It was 6:30 a.m. and we were in the dog park with Sadie and Joey, our neighbor’s adorable mutts, when my 11-year-old announced she felt “guilty” for charging the dogs’ owners for her services. All I could think is the neighbors are snug in their bed and we’re scooping up poop, praying Joey, the older dog who clearly has one paw in the dog cemetery, doesn’t die on our shift and you feel guilty?
It was a year ago this month that I stopped drinking. I’m often asked why I quit or if I miss it.
Many assume there was one big bang moment that caused my life to swing out of control and made me realize either the bottle goes or I. There is some scandalous story of waking up after a night of binge drinking and finding myself crammed into a Riker’s Island cell or passing out in subway car. AA meetings are chock full of I-can-top-that stories, but they’re not mine.
On the shelf where I keep Savannah’s medical supplies, there are several outdated prescriptions. I hang on to these bottles the way a needy child’s clings to her security blanket. Years will pass before I’ll throw those suckers out.
When you have a child with a medical condition that requires several medications, especially if one is expensive, you’re on constant alert for that one insurance company glitch that will prevent the specialty pharmacy from refilling your order. It keeps you on the defensive and you become a Nazi with your record keeping. You also do crazy things like keep old medicine “just in case.” In an emergency, something is better than nothing, you theorize.
Posted in Mommyhood
Tagged children, doctors, kids, Motherhood, New York City, parenting, pharmacies, prescription drugs, rare disease, Single mom, special needs
It was over chicken tikka at a neighborhood Indian restaurant that a friend shared she was still grappling with issues from her childhood. “I have a lot of anger toward my mother,” she confided.
I’ve heard this before from other friends and acquaintances and it always struck a soft spot within me, as my mother at age 67 – just two years older than my dear friend – had a massive stroke and was left completely paralyzed on the left side. I was just 34 at the time.
Single mothers in the US have tripled since 1960, causing a seismic shift in family structure. Today there are 12 million single-parent families in the US, more than 80 percent of which are headed by single mothers. In fact, New York is home to one of only five counties in the country where the percentage of households run by single mothers is greater than 30 percent (Bronx).
For a mom who puts on pounds just looking at a donut and lives a boring, solitary life, I’m ever so envious of my spaghetti-thin, 22-year-old babysitter Chloe who clearly hit the genetic lottery.
Chloe’s whole family — mom, dad, bro — were models, so she was destined for the catwalk before she could crawl. Everyone in her family was blessed with that perfect blend of DNA and genes that when all together they resemble a Ralph Lauren ad.
Recently I went to visit the widower of my artist friend Robin who had passed a year ago of lung cancer. After a long-winded conversation about the demands of caretaking, her husband gave me a tight hug and said something that made me cringe. “You’re very strong woman.”
I realize it was meant as a compliment, but it’s said so frequently I actually find it irritating. People hear the gritty details of my life – demanding job, special needs child, crazy baby daddy – and they make the hasty assumption that I have some sort of super powers. Ha! If only they knew.