Tuesday, November 30, 2004

My Baby Turns 14 Today










Happy Birthday, J!

Yup. My baby turns 14 today. I am happy but also saddened by the fact that he is growing so fast!

He won first prize for his Science project yesterday. The project is about which skateboarding bearings are faster. He owes some of the ideas from his brilliant sister who pretty much did an excellent didactic approach in telling her little brother about velocity but he put a lot of work on his board and on his written report. I was amazed at how my children take to scientific concepts like ducks to water. Yup, I'm bragging again but I can't help it.


Happy Days Are Here Again

Got this yesterday. I need my picture taken. Funny, I take pictures of other people but I am not very enthused about someone taking mine. Can I be like the Phantom of the Opera? I  like to be mysterious. I like my anonimity in this journal. Should I shatter the illusion? 

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You Know You're Addicted to  AOL Journal When...


If you can't access the site, you have a minor freak out - and a major case of hitting reload.

You found yourself composing journal entries during dates, movies, even at work (during breaks, of course)!

When you're out, you suddenly thinkof a witty reply to a comment somebody made to you... several days ago.

You've downloaded AOL Bot program which has only the purpose of making entries easier to write without going on the site manually.

You consider it a great offense if someone deletes your Journal off their Favorite Site  list.

The first thing you do every day when you go online is check your Journal - even before checking your email.
When your friends ask what's new, you get mad at them because you already wrote it in your J and they didn't check it yet.

You have put more time into J than all your housework.

You have more friends on J land than in real life.

You can't seem to call your friends by their real names - only J names will do.
You have posted about a party or get together on your J... and random strangers showed up.

You've written a private  entry about one of your J friends. (Extra points if they eventually found out about it)

You have written posts to notify people you're going to sleep.

You talk about your J friends to your real life friends all the time... like they're a part of your group.

You've created a J community, and people actually post in it.

You've been recognized in real life by a fellow J'er.

You have befriended someone because of their  Journal  pictures.

You have "pity friends" on your list, who you would defriend if you could.
Instead of doing housework,  you post pictures of it  on your Journal.

Your pets all have their own AOL Journals.
You've stopped being friends with someone in real life because of something they've said on J.
You have consoled yourself after a horrible day thinking "At least this will make a great J post"

You're jealous of people who have more friends and / or comments than you.

You have written a really great, solid post - only to be disappointed by the lack of good comments.

You're guilty of commenting excessively to get more traffic to your journal.

You've deleted a post a few minutes (or hours) after you've written it, because it seemed lame in retrospect.

You give shout outs to all your J friends on their birthdays.

You have an additional, secret journal that hardly anyone knows about.

 You have gotten mean anonymous comments (bonus points for figuring out who it was via their IP)

You've been reported (or reported someone) to  AOL J Abuse.

You've been featured on  AOL J’s   Editor Picks.

You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends who are J addicts.

You Know Who You Are

I must be from Florida because I get these and I actually laughed out loud about some of them because they reminded me of some people and  events I treasure.  


You Know You're From Florida When...

You use "fix" as a verb in this context: "I am fixing to go to the store".

You know what "cow tipping" is.

You find 100 degrees F "a little warm."

You know the four seasons as: Almost summer, summer, still summer, and Christmas.

A carbonated soft drink isn't a soda, cola, or pop ... it's a Coke, regardless of the brand or flavor.

You own at least five pairs of flip flops

You know someone who's been struck by lightning

You're more scared of the freaks who live down the street than gators

Your backyard is sometimes a swamp

You're officially sick of Disney

You shrug off hurricane warnings

You've been permanently blinded by fat men in speedos

There are only two seasons - hot and hotter

You've drank a flaming alligator.

You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Florida.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Life is such a Paradox

We are like sculptors, constantly carving out of others the image we long for, need, love or desire, often against reality, against their benefit, and always, in the end, a disappointment, because it does not fit them.  

Anais Nin
US (French-born) author & diarist (1903 - 1977)

We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are.

