LIFE IS IRONIC

Life is ironic by design. Your body is ready to reproduce years , even decades, before you are financially and emotionally ready to be a parent. By the time you are in your sixties and have gotten over how unique you are and you have fought for you independence and hopefully gained it , that is exactly when you want, no need , closeness and nurturing.
You turn to your kids and they squirm because they are all about establishing their own independence and they do not want to be burdened by your needs.
If you are in my socio economic bracket, you probably left the suburbs after your kids were born but before they had to go to school. You could not afford to stay in the city and ensure a good education for your child. If you are like me, you learned to appreciate the relative peace and quiet, the backyard, the pool in the summer, the local beaches and parks.
But ironically just as your house is done to your liking,  just as maybe your mortgage is paid off or at least you can count down to that day, you wake up and want to chuck the whole white picket fence thing and move back to an apartment in the city. You want to walk everywhere. You want your super to have to shovel the snow and get your walls painted. You are willing to give up the two cars and rent one when you need it. You want to go out for breakfast coffee, You want to sit in cafés and people watch. You want to be part of a cultural Mecca and hear lively discussions about the work other people are doing.
But you have grandchildren. And you want them to come for the holidays. And you want them to move somewhere nearby so you can be useful again to your family in a meaningful way. You want to pass culture down and your kids can’t do it because both of them are working and they don’t have that to give. You are wiling to fill that void.  But your children want their independence.
Of course I am talking about my situation. But I would be happy if you shared your experiences.

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WISHING AND HOPING

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Do you know the commercial where a young mother is holding a cell phone and walking out of a house?  She asks her mother about the house that had been on the market.  It might even be the house next door. (PLEASE do not ask me what the commercial is selling.  I can’t remember what I had for breakfast and besides whether it is a realtor or a phone company or dog food, it it irrelevant to my point!).  Her mom tells her the house sold.  The daughter says: “I know” and walks out of the house, up to her mom, kisses her, and lets her know that she was the buyer! 

Well, that has become my favorite commercial ever since my cousin’s daughter moved into an apartment in the same condo building as my cousin.  Why did her daughter do that?  So that when her oldest gets dropped off from school, he can go directly to his grandparents and she can continue to work carefree for the rest of the day.

Am I the only mom who is wishing and hoping that will happen to her?  I go to open houses in our neighborhood and pray.

I remember how hard it was to be a single mom, raise a daughter, and work two jobs.

Every time I call my daughter, I ask her if there is anything we can do to help.  And every time, she tells me she is fine.  That is how I know she is not yet mature.  When you are truly mature, you can’t believe that anyone else is actually OFFERING help and you don’t hesitate – the definitive “yes” just pops out and you feel such relief and gratitude.

I have this theory that you take the average life span and you divide it in half.  The first half you are just growing up and the second half you are an adult.  Prehistoric man lived maybe thirty years.  So, they became became adults when they were in their teens.  Since we are living on average into our 80s, we can’t expect our “adult children” to be really mature until they are middle aged!!!!!  I don’t know you feel about it, but my theory explains an awful lot of ridiculous behavior!

It’s All in the Name

My daughter and her husband are in their thirties. They named my grandson Graham after no one.  However, his middle name is his father’s father’s name.  I tell myself that they really named him Graham after my father, Jerome.  “G” is kind of like “J.”  And both names have “r” and ‘m.”  I tell this to myself so often that I really believe it and I have in turn told this to my grandson, so that a piece of my father, lives through him, and my grandson has roots.

I am a gardener and I know that the deeper the roots, the stronger the plant.

THESE ARE NOT YOUR MOTHER’S SLIPCOVERS!!!! PART II

I reupholstered two tall side chairs that are more cottage-like than traditional wing chairs.  They went from a mauve floral to duck white canvas.

Then the grandson came.  And climbed on the chairs;  hence, the slipcovers!

But look for yourselves!!!

These are not your mother’s slipcovers!!!! 

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DO YOU AGREE?

These are NOT your mother’s slipcovers!!!!!

I LOVE my living room.  We have a small (under 1,000 sq. ft) original beach cottage walking distance to a bay I would not dare put my bare feet into because of its proximity to the Big Apple and the pollution in the waterway.  Nonetheless, it is an original mid 1920s or 30s beach cottage.

I gave myself a retirement present – not a party.  We redid the last decrepit room in the house.

We had the old carpeting torn out and replaced it with maple hardwood.  We had the paint freshened.  We purchased a proper dining table and chairs.  The chairs are upholstered in a striped blue and off white and gold.  The dining area sits in front of the window, overlooking a driftwood gray deck. 

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I kind of like the slipcovered look even better than the original.  They get dirty.  They get washed.  They stay clean and fresh.

What do you think?