Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Crazy Stuff

Given the utter devastation caused by 'superstorm Sandy,' I have heard quite a few comments about the fact that I am probably happy that I am not living on the east coast now since that is where I was born and raised and had lived until 4 years ago.  Most are surprised by my response which is that I absolutely am not happy, not happy at all, in fact.  Do people really believe that a single storm of the century could keep me from pining away about home?  Impossible.  It will take a lot more than massive power outages, downed trees and never before seen flooding to keep me from longing to return to the east coast.  I was devastated when I had to leave as it is was all I had known and, more importantly, it was the only place I had ever wanted to live.  You know how people fantasize about moving to exotic locales or perhaps moving across the country for a change of scenery and lifestyle?  I was not one of them.  I was fine with moving throughout the tri-state area, but the thought of any further than that threw me into a full-on panic attack...and now I am here, thirteen hundred miles from the coast and I am still trying to find my sea legs.  Quite frankly, I don't think I will ever truly acclimate for a lot of reasons none the least of which is my inability to stop comparing everything here to what we had there. 

It is going to take a long time for the area to return to its pre-Sandy self.  Since I still listen almost exclusively to NY radio stations, I have been able to stay abreast of all the news reports and the continued rescue and clean up efforts and I have heard what the estimates are before everything will return to normal.  But, it will. Despite it all, I still wish I could be back there pitching in rather than living here and watching it all unfold from a distance.  Once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Would That I Could

We are just at the tail end of a weekend that included yet another college visit.  It was an important one for us as this was the first college that my son actually wanted to see as the other two were more my idea than his. While he has a very comprehensive list of 'wants,' topping the list is that it not be in the state in which we live. He is not a lover of 'here' (my apple did not fall far from my tree, it seems) which concerns me because I am hoping that his desire to leave the state does not make him overlook a great college fit just because it is here.  I have told him time and again that he does not have to worry about me showing up unannounced at his school...honest, I swear...if he chooses a college closer than four hours away.  I am really struggling with the whole concept of him leaving altogether,however.  He is my baby, my little guy, he is not ready to leave me or, more to the point, I am so not ready to be left. I honestly don't have any idea how I am going to cope with this but I am counting the minutes to the summer before college when I am going to have to find the almighty coping skill that will get me through it.  I can guarantee you it will not be pretty.  My husband is already prepping for my emotional breakdown by strategizing how to get my crying, hysterical self into the car when it is time to leave campus after freshman drop off. Good luck to him as I would actually like to see him do it myself...I can be very determined where my children are concerned. 

I must admit that I am quite envious of my son's soon-to-be college experience and I wish I could return to college myself,  but do a better job of truly experiencing the offerings. I spent so much time worrying about getting a job after college and starting out on my own that I did not take full advantage of  my college life and I really regret that now. If I could have done something differently back then, I would have tried to get out of my own way because on quite a few levels, I sabotaged my own future by worrying about it so much back then and I am paying for that mistake right now.  Ironic, isn't it?

Monday, October 15, 2012


In case you missed it, an Austrian man jumped from the edge of space yesterday and reached Mach 1.24 in his free fall back to earth. That is 800+ miles per hour without the protection of a plane around him. We watched the entire event unfold, all two and a half hours of it, completely transfixed that someone could be courageous (borderline crazy) enough to effectively risk killing himself in from of family and friends and the viewing audience as well.  I think what he did was absolutely amazing and mind boggling, surpassed only by the fact that someone had already made a similar jump from a 'mere' 19 miles up all the way back in 1960! What made yesterday's jump even better was that the previous record holder, now 84 years old, was the only person in the command center who was allowed to communicate with the jumper for safety reasons.  I am fascinated by this on so many levels none the least of which is that this gentleman had the wits about him at his age to be able to take down the stats necessary to ensure a safe jump, but also to complete the final check list necessary before the jumper dove out of the capsule. The fact I find most interesting is that this gentleman retains the longest free fall record as that was one record not broken yesterday...and he did it all 52 years ago.  Unbelievable!