Anais Nin
US (French-born) author & diarist (1903 - 1977)


These quotes are reminder to parents. Parents are sculptors. They carve their children's images. They try to teach their children norms, values, virtues and other good things to know hoping that these children will grow to be good, solid people. Parents often get disappointed with their children because their children grow into people that their parents did not expect them to be.

One of the hardest thing for a parent to realize, especially the mother, is children can not be molded in their likeness (they have minds of their own) and that there is a thin line between parenthood (motherhood) and co-dependency. It is normal to wish your children success in life, to dream that they will be professionals someday, and to be protective of them when it is warranted but it is not normal to live vicariously through them and be disappointed when they do not meet your high expectations. Knowing when to let go of them and when to hold them is easier said than done but it can be done.

Children should be able to make their own mistakes and be able to learn from them. Micro-managing children make them co-dependent.  It makes them afraid to make decisions because a lot of the decisions in the past had been taken care of for them. Parents should know when to start making their children responsible for their judgment.

Children should be able to pursue their dreams with their parents' support and blessings ( So what if they change their minds every month? Be supportive. Tell them to reach for the stars and be all they can be!). Most parents dream of having a doctor or a lawyer in the family. Alas, not a lot of children want to be a doctor or a lawyer anymore. Some want to be engineers and others want to be animated movie producers. Just tell them be the best engineers or producers they could be. If your children did not turn out the way you want them to be, love them anyway. They need it and if you can be honest to yourself, you know you need to love them and you need their love too.

*****What about the picture? It does not make sense, you say. What does raising children have to do with a lake and tree canopies? Nothing. Yup, it has nothing to do with my entry above. My husband took it last week when he was in Lawton, Oklahoma. He loves to fish and take pictures of places he visits. He is a road warrior. This picture reflects my husband's interests as well as his personality.  That is another journal entry, so I will leave you to ponder on what I mean by that.***


Saturday, November 27, 2004

Apple Of My Eye

This is my son. He is a looker. He is also very smart. He grows in leaps and bounds. I can't help but feel very old when I look at my children. Yup, they make me feel like a proud old woman all the time. I can't believe that my son is taller than I am now and he is just in middle school! I believe I'll look like a midget next to him when he gets to highschool. Enough of my bragging (though I think you would too if you have children).

Friday, November 26, 2004

One More To Be Thankful About

This is a picture that my daughter and her bestfriend had taken during her Thanksgiving trip to Baltimore, Maryland. They had it printed on T shirts with the caption ,"God help our children."  They both have killer sense of humor and seem to be happy and comfortable with each other. They attended the same highschool for four years. They are now going to different colleges but still very fond of each other. They always joke around about getting married after college.  I think they are cute together. They are both very smart. I think they will have beautiful and smart children if they ever get married and decide to procreate. I am too young to be a grandmother so I am hoping that they will not get serious about a relationship until later and that they will hold on their horses until they both have their college degrees.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Everything is in Flux

If you would attain to what you are not yet, you must always be displeased by what you are. For where you are pleased with yourself there you have remained. Keep adding, keep walking, keep advancing.
Saint Augustine
Carthaginian author, saint, & church father (354 AD - 430 AD)

There is always room for improvement in someone's life. It is natural to feel displeasure about where you are in life. One needs to examine life regularly and find out what one need and want at that period.

Everything is in flux. Including needs and wants. One needs flexibility in life above all. One should not be afraid of changes for they are essential part of life and living.

Contentment makes one stagnant. Most creature want comfort, stability ,and status quo.  As St. Augustine said in the quote above, "where you are pleased with yourself there you have remained."  Contentment has a way of making one complacent.  Who would want to leave a comfortable and stable environment?  Not many. He admonishes that one have to "keep adding, keep walking, keep advancing."  He wants everyone to leave their comfort zones and keep growing.  Growth is a change that everyone needs. One can stunt their growth by resisting the changes in their life. Other people in someone's life can also inhibit the growth of an individual, like an overprotective mother who will not let her child explore the world. 

