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Dec 3 2014

I Missed a Major Career Milestone, But At Least I Was With My Kids

By at 11:22 am

My Kids' Happiness Matters More Than My Success

Recently I was nominated for the state association’s School Psychologist of the Year award. When the awards’ committee chairperson encouraged the nominees to bring their family to the ceremony, I casually broached the topic at dinner.

My 13-year-old first said, “Nah, I’m good,” but after asking a couple of questions about the award, he said, “Yeah, I can make that happen.” My 16-year-old replied, “Meh. I want my me time.” He begrudgingly ended up changing his tune weeks later, claiming that he did want “to support” me (even if it was only after hearing that the rest of the family said “of course” they’d come).

It was a bit of a juggling act in finagling early pickups from school and getting out emails to the coach and teachers about missed practice and class assignments. It also was a challenge in ensuring their proper dress (“No, you cannot bring Doritos with you in the car just so your slacks can turn orange”). And, it wasn’t easy ignoring their incessant grumbles about having to endure a three-hour drive up to the hotel, in a packed car with all seven seats occupied; I made sure not to bring up the fact that there would be another three-hour drive back, late at night. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 1 2014

A Lifetime Spent Driving, But Where Am I Going?

By at 1:15 pm

Driving Time is My Happy Time

I spend a lot of time in the car, driving. In fact, the majority of today was spent driving, as I ran errands for my kids, for my husband, for my mother, for my uncle, and even for my dog. Someone always needs something which his or her daytime job or school doesn’t allow time for. And dogs can’t drive, so.

Mostly, I don’t mind. I’ve always enjoyed driving (if not running errands), and I rarely pass up the chance to hop in the car and run to the store. I admit to often heading to the grocery store in the next town just to make the drive last a little longer. I know where every 7-11 is. I know which gas stations are the cheapest. I know where the cops like to hide out on the beltway at 2 a.m. (And I am pretty good at avoiding them.) I don’t get a lot of alone time. Driving gives me the chance to just be in the moment for a little while. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 15 2013

Confronting My Fear of Driving for My Daughter

By at 9:47 am

student driver carIt’s a bit embarrassing. I didn’t even tell my friends. But now that it’s over, I confess: my new year’s resolution for 2013 was to take driving lessons.

Yes, I already had a driver’s license. I’ve had a license since I was 17 and living in the New York suburbs. But I left for college in Boston shortly before my 18th birthday, and ever since, I’ve lived within walking distance of Boston’s T or Washington’s Metro system. I never owned a car and never really needed one. I took the train or a bus nearly everywhere. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 29 2011

Cops in Mommy-Land

By at 9:24 am

school zone speed limitThis has nothing to do with Hanukkah, dreidels, gifts, latkes, or the holiday season.  But I need to vent. Last week I was stopped by a cop for going 31 mph in a 20 mph school zone and served with a fine just short of $200.00. Really?  Do you see the car seats in the back of my car? Am I really going to endanger the lives of little ones leaving school? (It was 4 in the afternoon… well after the bulk of those tykes toting backpacks the size of their torsos left school for the day.)

The strict hand of justice issuing me a ticket stood in sharp contrast to the patient, flexible, “that’s ok” land of mommy-hood that I inhabit so many of my waking hours.  I was up early that morning baking oatmeal cookies for the nursery teachers, for heaven’s sake! The land of stern consequences for my actions seems worlds away from me.  There’s always an opportunity for a second chance.

After fuming about this to my husband, who was in the “you-broke-the-law, deal-with–the-consequences” category of reactions, I found myself actually going the speed limit for the rest of the week. And later that day, when I ended up giving my son a time out for some mild infraction (kicking those foam packing peanuts all over the floor after I asked him not to), I was attune to the ways in which law enforcement comes in all shapes and sizes.

And while discipline has its place (a “that’s ok” attitude about everything with my kids would mean they would never learn how to behave in a way that keeps our home running smoothly),  I still do think that “the punishment should fit the crime,” and I might just have to fight that traffic ticket.

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