Blog Archives

My favorite photo — Paris

My favorite photo — Charlie

My favorite photo — Peru

The February blahs

The tree we got like Camelot

Empty nest, full heart

Happy birthday to a banged up Molly B

Rosie the Riveters: No “can” in our do

Three times in one weekend I was THAT mom

On Sunday, I noticed my son had not been participating in a lively group text among his siblings and me. Naturally, I assumed he was incapacitated in some way.

It’s not that the family group chats are mandatory, it’s just that they’re fun and who wouldn’t want to chime in? Am I right?

So I skimmed his social media accounts, noting the last time he’d either posted or responded.

It was a little too long for my comfort, so I sent him a short email and, when he failed to respond in the maternally acceptable time frame I thought we’d established long ago, I assumed he had died. Obviously.

And there I was, watching the Badgers play Xavier and mentally reviewing my schedule for the upcoming week, should an emergency trip to New York become necessary, when Bronson Koenig hit the shot that apparently really was heard around the world and my son texted our little group, “This March truly is madness.”

“He’s alive!” I said to no one in particular, because they were jumping around the family room screaming like normal people who’d just seen one of the most miraculous basketball shots in NCAA history.

And that was just one instance this weekend when I became “That Mom.” You know, the crazy one you swore you’d never be?

On Saturday night, I took a picture of the high school theatre director who’d been central to our family for the past 16 years. He stood alongside three of my kids in a room full of posters marking his incredibly rich history with the school. At least one member of my family (and sometimes several) had been involved with most of those productions.

I tried to thank him, but I choked up.  I had to leave the room. Then, every time I tried to laugh about my over-the-top reaction, I welled up again. I’m not going to lie, things are getting a little blurry for me even as I type this line. What is this salty secretion? And when’s it going to stop?

Argh! I am that mom! And there was more! Earlier that Sunday, I hauled out my camera and followed Molly through her last show as student director of her last high school musical, snapping random pictures like a rookie mom on the first day of school.

I’m currently avoiding mirrors because I’m not sure I’d recognize myself.

I’m writing this post as fair warning. You may want to give me wide berth. I’m sensing the sunset of my last days as an active mother, and I think I might be losing my mind.

Charlie sipping tea in New York

He’s a grown man living a sweet life in the Big Apple, but, when my son Charlie doesn’t return my text messages, I assume the worst. This is a recent picture of him sipping Turkish tea, for Pete’s sake, at a sidewalk cafe. I need to get a grip. But, no…

Molly giving notes

To get this picture of Molly giving notes to the cast, I had to sneak into the choir room and crouch down in a corner, just behind that fan. I may need help…

Molly doing hair

She doesn’t even know I’m in the green room with her, snapping this picture…

Cooling room

But, then, I followed her to this room and the gig was up. Apparently, the infamous lemon ceremony, a good luck tradition for the crew, is off limits to the paparazzi.

Mr. Parker, Vinnie, Molly and Katherine

This picture of all that history on those walls and within those people makes me cry. Yikes. It’s only March.



God bless the babysitters

Tomorrow, a person who changed the entire trajectory of my life celebrates a birthday (and so does my husband).

I met the person I’m talking about when she was about 15-years old. Eerily calm and consistently capable, she unfrazzled my life and reintroduced me to the profound joy of solitary pursuits.

Her name is Jenny Flannery-Bosin and she was our family’s first babysitter.

My husband and I had our first child when we were 23-years old and, despite clear and growing evidence that we were winging the whole parenting thing, those babies just kept coming.

I remember thinking with mounting panic as we packed up our oldest son and prepared to remove him from the safe confines of his hospital bassinet, “Are you mad? This sweet, squirmy little thing is our precious child! You can’t be sending him home with us! We have absolutely no idea what we’re doing.”

My husband spent that whole first night sitting at the foot of our bed, staring at the little bugger, asleep in our hand-me-down crib.

“I don’t think we have to watch him while he sleeps,” I offered helpfully, though, frankly, I wasn’t sure either.

We never used a pacifier on any of our first three children, because we didn’t know they existed. We didn’t know about baby sitters either, not really.

I’m not even sure what divine intervention occurred to bring Jenny into our lives but, one day, there she stood on the bright yellow linoleum of our weird kitchen floor, smiling and holding one little baby, as the two others circled near.

“So, I’m going to leave then,” I said, edging my way to the door. “And you’re going to..?”

“I’ll take them to the park,” she said.

I high-tailed it out to the car before she could change her mind.

And, here’s the really beautiful thing, the next time I asked? She came back.

In fact, until she left for college, an act of betrayal from which I am still recovering, Jenny consistently babysat my three oldest kids. They looked forward to her visits as much as I did, which made my escapes blissfully guilt free.

God bless the babysitters.

To absolutely no one’s surprise, Jenny grew up, became a teacher, a wife and a wonderful mother to three adorable boys.

I feel lucky all over again as I see her pictures scroll through my Facebook newsfeed. They show her and her boys picking apples, building snowmen, making crafts and doing all the things I know she did with my lucky children all those years ago.

I want to take this opportunity to wish Jenny a Happy Birthday and to say thanks for the rescue.

You brightened our world.

Flannery-Bosin family

Here’s our former babysitter with her boys. It has been no surprise to us that Jenny grew up to be a wonderful teacher, wife and mother.

Jenny Flannery Christmas ornament

We gave her this ornament many years ago because she was the first best babysitter we ever had. She set the bar and we were lucky enough to have some wonderful babysitters after she left. (Apparently, Jenny is still more organized than I because when I asked if she could send me a picture of the ornament we gave her some 20 years ago, she responded within 10 minutes with this shot.)

Bigger Beauty and the Beasts

God bless the babysitters because these three kept us hopping until Molly came along to keep us all in line.