I want to explore this subject because I am an overprotective mother. I have come to terms with a lot of issues involving my daughter's independence but there are still some that remains.  I realized that she needs me to gently push her out of the nest so she can explore the world with my blessings but somehow I still get really anxious about her going away from home.  She needs to add experiences to her life, to walk where she has not walked before, and to advance to the next level of growth.

She went to Maryland to spend Thanksgiving with her bestfriend and her bestfriend's family. This is the first long trip she had taken on her own. I was a bunch of nerves before she left. I can tell that she was very nervous too. I think partly because I unloaded my fears on her before her trip. Thank God that she is a very optimistic and resilient child. I talked to her last night via IM and on the phone today. She seems to be fine where she is.

I like it that my daughter has a sense of adventure. I admire her courage in leaving her comfort  zone. I am glad she is assertive and willing to take chances. I am happy that she is always willing to take a step toward maturity and self reliance.  I am delighted that she seems to instinctively know what she needs and wants at each stage of her life. I am proud to be her mother.

Motherhood is Fun

Parents were invented to make children happy by giving them something to ignore.
Ogden Nash
US humorist & poet (1902 - 1971)
The first half of our lives is ruined by our parents, and the second half by our children.
Clarence Darrow
US defense lawyer (1857 - 1938)
Sooner or later we all quote our mothers.
          Bern Williams
My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.
Mark Twain
US humorist, novelist, short story author, & wit (1835 - 1910)

These are wonderful and funny quotes about being a parent that I gleaned from the Internet. Quotes like these make my day.

I particularly like the last two because I now only not look like my mother, I sound like her too.  I also was a handful when I was young. I think my mother enjoyed my indiscretion more than I did, and still does.

I never thought I will ever quote my mother but I often do. At my age, I consider my mother a prophet and a sage.  That is in contrast, extreme contrast in all actuality, with my frame of mind before I had my own children. How edifying motherhood is!  To quote my mother: "You will not know how I feel until you have your own children."  She was right. I did not emphatize with her then because I did not know how a mother feels. I used to say something sassy or roll my eyes when my mother says something profound.  I wish I had a tape recorder then so I could replay them now because I am sure that I will be in awe about their prophetic wisdom.  Thank God to repetition, I commited some to memory. Now, my children are the beneficiaries of this inheritedwisdom.  Of course, right now they think it is just psycho-babble from an overprotective mother but soon they will find grains of truth in them. 

I desperately wanted to forget a lot of things I did when I was young. Though my mother has a list of them that she can produce at the speed of  light. I suspect that she is keeping this list to send to my children in case of her untimely demise from my smart mouth. I think she enjoyed my childhood troubles a little more than I want her to. This enjoyment causes her to recall my transgressions a bit too vivid and too often, much to my chagrin.



Sunday, November 21, 2004

It's easy to get mad with those you trust

This is an excerpt from the book,  The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants by Ann Brashares. (p.137). A teenager is talking to her mother.

"I am mad at Dad," Carmen announced, half into the quilt.

 "Of course you are." 

Carmen flipped onto her back. " Why is that so hard for me to say? I have no trouble being mad with you."

" I've noticed that."

Carmen's mom was silent for a while, but Carmen could tell she has something to say.

"Do you think it's easier to be mad at people you trust?" her mom asked very softly.

I trust Dad, Carmen was about to say without thinking. Then she tried thinking. "Why is that?"

"Because you trust that they'll love you anyway."


It is so easy to get angry with those you love and trust the most because in the end you know that they will not hold your anger against you. They will not carry a grudge and will forgive you no matter what. They love you unconditionally.  Likewise, it is easy for people who love and trust you to forgive your transgressions because they know you have good qualities which more than make up for your ocassional peevishness.  

As a mother of two teenagers, I learned that I am an easy target for my children's anger because they know I love them. They can be ugly with me and they can unload their angst on me because they know I will still be there when their explosion abates.  Once this realization hits me, I no longer took any of my children's anger personally. It took me a while to learn this lesson.  I still am not very adept at it. What I mean by that, is my response to their anger is still not on auto-pilot, I have to think and breathe deep, then think about the proper response.  I no longer get angry when they are angry because I know now that I do not have to personalize their anger.  They are venting their fear and anger on me because they know I will understand and I will not reject or abandon them for it.

