• My Kids Have Mad Skillz,  Proud Moments

    Moving On.

    I have so much to write, so many ideas in my head, that I should probably rev up my draft folder again so I can hang onto all of it for future reference. I’ll get around to it, hopefully. Things are crazy as usual and I’ll likely write up how extraordinary our sixth and final LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER CHICAGO show was last Sunday, but for now I’m just going to give you the essay I read on stage at the Athenaeum Theatre and wish you a Happy Mother’s Day, if you’re celebrating it this Sunday. By the way, I’m sending virtual hugs to you if you don’t celebrate it…

  • My Kids Have Mad Skillz,  Travels

    Definitely A Cloud Factory, and Don’t You Forget It.

    It never ceases to amaze me, the things that kids carry with them for a lifetime. Both of my boys were born in Kenosha, Wisconsin and… Wait, sidenote: I often forget, since we moved back to my hometown area of Chicagoland when the boys were two and a half and seven months old, that they are actually Cheeseheads. In fact, whenever I’ve been asked I claim them as fellow Chicagoans without hesitation. Nothing personal, Wisconsin. (P.S. I will always root against the Green Bay Packers because I’m a Chicago Bears fan, even during the years when the Bears totally suck.) Dylan was the only baby born at what used to…

  • Confessions,  My Kids Have Mad Skillz,  Proud Moments,  Reflections on Parenting

    Always A Mummy.

    Disclaimer: This post is probably going to come out like one of those bittersweet ones and some of you will probably say that I should have given an advance Kleenex warning. On the contrary; this is just an observation. I don’t intend for it to be sad. I’m not sitting here crying. I’m smiling. See? *This is where I would have inserted a picture of me smiling but I’m too lazy so you’ll have to imagine it, and trust me.* Being the mom of grown kids is weird. At twenty-three and twenty, D and J are old enough to have all kinds of information stored away in their brains about…

  • Blessings,  Confessions,  Family Fun,  My Kids Have Mad Skillz,  Reflections on Parenting

    They Come Back.

    Jim and I spent today driving up to Madison, Wisconsin, grabbing a moving truck, and moving our older son back home. Nothing bad happened; it’s just that the six-month internship he took on ended (as did his lease) and he hasn’t found a new place of employment yet. Most parents probably don’t think, when they send their kids off to college (or a non-college alternative), that they’ll be back. If they did, I know there would be far fewer tears and less anxiety about the process. In an ideal world, the kids leave home, get their traditional (or non-traditional) education, find great jobs, support themselves without a problem and then…

  • Blessings,  I'm Apparently Old.,  My Kids Have Mad Skillz,  Reflections on Parenting

    Back In Time, If Only For a Moment

    I was loading up the conveyor belt with my purchases at Target earlier today when I noticed that there seemed to be a hold up with the customer ahead of me. Once I could find no more space on the belt, which hadn’t moved in a couple of minutes, I looked up to see what was going on and my heart melted. A little boy of no more than five years old was standing next to his young father, struggling to open his own adorable wallet and pull some paper bills out. I looked at the cashier in time to see her bagging a mid-sized Star Wars LEGO kit and…

  • My Kids Have Mad Skillz,  Proud Moments,  Reflections on Parenting,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    Preventing Substance Abuse Requires More Than One Conversation.

    Even though we have never experienced communication issues, some of the most difficult-to-begin conversations with our boys were the ones about substance abuse. As parents, the idea of our kids—actually our whole family—dealing with substance abuse was always one of our biggest fears as they got older and became more independent. The fact is, drug abuse–prescriptions and illegal substances–is rampant no matter where you are. Here in Naperville specifically, there’s a huge, scary heroin problem in addition to the “usual” stuff. Recently I was asked by the folks at Rosecrance, one of the country‚Äôs leading teen substance abuse treatment centers, to do some sponsored work in helping them spread the…

  • Best Thing Ever,  Blessings,  Family Fun,  Jim Has Mad Skillz,  My Kids Have Mad Skillz

    The Very Best Sundays.

    Sometimes the very best Sundays involve skipping your workout, jumping in the car with your husband, driving ninety minutes to pick up your older son, continuing to drive for another forty-five minutes to pick up your younger son, making your way over to a pizza place that your younger son recommends but finding it closed for lunch and instead eating at a place called People’s Park which isn’t a park at all but serves really yummy burgers on brioche buns, and while you eat you’re all ribbing each other but in the most laughter-filled, fun way, and then after you eat you go check out some vinyl at the record…

  • My Kids Have Mad Skillz

    Always, Ham.

    Naturally because I put it out into the universe that I was going to carry my camera around and take a bunch of pictures this weekend so I could pick one for our holiday cards, I didn’t. (I was busy cooking and forgot!!) Luckily, because I’m always thinking, it occurred to me this morning that today might be the only opportunity we have left to return to the marina in Kenosha with both boys—because we were driving them both back up to their respective schools on the same day, in the same car—and have them re-enact one of my favorite pictures that has been framed and on a shelf in…

  • Amazing People,  Family Fun,  My Kids Have Mad Skillz

    Truly Thankful.

    After all of the grumbling I’ve done about getting the Hanukkah decorations up and how I just couldn’t manage to get it done in a timely manner—and before the holiday actually started, even—because a whole chain of events had to take place first, like dusting and vacuuming, getting my work done, blogging, laundry, coloring my hair, grocery shopping, and procrastinating in every other way possible, I had a revelation. Granted, I didn’t see the light until we were in the midst of placing each of the menorahs of our family collection in their own special places around the house, but I saw it. Jim had driven to Wisconsin to retrieve…