Getting My Kids to Get a Job!

Early sophomore year of high school, Mama told me I should deliver papers for the Honolulu Star Bulletin.  She had done the research.  The job would not only pay a couple hundred dollars a month but because we lived in the steep parts of Manoa Valley where the only reasonable way to deliver 242 papers/day was to drive, it also paid an $80 car stipend.I balked—delivering papers every afternoon by 5 p.m. meant no after school extra-curricular activities and taking loser in-school P.E. instead o … [Read more...]

Put Down That Phone!

smartphone

Last fall, Kai complained that all her friends had smartphones and she didn’t.  On one hand, she complained because she wanted one SO BAD.  On the other hand, she noticed that during lunch, rather than chatting or gossiping, laughing or telling stories—all the things one would hope to do with a gang of best buds—everyone was staring at their device.  She could only twiddle her thumbs in thin air.I suggested she say, “Hey guys, let’s put our phones down and talk.”  She looked at me like I was … [Read more...]

Makeup in Middle Age or Why I Got My Daughters Make-Overs

Not the look we're going for here

A few months ago I read in a ladies magazine that if you’re middle-aged and still doing your high school make-up  routine, you’re in trouble.Uh oh, I thought, I’m in trouble.Now much of my work and life resides in what folks fondly call The Republic of Cambridge.  In The Republic of Cambridge, many women go au naturel, whether in the make-up department, the bra department, the dying one’s hair department or even the shaving legs/underarms department.And there’s a lot godly I find … [Read more...]

Senior Panic

My senior (photo by Dorothy Greco, who all Boston parents should hire!)

Lately I’ve been experiencing wild mood swings: elation to fear to hope to dread to depression to pride.  And while part may be peri-menopause, most is due to having a real-live senior in my home, a senior who’s applying to college.Now I’ve blogged about trying to keep it all in perspective (here and here and here).  Sad to say, I’m failing.No matter how I’ve tried to abstain from an addiction to academic prestige and achievement, an addiction that comes from my family—a family with 8 … [Read more...]

If You’re Sending Your Kid to Spain, Don’t Do it My Way

Several nights ago I woke up in a panic about sending my daughter to Spain for a month long study abroad program.  “What kind of foolish, irresponsible parent am I?” I berated myself as I lay in bed fretting and intermittently praying for the next hours.  We’ve been planning this trip since the middle of spring, but somehow I never realized that she’s potentially the only high school student in this program.  Nor did I realize she’d be living in dorms rather than with a host family.I’m sendin … [Read more...]

Boy No More

IMG_1695 - Version 2

Last week Ren, my son and youngest child, turned 13, promoting me to Mom of 3 official teenagers.  Wah!  So often, older folks commented while I juggled 3 young kids, “Enjoy it while it lasts--the time goes so fast—in a blink of an eye they’ll be grown.”  I’m feeling that blink of an eye.Years ago, during my own teenagerhood, I gave my friend Jeff a lei, kissed his cheek, thought “Wow, what a smooth soft cheek,” and immediately mourned that it wouldn’t be long before that smooth cheek became … [Read more...]

She Did It! Driver’s License Success!

Ling and license

Last Monday Ling passed her driver’s test, on her first try no less! And as in so many events of this spring, I was half a continent away so missed both the trauma and the celebration.First the trauma.Teaching driving can drive (ha ha) a parent to drink or even worse, texting.  16 year olds don’t like being told what to do by their parents, and even less being critiqued every couple of seconds.I had hoped that the driving school and the husband would do the bulk of the teaching, k … [Read more...]

What I’ll Never Write About (But Sure Wish I Could)

My 2 teens and Almost Teen

I’m 3 months and 14 days away from mothering 3 official teenagers.Scary.  In 3 months and 14 days, 3 teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 will dwell in my house with their mass of raging hormones, their sheer size, and their budding intellects that increasingly MUST be expressed.Believe it or not, I’ve actually enjoyed parenting teens more than I enjoyed parenting small children.  Folks always say the early years are exhausting physically, the teen years exhausting emotionally, and tha … [Read more...]


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