Meeting the Boyfriend’s…Spinach

spinach, diningWe’ve seen all sorts of movies and stories about the horror of a boyfriend meeting the parents.

But what about a viewpoint from the other side?

I vividly recall when my man and I met our daughter’s boyfriend for the first time. She was so particular throughout most of her 20’s that a guy never made it to the stage of meeting us. But now, she’s invited us to meet someone over drinks and pasta.

My guy is inordinately nervous and drives into the city too fast and too distracted as he asks “what if we don’t like him?”Quincy Market, Boston, dining Continue reading

Tap Me Up, Scotty

Star Trek, future, Scotty

Paramount/Everett/Rex Features

I’m not an easy flyer, and I know many of you aren’t either.

So imagine this.

I’m on an airplane leaving the city of love to return to the city of champions, and incidentally, the city where 9/11 began.http://vimeo.com/40340913

I keep my head buried in my book, burying as well memories and misgivings, expectations and excitement on my upcoming re-location. But the fellow sitting next to me (I’m in the aisle, he’s in the window seat, with no one in between), in his early 40s, well-dressed with the requisite 2-day-old beard and unscuffed suede loafers, continually looks at his watch. Boston, city of champions

Over and over again. Continue reading

Good Karma

karma, son-in-law, travel, LexusMy son-in-law (Sil) offers to pick me up in front of my hotel in Boston at 7:15 a.m. to drive me to his law office 8 minutes away. He promises that I can then drive his new Lexus hybrid to the suburbs 40 minutes west, where his wife (my daughter) and kiddies live.

He texts me 10  minutes before he arrives so I’ll have time to hop on the hotel’s busy elevator and meet him outside the lobby doors. I wear my black jogging pants and a long-sleeved yellow sweatshirt, so bright it can burn eyes, like looking at the sun too long. I don’t want him to miss me.

I step out of the wide doors into the taxi-laden street just as Sil pulls up. He jumps out of the car, stating, “You might as well drive me to the office, then just drop me off and go on your way.”

I’m thinking he wants to see how well his mother-in-law handles his precious car.

But Sil is staring intently at a man walking by, in his 50s, professional-looking, suited for business. “Hello Judge,” Sil shouts out, friendly-like.

The judge stops mid-pace and walks over to Sil and me, and Sil immediately introduces me to the judge as his “Mom-in-Law from California.”

As the Judge shakes my hand he peers straight into my eyes and says, “This guy is one of the finest lawyers I’ve worked with. He’s always prepared and organized.”

Without skipping a beat I respond, “Well, I’ll tell you a secret about him.”

Poor Sil’s face loses color – he never knows what to expect from me.

The judge leans in.judge, mean judge, karma, lawyer, law

“He is the finest son-in-law I’ve ever known.”

The Judge smiles, shakes Sil’s hand, and departs.

Sil shakes his head in wonder. “That judge is harder on me in court than any other one in Boston. How’d that just happen?”

“Karma.” I answer, wisely. “You pick up your mother-in-law in front of her hotel and let her drive your Lexus…

            And

                        Good Things Happen.”

 

Happy Birthday to my Wonderful, Karmic, Generous and Kind Son-in-Law!

Happy Birthday to my Wonderful, Karmic, Generous and Kind Son-in-Law!

The Marathon Spirit

Boston marathon, women runners, running, BostonRunning a marathon is exhausting.

For the loved one of the runner.

Like, for a mom, for instance.

Six years ago my daughter trained for the Boston marathon. I watched her lose weight week by week as she increased her training miles. Her cheeks deepened in her face, her color reddened, matching her strawberry blonde hair. Her legs grew tauter and, yes, she even smiled more.

But I worried. How normal is it to get up at 4 a.m. and run for an hour in the dark and cold before the day begins? How safe is it to run after work at 5 p.m., in the New England dark cold of December and January, when the snow is hard and icy and the street lights dimmed by the freezing temperatures?

Oh yes, I worried like only a mother can.

But my daughter did not falter nor deter from her goal. She holds a deep stream of stubbornness within her – can’t for the life of me figure out where she got it.

