You know those features where you get to look in a celebrity’s purse and they always have coconut infused flaxseed oil lip balm, $400 designer sunglasses, an organic low fat power bar, natural spring water flown in by private jet from the Swiss Alps and a Hermès scarf.
And you’re like… really?! Because seriously, where is the chewed up gum wrapped up in a tissue that your kid handed you but you couldn’t find a trashcan so you threw it in your bag? Or the cheese stick that’s 3 days old? Or the Tower Records gift certificate from 1996?
Well, last night I cleaned out my purse and I just wanted to give you a peek as to what was inside…
And a closer look…
Yes, one kids sock (because that will come in so handy)
3 cans of mints (If you want to become a mint hoarder, you have to start somewhere!)
Plastic cups (obviously from when I smuggled alcohol into a viewing of Magic Magic XXL and no it didn’t really make the movie better.)
A 2014 calendar (in case I really want to know what I was doing 365 days ago)
An old coffee stirrer stick
Crumpled up garbage
3 pounds of change
I’m guessing you’re pretty overwhelmed by the glamour of my purse. Feel free to replicate.
We all worry about so many things. But it’s a ridiculous waste of time. Because it truly is something on a random afternoon that will knock the wind out of you. And something you would never expect.
Which is how I felt when I got a call from my husband Rick last Thursday that his dad had been in a terrible car accident.
Rick made his way to New Jersey that night as I tried to explain to our kids what this all meant.
“Zaydie was in a car accident. Just like Nanny was several years ago. I don’t know if you remember visiting her in the hospital but she was very very hurt. And you know what she is like today… happy, healthy and strong.”
“I have faith that the exact same thing will happen with Zaydie. His broken bones will mend, his stitches will heal and he will be the Zaydie you know and love. What we have to do is pray and know in our hearts that he will be okay.”
I truly believe that people can feel positive energy coming their way.
I remember being on a plane as a kid and we hit some turbulent air. I felt really nervous and then I suddenly turned to my mom and said, “Were you praying for me?”
And she said, “yes.”
And I said, “I thought so. Because I suddenly felt calmer.”
So many years later, I was trying to explain to my children the importance of prayer, faith and love. After I finished, I asked if they had any questions.
There was silence.
Then 5 year old Harlowe spoke, “Mommy.”
“Yes?” I responded.
“I really love Doritos.”
And I laughed. “Yes, they are delicious honey.”
Rick’s dad is making amazing progress. My children and I heard his voice on the phone today and it was magical. The best thing I’ve heard in a really long time.
For many years, I’ve been filling out school forms for my children. Forms for preschool. Forms for kindergarten. Forms for new schools. And many of times, I’ve answered the question… Type of birth? Vaginal? Or C-section?
And unbelievably I never thought to NOT answer it.
Well, one mother did think to absolutely not answer it. Cara Paiuk recently wrote a piece for the New York Times and said, “The ‘baby’ who had resulted from that birth was 5 years old and well over any possible ramifications of it I could imagine. I thought it was obvious that this question was absurdly inappropriate, and said so.”
And this mom started asking why this question was asked at all. And she was told “the form was stored in the school nurse’s files so that if a teacher or other administrator perceives an issue with a child (presumably, a learning disability or behavioral problem), that person could pull the file and look for clues in the medical record that might explain the cause.”
So let’s say, a kid throws a globe at a teacher. School officials might pull his file and say, “ohhh, vaginal birth. You know traumatic it can be to come out of a vagina. Poor kiddo has a lot of stifled rage.”
Cara Paiuk wasn’t convinced either. She pointed out that birth traumas could happen via a vaginal birth or C-section. Plus, why not ask about other things that could impact a child’s behavior or learning – like diet. And she was told, “We don’t like to ask questions about food. Parents are very sensitive to that.”
But not to questions about their vaginas?! I think I can speak on behalf of all women that we are sensitive to questions about our vaginas, especially when it comes from people outside the medical profession.
Which is why I can’t figure out why I never thought to leave this question blank when filling out school forms. I just answered it like some kind of parental robot. In my defense, I’ve filled out a lot of mind numbing forms and I’d probably tell them my bra size if I thought it would move the process along faster.
The thing is – I don’t mind sharing birth information with doctors. I don’t mind sharing it with friends or anyone who asks. But it doesn’t need to be stamped on my kids’ school forms. And I’m glad a mom finally pointed this out to me.
My children took a week off from camp last week.
Which means we did a lot of outings, the kids did a lot of creative projects at home and I did a lot of drinking, I mean, cleaning up.
I’m not going to sugarcoat this. Not every activity was a winner. For example – one morning, I took my 5 year old son Chase to the pediatrician for a wart on his foot that has been bothering him – and the four other kids got to come along for the fun of it!
The pediatrician put some kind of magical wart medicine on Chase’s foot and said, “Just don’t get his foot wet until 4 pm this afternoon. At 4, wipe off the medicine.”
No problem! Because I didn’t want to leave anything up to chance, I set my phone to remind me at 4 pm.
We went home and as soon as we arrived my son Chase said, “Can I go in the neighbor’s pool?”
I, because I apparently had no recollection of my morning activity, said, “Sure! I’ll come over and watch you swim.” So of course, all the medicine got washed off and now we get to go back to the pediatrician and do it all over again. I really know how to plan a fabulous summer.
Also last week, my very creative 10 year old printed her own newspaper. It’s called Camp Wapponocca News as a nod to our former New York street.
Notice the first upbeat line… “This week, we have a lot of exciting things going on. Like on Monday, we had mommy’s birthday!!”
Along with a photo of me.
Then it says… “She is way younger in that picture.”
Wait, what?! First of all, the picture isn’t that old. It was taken at my friend Adam’s wedding and that was only – okay maybe the picture is a bit dated.
But my gosh, does her first foray into journalism have to involve throwing me under the bus. I guess so.
I’ll let you know when the next issue comes out. I heard the future of journalism is in newspapers.
Not long ago, I told you about a big box that arrived at my house.
It was my birthday present. From my husband. I hyperventilated. I stressed. I did a lot of hand wringing. Because I don’t like stuff. Especially big stuff. Especially big stuff that I don’t know anything about.
I knew in all likelihood it was one of 4 things.
A hand painted spice rack
A wagon wheel coffee table
A gold plated abacus
Or a framed photo of Ryan Gosling.
To my surprise, it was none of these things. It was instead, this…
Those are the streets from our old neighborhood in the West Village in Manhattan.
Damn, I still miss that neighborhood.
And as for the gift… I love it.
I absolutely love it.
But here’s the problem. My husband doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to buying me gifts.
Let me remind you about the red onesie he gave me for Valentine’s Day one year.
But for some reason, he’s still incredibly optimistic when it comes to picking out presents for me. And now with this current success, he is absolutely bursting with unbridled confidence.
I’ll be owning a wagon wheel coffee table in no time.