Teenage years is often a very hard and confusing time for a lot of children.  They come face to face with challenging situations everyday. Some of these situations call  for hard decisions.  Some of them involve negative feelings such as rejection, discrimination, and jealousy.  This is the time when they begin realizing that life is not fair and some people are not fair.  It is also the time when children have to try things they never tried before and they have to make difficult choices. They feel embarrased about a lot of things. They feel guilty about their bad judgements. They are their own worst critics and some of their peers help in adding destructive criticisms to the mix.  On top of  these challenges and barrage of negative feelings, their desire to be independent make them shy away from seeking their parent's advices and opinions.  Teenagers often get angry at the most vulnerable times of their lives.  They want you to care. They want you to help them fix what is bothering them but they do not want to ask for your help because that will make them feel inadequate and immature.  

 My children are my teachers. They taught me a lot of things about myself and the lessons are ongoing.  Someday, if Iever become a wise old woman, I will owe a lot of my wisdom to my children. Motherhood is a life transforming event. I thank my children everyday for making me want to be a better person.  I am far from being enlightened or evolved. I am a continuous work in progress.

Friday, November 19, 2004


Things I am Thankful For

My Family

     I am thankful for a wonderful husband and my amazing children. I can't begin to enumerate the qualities I admire about my family. My husband is ever patient, forgiving, and loving. My children are my pride and joy. They make me happy and proud everyday.

My Friends 

     I do not have a lot by choice. My friends are the pick of the litter. They are awesome people. They are evolved. I like it that I can tell them anything and everything about me. I love them for their listening skills and big hearts. I am grateful to and for everyone of them. Though I need to work on getting in touch more often, I am glad they do not hold that flaw against me.

My Family's Health 

      I am thankful that at this time, none of the members of my family is ill. Everybody seems to be healthy and enjoying life. I pray that I will be able enjoy this blessing next year. I am thankful that my daughter is not bedridden from her ailment and seems to be functioning very well.

The Blessing of Abundance 

      I  am ever thankful for the blessings we recieved this year and for the past years. I am glad that my family do not have to suffer from the stresses of financial problems. We are lucky and blessed to be able to send our children to private schools, take vacations, eat out often, pay our bills, buy what we need, and have some money left over to get what we want. 

Ice Cream and Cheesecake 

     I am thankful for these comfort foods. Whoever invented these foods have my everlasting gratitude. My family have a tradition of going out for ice cream during the summer months.  Cheesecake is also a tradition in our family for the holidays. I love cheesecake. I never had a cheesecake I did not like.

Walk on the Beach and Sand on my Feet    

     Thank you for the beach and the sand. These things make me happy. I used to live in Hawaii and now I live in Florida. I love walking on the beach and feeling the sand on my feet. I used to get out of my work clothes and walk our dog at the beach behind our house in Kailua. Those were glorious days! 


Thursday, November 18, 2004

Humor: The Best Medicine

Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth.
Erma Bombeck (1927 - 1996)

I love Erma Bombeck. I read all of the books she wrote. She made motherhood less stressful and funny. She is the queen of sarcasm. I like to laugh out loud. I like people who see the funny side of life. If you really think about it , most of the things that happen in your daily life are humorous. Why cry when you can laugh? Granted, there are some things that are not funny no matter how you look at them such as losing a loved one, most events are hilarious especially if you have an overactive imagination.

My husband was shy when I met him. He said I made him come out of his shell and helped him bring out  his silly self. He said I was a wiseass and it was catching. My children always thought I am the serious one and Dad is the funny one. It used to be the other way around. I would always crack jokes to make him smile because he used to be real quiet and sort of sad. (His parents got divorced and he was away from home).  Our courtship was based on humor. We always had a goodtime together because we can make each other laugh.  There were times when someone would say something and all we had to do was look at each other and we were rolling on the floor laughing the next minute. I guess I lost my sense of humor right after I had my daughter . I thought that being silly and witty was immature and I needed to start acting like an adult by being prim and proper because I have a child to raise. My husband used to say, "Where did you hide the funny woman I married?"  