I was proud of her, yet still cautious. By the last few weeks before Patriot’s Day – Marathon Day – her body was revolting, trembling in times of stillness. Her roommate had to rush her to the E.R. one night because she’d become too dehydrated.

Boston Marathon, spirit, running, Boston, runnersBut, there I stood on that Patriot’s Day, with my mom, a few yards from the finishing line on Boylston, ready to cheer our daughter/granddaughter four hours after she’d begun to run miles away from center city, early in the morning, with the thousands of other determined, strong, good-hearted men and women from around the world.

On Monday, I thought of that determination and resolve as I watched the horrifying scenes scrolled across our TV screens.

What has some wicked warped human being tried to pull asunder?

That day, six years ago, when I had cheered my daughter on to the end of her arduous run, I was lifted up myself. The thousands of people surrounding my mom and me were cheering too – not just for their loved ones, but for everyone who had placed their efforts and pains and promises right before us, with cramped legs, grimaced faces, but smiles wider than the world.

My soul was lifted that day – oh yes, as were all the souls who watched the miracle of the marathon. Even though we hadn’t pushed and pulled our bodies to their limits, we marveled and celebrated those who had. This celebration made us all one in celebrating the human spirit.

soul lifted, Boston marathon, American spirit

Lifted soul.

We Americans are known for our spirit – and watching the news on Monday, I realized why. Because we’re FREE. And in freedom, comes the ability to push and pull each other in our beliefs and in our struggles. Because we’re free, we’re open to celebrating the heritages and struggles and beliefs of others.

Because we’re free, we cheer on those who show an Olympian might to run 26.2 miles. And because we’re free, we cry with happiness as we watch those runners cross the finish line.

Because we’re free, no terror will stop our spirit. The spirit only thrives as it is strengthened.

So I salute those who train and run a marathon.

I salute those of us who cheer and wave and love all those who show us their marathon spirit.

A spirit that will never be pulled asunder.

America, spirit, marathon

American flags at the Boston Garden.

LOST & FOUND

HLOSTow many items have you lost in your lifetime?  Too many to count on two hands, I bet. How about in just a year? Eyeglasses, socks, mittens, scarves, yoga mats, reservations, friends (hopefully not!), shoes, books – oh dear, the list can go on and on.

But how many of you can say you lost a car?

I raise my hand.

A week ago I wrote about the day I saved my son-in-law’s butt. No, not really, but I did come to his rescue, babysitting early in the morning so he could go to work. What I didn’t relate was the rest of the story.

“You have to be back here by noon,” I had admonished as I comforted the baby and said goodbye to Dan at 7:40 a.m.. “I can’t miss my 12:45 doctor’s appointment.”

I admit, I worried that Dan would forget. He could get lost in his job while reading reams of detailed court cases and lawsuits and …but no, he entered the door at 11:58 a.m. with a smile and a long verbal paragraph of thanks for helping him out.

I left him and my little grandbaby feeling happy, useful, relaxed, and…five blocks later, confused. Where’d I park my car? I was sure it was here, although on this part of the city, all the narrow old streets looked the same.

I walked up and down Revere Street, then Pearl, and even Brown. No car.

I returned to Revere, noting that no cars were parked on the street side where I thought I’d left mine. Suspicious now, I walked 10 yards to the closest sign.

“Street Cleaning

9 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

3rd Thursdays every month”

street cleaning, car, city streets

No.

Couldn’t be.

What day was it? I checked my phone calendar as I began to race back to my daughter’s townhome. Not only was it Thursday, it was the third Thursday of the month.

S H I T!

I called Dan. Before he got out a perplexed “Hi,” I told him my dilemma.

“Take my car!” he responded immediately. “I’ll find yours!”

As I ran up their brick stairs, the front door opened and keys dangled from Dan’s fingers. I grabbed them and flew to his ginormous florescent blue Toyota SUV.

I don’t remember how I drove that truck across the Charles River and 30 miles further, but I got to my doctor’s appointment on time.

And Dan found my towed car in a nasty city lot, rescued it with a $125 ransom payment, brought it back to me the next day.

As we exchanged cars I thought: I lost a car but I found another reason why I’m glad my daughter married this guy!

tow, towed car