Giving your teen wings can be hard. Especially when you live a quick train ride from Manhattan.
I grew up in the Midwest. Far enough from any big city “dangers” that it was an issue my parents never had to worry about. And call me a female version of a male chauvinist, but I didn’t fret as much about letting my boys make this big step as I have about my daughter.
But it’s a transition we’re making. At 17, she is now comfortable taking the train (with friends) into the city and getting herself to Times Square and a few other spots in Midtown. And that’s a good thing.
Sure, I want her to be safe. But learning how to handle herself in the big-city setting is all part of the experience that will help her do just that. And she made trips with her father and me before we let her venture out without adult supervision.
Of course, thank goodness for cell phones. If she disappeared on a train and then we didn’t hear from her until her return to the station, I’d be pacing the floor. But we can text and know where she is and that all is well.
Just another step on her flight into adulthood.
I love election season, especially when the kids take an interest.
Two out of three of my kids are registered voters, and by next November’s general election all three will qualify to go to the polls. So I was happy that K, who won’t be 18 for a few more months, joined her father and me to watch one of the recent presidential debates — even though she probably did it as a requirement for her government class.
I liked what her government teacher had to say on Back to School night: these kids can change the world, even though they might not realize it yet. They can get involved, make a change, make a difference. They could totally revamp our entire broken system of government. Do away with the polarizing two-party system. Create a new party, or parties. (I can wish, can’t I?)
I’m sure our kids, like most out there, have picked up political “opinions” from listening to their father and me. But I’m sure they also get ideas from their friends — which probably originate with those friends’ parents — that might be different from ours.
It’s all good. Kids have to learn to think for themselves and make their own decisions about how they want to see this country run.
Here’s hoping the interest continues.
Have you tried living without e-mail lately?
Mine has been down at work for the past two days. Granted, I can still access it via the web, but it’s not as efficient and has some strange quirks that make it harder to get the work done.
Just what did we do before the electronic age? I can hardly remember, though way more of my life was spent before it came to be.
Remember the days when you had to call someone on a land line and hope they were home, or not already on the phone talking to someone else? If there was no answer or you got a busy signal, you’d have to keep calling back until you reached them. Now we can leave messages on answering machines or call people on their cell phones.
Or remember the days when you let your kid go somewhere without you and you’d sit and worry until they got home safely. Now we can exchange text messages and know all is well.
There are days when I curse technology and days when I can’t live without it. I’m sure you all feel the same way — or at least those of you over a certain age. One thing’s for sure. There’s no turning back now!
Do you exercise with your spouse? I don’t — at least not if you go by the typical definition of exercise, like going to the gym or running together.
We go hiking on occasion. That counts, but we don’t do it as often as we’d like or enough to consider it regular exercise.
Exercising together is supposed to be good for your relationship (we wrote a story about it in the October issue of HealthyLife). It’s a bonding experience. It has other benefits as well, but I don’t know many couples who do it.
Now that the kids are older, I’m wishing it was something we had done when they were little, to set an example. But in those days our calendars were so full with work and all of the kids’ activities (many of which were sports-oriented) that fitting in a workout for two would have been quite difficult.
I’ve always been a little jealous of my husband’s fitness level. Not only is he fit, he’s kept his weight steady for the 30-plus years I’ve known him. Wish I could say the same!
He also exercises Monday through Friday — on his lunch hour. His company has a full gym on site, trainer included. So in the evenings or on the weekends, when I’m trying to fit in some exercise, he’s already done his.
Probably just as well, since he could, I’m sure, run circles around me. But maybe that’s the point?
Maybe, after all these years, it’s time to go running together.
I’ll say it again. Our kids should be careful about what they’re posting on social media.
There’s a Wall Street Journal story I read online that says some colleges are looking at what their applicants are posting on these pages and that sometimes what they find hurts the kids’ chance of admission. WSJ cites a Kaplan Test Prep survey that queried admissions officers at 500 colleges. A quarter of them said they look at social media when considering prospective freshmen and a third of those say they found things that stopped them from admitting a student.
Granted, most said they don’t have time to check out every prospective student online, but will go there if a red flag is raised when going through the traditional application documents and essays.
I knew prospective employers were doing this. I did a bit of nagging with my oldest to make sure he cleaned up his language and refrained from inappropriate posts while he was job-searching after college graduation. But now colleges? I guess it’s a natural progression.
Still, how do you get your kids with undeveloped teenage brains to understand the consequences of doing stupid things? It’s just one more battle to add to the list — but one that’s important enough to choose.
Do you brag about your kids? Do you embellish when you tell stories about them?
I think it’s human nature and most of us are guilty at some point. Especially if we’re trying to be funny or gain sympathy or even help a friend feel better about something wacky her own kid has done.
So I’m wondering how much embellishing is going on in the “brag sheet” parents of seniors at my daughter’s school (including myself) are required to write. These brag sheets go to each kid’s guidance counselor and are used when said counselor has to write letters of recommendation that go out in the college application packets the school sends.
The premise isn’t bad. Even in a small school, like ours, each guidance counselor would have a hard time getting to know that many kids intimately enough to know just what to write. So parents help them out. The brag sheets let the counselors see each student through the eyes of their parent.
I just hope there’s not too much creative embellishment going on!
Have you ever fantasized about being a magazine cover model?
Most of us probably have — even if it was back when we were 10 years old. But if you’re a woman between the ages of 35 and 54 who lives or works in Fairfield County, CT, you might just have the opportunity to make that childhood dream come true.
HealthyLife magazine, of which I am editor, is looking for its cover models for 2013. We are searching for 10 ladies who are confident, fit and believe in living a healthy lifestyle.
Does this describe you? If so, entering is easy. Just go to www.healthylifect.com/cover-model/ and follow the instructions. We’ll select those women we think are good candidates to come in for a test shoot and then will make our final decisions.
So what does being a cover model entail? It means meeting us at a local store that will provide the clothes you’ll wear. There you’ll try on lots of great pieces so we can put together the outfits for the shoot.
The morning of the shoot, you’ll have your hair and makeup done at an area salon — we use some of the best! Then you’ll spend several hours being the center of attention as we photograph you in a terrific area location.
It’s a fun day for all! We love featuring you — our readers — on our covers.
So what are you waiting for? Deadline for entries is this Friday, Sept. 28.
How are your decision-making skills?
I’ve always been somewhat Jekyll and Hyde with mine — sometimes they come easy and sometimes I struggle too much and take way too long to make them. My fear is that my kids have learned from me — not necessarily a good thing.
But they’re older now and mostly in charge of their own decisions. I try not to interfere unless I feel it’s necessary (and my motherly duty).
But tell me, what if you were Kate Middleton’s mum? Just what would you say to your daughter?
I can’t fathom what the Duchess of Cambridge was thinking when she decided to sunbathe partially nude while on vacation with hubby Prince William? What went through her head? Why would someone who knows the paparazzi follow her everywhere think it’s OK to do this — yes, even when she’s in a place that’s supposed to be private? Did she just want to see what would happen?
If she were my daughter I would be asking her those questions.
Of course, part of decision-making is making the wrong choice and learning from it. I suspect Kate will chalk this up to lesson learned.
And isn’t that really the best you can hope for with your kids? Luckily, for mine, their bad decisions aren’t out there for the world to see (no pun intended!).