The funny woman is back. I am my old self again. My daughter think I lost my mind because I used to get angry about things she says but now, I just laugh out loud. Am I doing it to annoy her? No, I genuinely see humorin our interactions. Thethings we used to fight about are so insignificant and mundane. Besides, when you have a choice between anger and laughter,  I think you are a fool if you choose the former.

I want to work on being a humorist. I want to follow Erma Bombeck's footstep and make light of things that are challenging, like raising teenagers. It seems like a lot of the books that are geared towards helping parents raise their children are written in the dry, ivory tower tone. Maybe I'll start by writing humorous short stories, essays, or poems. Writing a book right now is just way too ambitious for me as I am always wishing for more time in a day already.


Child Apppreciation

I wrote this poem a while back. I was feeling appreciative of my daughter because she got a full scholarship for college. I made a list of all the things she had done in the past that made me extremely proud of her. The list was quite long when I got done with it.

Raising teenagers can be difficult and challenging at times. Sometimes these difficulties and challenges can lead one to make mental notes of  their child's transgressions and focus on them solely. I was in that rut once and I still fall in it every so often. I am trying hard  to make strides toward appreciating my children everyday. They deserve it. They are great children and I am not just saying that because they are mine.   


Thank You

Have I thanked you lately

For coming to my life?

For providing me with good memories

And lots of things to be proud about?

Have I told you lately

That my love for you will never fade?

For it is  unconditional

And it will be there no matter what?

Thank you, my child

I will always love you 

And I will always care about you

Keeping Mum

Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.
George Washington (1732 - 1799)
Reveal not every secret you have to a friend, for how can you tell but that friend may hereafter become an enemy. And bring not all mischief you are able to upon an enemy, for he may one day become your friend.
Saadi (1184 - 1291)

I have been looking at quotes to affirm my beliefs lately. I think it is because there are so many lessons in life that I want to impart to my children and it seems like they are learning them from experience instead of from me.

I admire my daughter's honesty with her friends. At the same time, it breaks my heart when these very friends uses her honesty against her. I think she reveals too much of herself too soon. It is refreshing to meet someone like her. She is so much like her father. You know where you stand with them at any given period of time. No pretenses and false honesty. They wear their hearts on their sleeves and speak their minds without apology. My daughter is often direct and to the point that she comes out as a tactless person at times. Those who knows her well will gladly defend her and will tell off anybody who says she is without tact. I can't be prouder of her. A lot of her cohorts are not ready for someone like her. Some of them plunder her mind and twist her words. I have seen her reel in pain many times because she trusted her friends and bared her soul to them. I do not think that her blatant honesty is a flaw. As you can see by the quotations above, people like her had been around for ages and sages have warned them that being too honest can backfire. I think her honesty is a liability only because some of the people she trusted had betrayed her confidence. I think she is ahead of her time and will reap the the joys of having this virtue in the future. I used to be like her, I valued freedom of speech and been candid to people. After a few painful incidents I started being selective of those I will divulge my extreme opinions and the intimate details of my life. Sometimes I think of the change in me as loss of innocence but I also think I changed to minimize the traumas of dramas in my life. This suits me just fine but I want my daughter to retain her honesty because someday she will meet someone who is worthy of this amazing trait.      

Unlike my daughter, my son is sort of tight lipped. He seems to instinctively know how to look and listen first before he leaps. He also has a way of keeping people at bay by not divulging a lot of information about himself. I do not think it is a sign of maturity rather, it is an inborn characteristic. Where he got that gene, is a conundrum to me. I see that this approach to life has a lot of merit. He has a lot less stressful existence and seems to keep relationhips longer. Is this a male trait? I don't think it is because my husband is the most forthright person you will ever meet. I think my son is guarded in a positive way. I do not think he is heeding the philosophers of past either. I think some people are lucky to have that disposition. I envy my son's candidness when time seems to be appropriate and his silence when he feels that it is warranted.

