‘s Day, parents’ wedding anniversary.

M&D

Finding gifts for the people I love more than bacon and naps, who have the means to buy themselves whatever their hearts’ desire AND who always proclaim that they don’t want me spending money on them is hard. Continue reading