Am I Really Saying Goodbye…Again?

Today I found a hole in my favorite sweater. Crap.

While thinking of ways to disguise the rather large gap (hmm, maybe a decorative button), it dawned on me the appropriateness of this sweater/hole metaphor: I too have a bit of a tear, in my heart.

Yep, I’m moving…again.

My time in Massachusetts seemed to be one of an extended holiday. I went to the beach, a lot. I ate and drank, a lot. I took long walks, all the time. And of course, I made amazing connections and friendships that I will forever keep.

Wow, it sucks saying goodbye to them.

Growing up I moved around, a lot. I would say my farewells (some tearful, some thank-God-I-don’t-have-to-deal-with-your-banoney-anymore) to my friends, teachers, school, boyfriends, and neighborhoods. Then off my family went into the sunset like a band of gypsies to a new home, new adventure, and new school uniforms…because my dad was on the lamb. Just kidding, it was his job and the military that moved us around, but running from the law sounds better.

I used to play a little game with myself so I would not be so sad leaving my current location. I called it the, “Something new – it’s going to be so exciting” game. Instead of worrying about who I was going to sit with at lunch, I would think about how much cooler this cafeteria was going to be. Sadness about leaving a boyfriend behind was replaced by thoughts of, “Surely there is someone just as ‘fine’ out there who listens to Heavy Metal like me, instead of Milli Vanilli.” When worries crept in about all the laughter I would miss because I was leaving behind my best friend, I imagined all the new people I would meet, all the new places I would go, and the new person I could be.

Those cookie-peddling Girl Scouts had it right: Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold. I could forever keep in my heart friends and experiences, while my head was wrapping itself around a new school schedule, locker, and climate.

Sometimes, before moving forward, it is fun to look back at where we’ve been. I thought I’d share with you some of the goodies I gathered during my past re-locations:

Move – Tulsa, OK.  I was into Duran Duran and jellies (ladies you remember those). There were lots of Tornados that allowed me to sit in my walk-in closet and listen to Thriller and Lionel Richie on my walk-man.  Friend Bonus – My friend Sascha and her family took me under their wings like a small bird – which I was compared to my BFF. Sascha was a foot taller than me so we often resembled a puppeteer and his marionette walking around the mall.

Move – Littleton, CO.   This move only lasted ten months, half of which was spent living at a Residence Inn while we waited to close on the house and my sister dealt with repetitive nose bleeds (altitude, not cocaine – she was eight people!). Somehow I bawled my eyes out and was NOT happy about leaving the mile high city. Friend Bonus – My friend Sarah’s family took me in so I could stay a few extra weeks there while we listened to Pyromania and prank called people. I left my boyfriend and his sweet center-parted hair. A sad day.

Move – Dallas, TX. It took me a year to adjust to all the bedazzled denim-ware and large hair. I know it was the eighties, but ain’t no hair like Texas-sized hair. Friend Bonus – My BFF Kris. Her family harbored and fed me like a refuge, letting me stay over during play practice b/c my family lived in North Dallas, which was like living in another state. Also, the Big D is in my blood now, along with a severe addiction to Tex-Mex.

Move – Arlington, VA. It was really Annandale, but nobody knows where that is. I made this moving during my senior year of HS – yeah, I know, and no, my parents are not sadists. This school took a while to accept me with my loud talking and purse matching my shoes and scrunchy ways. I finally broke them down. Friend Bonus – Friends to this day.

The list continues on from there, but those were the beginnings.

Growing up, and even sometimes in adulthood, I always envied those friends who grew up in one place, one home, and had friends from the first grade who always had their back. I’ve seen those friends get into fist fights just because their friend needed help – no explanation necessary.  I would think to myself, “Wow. Wouldn’t it be great if I had those kinds of rooted friendships? They are like family.”

Guess what. I do.

Somehow, throughout this life, I have gathered friends who would go to bat for me, donate a kidney if I needed it, or wipe snot off my child’s face. Sometimes I knew these people for years, others months, always the same result.

I have done some pretty stupid things in my life. Like: let-me-color-my-roots-with-this-last-box-of-hair-dye-left-at-CVS-how-pink-can-it-really-be? Stupid. But the one thing that I have been Mensa candidate smart about is choosing friends. And by choosing, I mean, I luckily got chosen.

