and just when we imagine we know everything

As my darling 4th daughter, Jodie, turned 20 this year, I was fairly confident that we have this parenting teenagers down. After all, ask any of our family, friends, acquaintances, people we pass shopping at Target and they will GO OUT OF THERE WAY TO TELL YOU HOW PAINFULLY DIFFICULT IT IS TO RAISE TEENAGE GIRLS!

No, really.

‘They have. Literally any and every chance that came along.

And they have been right…well, sometimes.

My darling husband and I have four amazing daughters, who as teenagers challenged us in ways that made us certain that our mothers’ curses upon us were very real…and in ways that we could have never, ever imagined. Raising teenagers in the brave new world of social media? Did we really see that coming?

But we survived.

We did not die.

None of us.

And now, with four young adult women making their way in this world in their own way, we have imagined that we might actually know what we are doing raising teenagers because pseudo-experts told us girls are hard and boys are easy.

Heh!

All y’all know nothing!

Nothing!

Believe me.

But one thing, as parents of teenagers, remains true still. We are really, really good at embarrassing our adolescent children.

 

Taking your teenaged son to a Styx Tribute Band concert might seem to be a perfect way to provoke the best of eye rolls and more and because of all the eye rolls, heavy sighs and never mind, Mom. 

This should be easy. One would think so, but no. Although joking about wearing an old Styx concert tee might be too meta did result in a half eye roll coupled with a really, Mom.

You’re going to write about this, aren’t you, Mom?

Well, maybe.

Fine. Make sure they know I had fun, because I did.

Of course.

:::he rolls his eyes:::

He did have fun hanging out with Mom, Dad and all those old people.

Yeah, he is also suddenly so much taller!!!

He’s rolling his eyes again right now.

no matter what, love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love.

Allow me to preface this blog post with the fact that when I first met my darling husband (a meeting he doesn’t recall being distracted by his then DD cup girlfriend) he was a theater major which means that his friends at that time when we began dating regarded me as his Yoko Ono.

Heh!

Honey! The Tonys are about to start! 

:::hmmmm, mumble, grumble:::

Aren’t you excited, I mean Hamilton!!! And so many more productions and performances to see tonight.

:hmmm, mumble, grumble:::

Seriously?! What’s wrong with you? Have you no soul?!

Well, considering I love and am married to a ginger…no. And he retreats into the other room, most likely to enjoy yet another Law & Order marathon….which had he watched the Tonys

But I have to tip my hat to my darling husband because, yes, he loved and married a ginger. Perhaps it is true that he does no longer have a soul.

I can neither confirm nor deny…

But I shall give thanks for the fact that he did fall in love with this awkward, shy little show choir geek and introduce her into the world of musical theater from which so much of the music that is this girl’s life has come from…which has stirred the imaginations and talents and thoughts and creativity in our children and our grandchildren..

The world turned upside down y’all!.

He might be in our bedroom watching the Law & Order marathon but I know he loves this as much as I do…at least he nods and mutters Yes Dear when I remind him of his promise to take me to ALL the Broadway shows some day…

Some day!…

Until then we will celebrate music and theater and freedom and love here under The Big Top because…

We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger. We rise and fall and light from dying embers. Remembrances that hope and love last longer. And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love.

Lin Manuel Miranda

Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love y’all. Theater geek, history or political wonk or show choir nerd or someone with no soul, let us remember this and shout it and celebrate it and literally shove it into the faces of all the hate out there because love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love.

mortifying since 1999

There are some things a fifty-something mom should never, ever do…according to her fourteen year old son.

:::spoken with literally no rhythm just like a middle aged mom:::

How does a bastard orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence impoverished, in squalor grow up to be a hero and a scholar?

Really Mom?

The ten-dollar founding father without a father got a lot smarter  by being a self=starter…

Mom! Oh gawd, Mom! No! Stop!

What, son? Hamilton’s my jam.

:::eyeroll…heavy sigh:::

No?

No, Mom. No.

Perhaps he’s right. Still, it’s nice to know that I can still mortify my teenaged child just by being me…as any good parent of a teen does.

While we can not agree if his 54 year old mom is able to spin a verse or two from Hamilton, we both can agree that rap is the language of the Revolution  and the debates that helped to shape our nation…and yes, makes The Federalist Papers something cool that a teenaged student would want to study.

It’s even better on stage at the Richard Rogers Theater. Perhaps I will let Leslie Odom Jr. and the cast of Hamilton tell the story. But right now it is still my jam.

Yes, Daniel rolled his eyes as I said that.

doves cry today

I was dreaming’ when I wrote this, forgive me if I go astray. Today started out so good in spite of the massive allergies induced headache that has lasted for days because of all the pollen and dust in Manteca triggering all the histamines in my body, and then the skies felt like they were all purple and…

and…then the moment where more of the music that has been a part of my heart, my mind, my soul and shaped the thinking, feeling, loving, living person I am today, more of that music has died suddenly, without warning today along with Lemmy and Bowie and Mic Gillette and Glenn Frey and Paul Kantner and Maurice White and Dan Hicks and it’s only April and suddenly I want someone to check on Bruce Springsteen and Bono and Madonna and so many other icons, who I never really known, but dammit, they helped me to know myself so much better and I want to make sure that they are okay. Someone, please check on all the music icons of the 70s and 80s and 90s please! Doves are crying right now y’all and I make no apology for the massive run-on sentence that I just now wrote. No apologies because life is just a party, and parties weren’t meant 2 lastDearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life…without Prince.

Where exactly do we start?

And just as the day began to wind down…

This.

Greg was a dear, sweet friend. An old friend. A friend who shared so much music…so much amazing music filled with all the life and love and passion and joy that is part of life.

Yes, more tears. So honored, so blessed to say that I got to sing with this guy on stage sometimes. Remembering most of Solid Rock’s (the group of talented musicians, vocalists and me) rehearsals like that one time he created an amazing song about my moody three year old, Abigael and the time where he shared his excitement that my seven year old Hollie declared how much she hated jazz because she recognized jazz when she heard it as he was vamping jazz chords on the piano.

And you know what? I think I just want today to be over…over right now because I just can’t bear to hear the sound when doves cry.

Hug the ones you love y’all. Play all the music that touches the deepest parts of your soul for them too.