Am I partial to any of my children? No, I love them both immensely. They are like night and day in temperament but that what make them more lovable. Their individuality. I love my daughter for her blatant honesty and I love my son for his cautiousness. 

Am I contradicting myself? Maybe, Iam. Isn't that what life is all about? Contradiction and  paradox? Isn't it wonderful that when you explore a topic that you think has only two sides, you realize that there are hundreds of school of thoughts related to that subject? (That is not sarcasm, it is downright enthusiasm!). Why is it when you pose a question, you get no answer but tons of other questions? Ah, the curse of the thinkers. That is why thinkers procrastinate a lot, they can't make up their mind on which school of thought they are going to expound on. Schizophrenics have more peace of mind than those who can't help but think! Or are some thinkers schizos? And the vicious cycle begins!!!!     

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Youthful Indiscretion?

You are young, my son, and, as the years go by, time will change and even reverse many of your present opinions. Refrain therefore awhile from setting yourself up as a judge of the highest matters.
Plato, Dialogues, Theatetus

I remember being young and knowing-it-all. I thought my convictions at the time were absolutes. I hated listening to the opinions, suggestions, advices and admonitions of my parents, teachers and anybody who is older or in a position of authority. I thought they were old fashioned and out of touch with the feelings of the youth of my time. I got easily offended by people implying that our generation was the worst ever to come out in centuries. Being a teenager in the late 70's and early 80's was not fun. It seemed like most adults thought we were drunken louts on pot and LSD, and into free love and promiscous sex.  I often got loud and obnoxious, often disrespectful, when I hear someone predicting that our generation will be the death of many lofty ideals.  I did not respect authority figures and I did not think that adults had any idea what our generation was all about. I thought that my cohorts were wonderful but misunderstood.

My friends and I listened to heavy metal rock which was believed to be the devil's music. The loud, clanging sound of  heavy metal rock only compounds the adults' abhorrence of the often suggestive and rebellious lyrics. We often talked about how the adults of our time do not know we also listen to classical, jazz, folk, rock n' roll, country, international, opera and big band music.   We laughed about how adults think we were bizarre and self-destructive but to the contrary, we were intelligent and reflective. 

As a mother of two teenagers with many teenage friends I can emphatize with how they feel about grown ups and authority  figures.  I think maturity and experience has changed the way I feel about older people.  I now respect thevery people I used to hate when I was younger. The "lectures" are no longer annoying but full of wisdom.  I realized that I was not a good listener and I was very sensitive when I was younger. I only heard what I want to hear and I took a lot of things negatively. I jumped to the conclusion that I was a part of a war--- the war between youth and adult. I now realize that there was no war, only miscommunication. The adults were trying hard to impart wisdom but the message was not received as intended  while the youths were trying hard to get respect resulting in sullen and often explosive assertions.  

My daughter's bestfriend visited a few weeks ago. He made me think about the miscommunication between adults and youths and how easy it was for me to forget my not so distant past.  It was a few days before the election but Florida residents had early voting priviledges. I asked my daughter's friend if he voted already and he answered in affirmative. Then I  jokingly said, " I will ask you who you voted for but I might have to choke you afterwards." I then proceeded to tell him about the joke my husband and I heard from the creators of the film, Team America.  The creators were asked about a certain dialogue in the film relating to why a movie character is implying that American youths should not vote.  They said that SOME American youths are immature and prone to making bad decisions so their votes are better not casted.  I knew I pushed his button when he started telling me in a passionate tone that most young people are better informed than adults and that Daily Show's, John Stewart is an astute political commentarist.  I realized I waged a war inadvertently a little too late. I felt really bad because I did not mean to offend him. I was merely telling him about something that made my husband and I laugh.  I know I inflamed him because he thought I was disrespecting him. I, not only, committed conversational suicide, but also, slayed a youth in the process that day. I realized I was on the same boat not long ago and I should have known better. 

