Not now, you’re too young,” my mom insists when I’m 10.

Not now, you’re still too young, “my mom asserts when I’m 12.

Not now.  Wait until you’re an adult. By then you won’t want them,” my mom concludes when I’m 16.

But now, I’m 18, a sophomore in college, and my mom lives thousands of miles away.

I’ve wanted this for so long. My girlfriends tell me to go for it. “You’re a grown up now; there’s nothing to be afraid of,” claims my roommate Pam.

Yes, my roommate and I have the same name, and she matches me in so many other ways: she wears her brown hair long; she thinks she’s in love with her boyfriend; she’s tall and nice-looking; she’s creative. But she has one thing I don’t. Continue reading

Beating Up the Answers to Life and Death

baking, chocolate chip cookies, the answers to life and deathThe day begins with anticipation, which makes me chuckle.

Gone is the time when I looked forward to a young man arriving at the doorstep for a date. Now, I’m anxious for the arrival of a 7-year-old boy and hours of Uno and giggles.

Sure enough, 90 minutes into my grandson’s visit, the score is Madre 540, genius boy 35.

The winner is the one with the lowest score.

This kid is killing me, particularly as he rubs his hands before each new game and says gleefully, “The cards just love me, Madre,” with a shrug and a wink. Continue reading

What’s in a Name?

advertising plane, plane flying over seashoreAs I walked down the expansive beach to join my family sitting by the sea, a noisy small plane flew over us, swinging a banner that proclaimed loudly and happily: Congrats Mr. and Mrs. Michael Smith.

I seethed and simmered and sank into a bit of a funk.

However, as I approached the females in the family – my daughter, niece, sister-in-law, and 20-something-babysitter – they all rejoiced out loud, exclaiming, “Did you see the banner? Isn’t that sweet?”

My thunderous expression shocked them. Continue reading

What My Grandkids Won’t Believe

Ocean City NJ, lifeguard rowboadThe waves crest in and out, gray and blue, as the sun rises over the expanse of dawn-rose sand. In the NJ beach city I’m visiting, the sandy stretch is long and wide thanks to the humungous efforts of the state to save and preserve its beaches.

But of course that’s not what I’m concentrating on as I walk a mesmerizing pace past one empty lifeguard stand to another, each one symbolizing the length of two blocks.

I focus my attention, instead, on the being that’s following me, slowly, lazily, in the water as I stride on the beach in fierce wonder. Continue reading