• 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…

  • Confessions,  I'm Apparently Old.,  Proud Moments

    The Post That’s Not About How Time Flies, Even Though It Does

    I have written many times about how quickly time flies. That’s not what this post is about, though I can’t write about life’s milestones from my perspective as a forty-something mom of an eighteen-year-old and a nearly-twenty-one-year-old without inadvertently injecting a little bit of that sentiment. I mean, at this very moment in this very house we’re preparing for the fact that the kid in this picture, the one on the right who it seems was just starting preschool yesterday, is graduating from high school this Sunday. This being our second time around the block with this graduation business and his being a different kid, I’m not at all surprised…

  • Too Funny To Ignore

    Two.

    A little more than two years ago, D sold his first car to an old friend from Cub Scouts. The car, it seemed, was well on its way to having problems that would have been too expensive and time-consuming to fix (even after a total engine rebuild) for a college freshman, and it was with a heavy, heavy heart that he got rid of it. I wrote about it here and included one of my favorite pictures ever when it comes to “a picture is worth a thousand words”: For two years, D has been heartbroken over that car, especially because the young man who bought it took amazing care…

  • Proud Moments,  Review

    Back-To-School Fashion: This Time, It’s All About Attitude And Seniority.

    I hope you enjoy this month’s contribution to Hallmark’s “Life Is A Special Occasion” campaign! (I bet you’ll love it. It’s got funny pictures, even!) Today is a very special day. It’s not just the first day of school in our district. It’s the first day of J’s SENIOR YEAR. Let THAT absorb for a moment. I know from experience that this year is going to fly by for all of us, what with all of the special activities crammed into a final year of high school education combined with the college search, his girlfriend, his job, his car, and all of the other things he’s got going on. (Related:…

  • How To

    College Search Tips For Parents

    When I wrote yesterday’s post about J being newly engaged in his college search, it occurred to me that I have tons of advice for people who are embarking on the hunt for the right post-secondary school. Many people tend to freak out when their kids become high school sophomores and juniors because that’s when the college talk really kicks in from the high school’s end (if you’re lucky enough to have a high school that is on top of such things, that is). Many families don’t talk much about college before sophomore year, and then when they find out all there is to do along the way to making…