I respect my children and their friends. I joke a lot about what they may perceiveas an adult negativity towards youth but I honestly love all of them. I know that my children and their friends are smart and responsible. I also know that someday, their children will go through the youth versus adult phase and hopefully they will be more tactful than I was and more gracious than I have ever been. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Going out of Town

I am really anxious today. I am doing my countdown to the day I'll be going to Virginia to train for my job. I'll be gone from my family for three long weeks. I'm already agonizing over the seperation. I'll miss my husband and my kids so much, it is going to be really hard on me the first few days that I am away. This is the first time I'll be away from them for an extended time. I can't even remember a time when I am away from them for more than my work hours.

My husband said, "Treat it like a vacation." Easy for him to say that because he is a road warrior now and had been in the military. He got used to being deployed for several months in the military and living on a suitcase/hopping on flights in his new job. This is totally new to me. I always stayed behind to raise my children, go to work, and take care of the household stuff.

I am worried about my children. I hate the idea of leaving them because their father won't be home either. Though my daughter is in college and is fully capable of looking after her teen brother, I have my trepidation.Will they eat right? Will my daughter pick her brother up from school on time? Will my son go to bed early and make it to school on time? Will my daughter take care of her brother's school uniform so he will not look like a hobo? Questions ad nauseam. I know, all these are trivial. I also know that the bottom line is: I dread losing control over my children's daily life. I do not like the thought of passing my responsibilities to my daughter. She has not done anything like this before. Two teenagers home alone!  A lot of negative thoughts swirling in my mind right now. Parties, cops, and evil stuff. But I guess I do not have much choice. I would hate to lose this job! Besides, I trust my daughter and my son is pretty independent. That does not make me less anxious, I am stressing like crazy right now..   

Motherhood is Confusing

 I wrote this 2 years ago or so when my daughter and I were in a power struggle. It was hard for me to realize that she wanted to spread her wings. I did not understand her  yearning for independence at such an early age. I was full of fear for her. I was not ready. I was afraid that I will lose her but now I know letting her make her own decisions does not mean letting go. It means respecting her wishes to grow.  



Confused Mother

I want to give you everything you want

But I can only meet your needs

I would like to let you go

But I can't seem to budge an inch

I would like you to learn from your mistakes

But I am always trying to protect you from making them 

Just like you, I am confused

The only thing that is clear to me

Is that I want you to be happy and safe


Monday, November 15, 2004

Pieces of April/ Letter to my Daughter

This is a letter I wrote to my daughter after we saw the movie, Pieces of April  together.   

 Just want to have your feedback about the movie. I like it because it depicts a realistic portrayal of real family dynamics. The mother-daughter trials and tribulations, sibling rivalry, racial issues, generation gap, and the works. I know you saw the movie differently. You might even saw it as a sort of my feeble attempt to dissuade you from being independent.  

Are you April? In some ways, yes.  In a lot of ways, no.

How are you like April? Like her, you have the outward signs of youthful rebellion: piercing, dyed red hair, punk inspired attire, and devil-may-care bravado. You have her open-mindedness as far as respecting people for what they are and who they are.  You eschew the societal hate of people that are different.  You are also full of angst about your relationship with me. And the similarity ends there. 

 What makes you different from April? First, I think you are smarter and stronger than she is and has the determination to succeed in life. I think you are reflective enough to redirect your life when situations proves to be unhealthy for you. You keep your jobs and seems to be serious about pursuing a college degree. You do not to rely on someone to make things happen. You are capable of supporting yourself instead of sucking the life out of someone to augment yours.  I think that is the reason why you attract weak people. Opposites attract. Because they want to be strong as you are or they can feed off you until they find the next strong person they can latch on to. Second, you gave me and still giving me a lot of good memories. The bad ones are very few. I shuck those to youthful indiscretion and experiences you need for your personal growth. You are a person who have to live it to know it.  I realized that my ranting do not hit home until you go out there and experience it. I will never hate you or hold ill feelings towards you. I merely bring out history for present and future perspective.  Lastly, you are not a failure nor a disappointment to me. After all, I named you Jessica, " rich and successful," because I know you will live up to it. You are a young person who is trying to figure out who you are by gatheringpieces of thepuzzle that one day will be "YOU."  I visualize you as a very successful, traditional, and old fashioned adult.  Is that bad? No, it isn't. Someday, you will clarify your values and most possibly go back to those that are familiar and comforting.  I see you going back to church and doing it cafeteria style: picking what you like about it and ignoring the ones that gives you cognitive dissonance. By that time you will know that you can personalize your religion and you do not have to subscribe to every doctrines and dogma. I see you leading a happy and productive life with means to afford the life you want live.

