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…


                        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!


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


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


mother-in-law, love, son-in-law, babyHe begged me to help, so I crawled out of my warm suburban bed at 6 a.m. to drive the 45-minute trip to the other side of the universe – Boston.

“The baby’s sick,” my son-in-law explained to me during the early morning call with a voice as desperate as a new father’s can be. “Neither of us can miss another day of work, and I have an 8 a.m. court case. Please, Madre, can you help?”

Since the birth of my granddaughter, I had changed from “Pam,” to “Madre,” and I was still coping with my new image. But I hopped into my car and joined the commuters in the bumper-to-bumper early morning traffic.

“I am grandmother, hear me roar,” I exclaimed to myself as I walked the five frigid blocks from the car through the narrow city streets to the tiny townhome. My empathy and desire to help was unlimited until I knocked on the locked door three times with no response.

With frozen fingers I pushed buttons on my cell phone and called my daughter, who was already half way to her teaching job.

“Your husband is not answering the doorbell!” I shouted in a sweet grandmotherly voice.

“Oh,” she replied, honking simultaneously at some crazy Boston driver. “He probably fell back asleep. Pound on the door, or try his cell phone.”

WHAT?” I screamed. She hung up, so I pounded to no avail. Then I blew on my fingers so I could press the cell phone buttons to call him.


No answer.

My Madre-ness was receding into pure unadulterated bitch. I checked my watch. 7:15. What happened to the important court case?

I hit the doorbell with my now numb digit and didn’t release. Finally, the dog barked, and son-in-law opened the door, bleary-eyed and yawning, wearing beat-up shorts he had obviously just pulled on.

“Oh!” he said.

The baby began to cry from her crib.

“Thank god you’re here!”

I smiled like a saint. I decided I’d just guaranteed no bad mother-in-law jokes from him, ever.

grandmother, rescue, mother-in-law

(Note: My son-in-law is on my list of top favorite people. He’s a great husband and a fantastic father of two now. Also, he never reads my blog! :+)