I swear I have guardian angels looking out for me BIG TIME in this department. I’m pretty sure they drive Harleys with a giant colander weeding out all the bad eggs and leaving me with all the gold nuggets of friends.

Today, as I wipe away tears (trust me, there are a lot of them) and say goodbye to my wonderful friends on the North Shore of Massachusetts, I get to walk into the hugs of another set of amazing friends back in the Lone Star State.

I may have a hole in my sweater, but the fibers of my friendships are beyond strong.

So pony up, here I go on another adventure. Stick with me guardian angels, I’ll need it.

Especially travelling in a car with a dog, a child, my mother, and way too many Selena Gomez songs on repeat.

Seriously guardian angels, bring back up…and a bottle of Merlot.

Am I Really Singing “Back to School…Hell Yeah!” To the Tune of Team America?

Awwwwwwwww yeah! It’s on parents! It’s that time of year when you are ready, like so ready to say the words, “Hurry up, or you’ll be late for school.” You are done with going to the pool/beach/mall/museum/animatronic kid movie. You might vomit if your child brings home one more homemade shield/garden tool/pipe cleaner butterfly/tie-die t-shirt from camp. Your hands have developed muscle cramps from making so many sandwiches that you gladly look forward to the crabby lunch lady giving your child sloppy joe indigestion for the next nine months.


I don’t know about you, but I get that giddy, smell the pencil shavings feeling every time the school year starts. It’s a new year, a new classroom, a new teacher – all holding new promise. One of the best parts of going back to school is the school supplies. The new pens, folders, backpacks, glue sticks, and Trapper Keepers (a 1980s reference yes, but they were awesome!).

But the real reason parents are ready for school is because, that sweet, sweet, angel baby of yours has got to get out of the house before you send her to a year round boarding school…in Papa New Guinea.

Whew, summer is just too much together time.

I love my daughter, could kill a mountain lion with my bare hands for her, but if she asks one of the following again, I will go postal:

1)      Can I have a snack? Why not the good cookies?  I love being a mom, but it’s the constant meal preparation that’s tiresome. When it is 98 degrees outside the last thing I want to do is cook. Even going to the pantry can be a beating. When the food I have prepared is met with a, “I’m not eating this,” I can make Mommy Dearest look reasonable.

2)      What are we doing today?  My child went to some camps over the summer. It was great. However, for a couple of weeks she stayed home full time. I called this Camp Wannadrinkwine and then I pretended I couldn’t hear her complaints.

3)      Can we buy this?  Summer of 2012 = Empty your pockets. Seriously, I’m broke. Where the hell is Suze Orman when you need her? When your child is home you look for things to do. Usually these things cost money. Camp, movies, water parks, snacks and lunches out, the zoo, and on and on it goes. Thank God for school, I’ll need these nine months to save up for next summer.

It’s time to go sister.

And I am not alone.

Many schools around the country have “Welcome Back” coffees on that first day of school. I suggest they change the name to the “I’m Free Bitches!” coffee. It’s a more honest name.  Under the delirium of back to school freedom, we gladly sign up to participate in every upcoming school event.  That and I think they put Khalua in the coffee. Or at least they should.

Why this driving need to shove your child out of the car and peel out of the parking lot on that first day back?


We all need a break. Ever hear of too much of a good thing? We need time away to appreciate one another. If my husband and I hang out too much with one another, I suggest he go in the other room for a while. By day five of our honeymoon we were both like, “When’s our flight out of here again?”

We need change. It’s probably why we have seasons. Summer is awesome, but can you imagine sweating like Boss Hog everyday of your life? No thanks.

It’s why we have vacations, to get away and/or be together. But aren’t you usually glad to go home?

I used to feel bad about being excited to be away from my child for a few hours a day. Why? That’s crazy. It’s not because I don’t love her. Quite the contrary. I know I am a better mother if I have time to myself, away from her and everyone. We all need alone time to stay sane.

So, as little Carl mopes on the couch sighing that he is bored, or little Shandra refuses to make her bed (again) because it is summer; don’t blow a gasket – just remember – school is right around the corner.

Then you have nine months of letting her have it for not making the bed.