 I love you and I always will.


Bad Habits Can Be Good

How people keep correcting us when we are young! There is always some bad habit or other they tell us we ought to get over. Yet most bad habits are tools to help us through life.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900)

How true! As a mother, I find myself correcting my children's behavior most of the time. I do not want them to form bad habits but the usefulness of some can not be denied. Case in point is my daughter has a bad habit of mouthing off. This very same bad habit causes me admire her- her candidness and I-am-not taking crap-from-anybody stance makes me guilty and proud at the same time. Why? Because I know she has a backbone for one. Another is, I somehow know she will grow up to be an assertive young woman and will not need a knight in a shining armor to protect her. She is capable of taking care of  her own needs and will not be parasite to anyone. Like most mothers, I want my daughter to be independent, someone who is self-sufficient and proud of it.    

Saturday, November 13, 2004

My Little Girl

My Little Girl

As I watch you grow into a young woman

My heart is full of pride and fear

I find it hard to let go

Because I want you frozen in time

As my smart, loving, and happy little girl

But it is inevitable for you to grow

Wanting to explore the world

To gather life experiences

I understand your yearning for independence

Yet I am afraid to let go

Please be patient with me

For you will forever be my little girl   

Harried Mother

This is Saturday. The day I am suppose to be in bed late. It's the weekend.  But,  no!  I shuttled my son to his highschool entrance test, went home and showered, went back and picked him up, had lunch with him at McD's and now I am washing his football pants (he used his game one for practice, silly boy!) because he has a game in about an hour. Whoo-hoooo! Anyone out there want to trade place with me?

It sounds like I am complaining, but really, I am not. I have a great son and I would not change a thing!  

Friday, November 12, 2004

Suggestion to Teenagers

Confused and Angry

The world is full of confused, angry youths

For it is hard to grow up and fulfill expectations

One needs to learn that it is important

To form convictions and stand by them

There is no right and wrong way to live

It is what is what you chose to be right for you

You have to find what makes you comfortable

Before you can be stable

There is no reality, only perception

Your perception of life, is your reality

Do not let others tell you who you are

Only you knows the real you

Everyone’s perception be damned

For it is what makes you confused and angry

What a wonderful life!

This is one of those days gone in a flash. I volunteered to take my son's class to Andy Warhol's exhibit and then attend the Greek Festival. I've been wanting to see the exhibit for a week now but I did not have anyone to go with so the field trip was a blessing in disguise. The art museum, then great food, what a great combination. I had calamari and I got two souvlakis to take home. Then, I went home and baked red velvet cupcakes and topped them with cheesecake frosting. Yum! I also baked some brownies because I told my daughter's friend that I will make him some. The kid is away from home and living at the dorm so I thought I will be motherly and offer  him some baked goods.

I am glad for days like this. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I never thought giving four teenage boys a ride would be fun but these boys were great and funny too.  


Wednesday, November 10, 2004


My soul is weary
My body is worn down
I keep beating myself
For my past sins

I long to be free
Without any memory
So I can stop
Living in fantasy

Poem To My Teenager

For my Teenager


There’s no need to fight

About mundane things

That we will laugh about

In years to come

You are not a waste of time

Though arguing with you is futile

I have accepted that you’ve grown up

And you can protect yourself

You have the right to choose your path

And live the life you dreamed about

Instead of unleashing my fear at every turn

I will tell you I like what you become

I wish the negativity between us gone

And so we can start having fun

I need your help to make it happen

Please lend me a hand.