Now, let's talk about the jumper's mom.  Oh, my goodness, how the heck did she stand to watch this feat?  Yes, she did cry initially but then she seemed to pull herself together in a way I know I never could.  When the camera panned to her calmly sitting on the couch watching the live feed, she looked as though she might have been watching 'Dancing with the Stars' instead.  Even with the years of daredevil antics I am certain her son put her through prior to this, I was still amazed at her calm persona as she had no idea how this show was going to end.  Thankfully, it ended very well but, boy, it could have been ugly.

Hopefully, none of my children will ever subject me to this type of torture as they all know I would not sit by stoically, calmly watching their antics, hoping for a positive result.  Had that been my son yesterday, I would have knocked that crane driver out and driven my son, still in that capsule, right out of Roswell and then I would have blamed aliens for the disruption.

Monday, October 8, 2012

No Way!

Sixteen years ago today, I was very pregnant, very anxious and, true to the perfectionist that lives inside of me, going crazy making sure that all my plans were in place before the main event scheduled to arrive on October 18th.  I prided myself on the fact that I had read 26 books about pregnancy and a child's first years, I had studied and I was ready for my test.  Not one to leave details to someone else, I had already submitted a carefully crafted and explicit birth plan to my doctor whom I adored as he was an older gentleman who took his time with me and answered the 42,000 questions that I had had, all with kindness and understanding.  Over the course of the nine months, however,  I made sure to visit each with doctor in my practice so that there would be no surprises on the day I delievered.  What I had not planned for (probably because everyone I knew told me that the first child is rarely delivered on its due date) was the fact that I went into labor in the middle of the night on October 8th.  Of course, my bags had been packed a month in advance so there was no worry there except that my husband was so nervous getting out of the house, the bag got stuck in the doorway twice before I told him to turn it sideways to make it through (he also forgot the bag with all my toiletries in it and I had to ask the night nurse for a toothbrush and some toothpaste!).

By the time I was almost in full labor, I had thrown that birth plan right out the window because I wanted drugs and lots of them. Once I had the epidural and I had released my death grip on my husband's hand, things began to move along more smoothly until the doctor arrived.  Now, although I was in labor and I knew I was not looking my best, I pacified myself with the knowledge that my doctor would not even take notice.  I could be unselfconscious and just relax.  Wrong.  Just as I knew delivery was close, the door opened and in walked an extremely young and terribly good-looking doctor with a killer smile who was subbing for my doctor who became unavailalbe at the last moment.  I tried covering up a little (giving birth is not pretty, you know) but realised all too soon  that this was one of those 'whatever' moments and I focused on the birth of my gorgeous baby boy.

So, here we are almost 16 years later and I would never have believed that that little newborn would turn into my handsome teenage son.  He has brought me so much joy and laughter (okay, and tons of sarcasm and eye rolling, too) that I could never imagine my life without him.  In fact, I loved being pregnant so much so that I did it again and again and again and you know what?  All the pain and torture of delivery (and the embarrassment, too) was instantaneously forgotten the minute he was placed in my arms.

Happy 16th Birthday!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ha! You Lose!

On Monday, when I turned my calendar page to October, I realized that my 'friend,' the criminal, was supposed to be sentenced in the morning.  I thought about it on and off all day, wondering if indeed he would be getting the maximum sentence or if justice would turn its head the other way and let him off easy.  I worried for over two years about this man reliving over and over again the sense of personal violation he had caused me when he shattered my car window, stole my identity and subsequently, shattered my life.  Every three months like clockwork, I received subpoenas for both his trial and his girlfriend's.  I mentally prepared myself to face him in court only to be devastated by the subsequent phone call or letter alerting me to yet another continuance or postponement in the case.  I cannot tell you the amount of emotional upheaval I went through knowing that I had three more months put in front of me, more months of stress and anguish, only to go through it all again--six times for his trial alone, to be exact. When I actually testified this past August, it was liberating and even knowing that I have another trial to face next month (if it happens as this trial has been postponed seven times already!!!), I now know what to expect and at least some of the fear has become manageable.  It no longer consumes me.

For the record, the prosecuting attorney asked for a 20 year sentence as he was being tried as a career criminal.  Today, I received a letter in the mail stating that he got 28 years. This summer,  he boldly refused a plea deal of 10 years which had been presented to him.  I think he may have made a mistake in doing so, don't you?