Author Archives: Tina Drakakis

About Tina Drakakis

I am a mom, a wife, a writer, a blogger & (most important) a Former-Reality-TV-Star. Really. You can Google it. I've been featured in Huff Post a couple of times (https://www.huffpost.com/entry/empty-nest-syndrome-kids_n_62bad8a9e4b080fb670a224b) and (https://www.huffpost.com/entry/lose-friends-new-years-resolution_n_61b79733e4b00aca716a69cc) and was in the inaugural cast of "Listen To Your Mother, Boston" sharing my original essay, "The Thinking Girl's Thong." I was featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet I'd say “Most Popular 1984” is pretty high on my list of achievements (next would be that home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but my kids forbid me to talk about it anymore). I would leave my husband for Jon Stewart, either Hemsworth brother or Sawyer from "Lost" and he is well aware of it (my husband ... not Sawyer.) I am happiest writing and raising four kids (now young adults) yet I'd trade any or all of them for great shoes. I drink WAY too much wine if the music is awesome ... I spend WAY too much time watching, listening & absorbing true-crime ... & I still have a bestie from fifth grade. I make sure my daughter knows: that is a beautiful thing. Fave published pieces include "Little Baby Fug," "The Thinking Girl's Thong" and "Friendvy." My collection of essays, A Momoir, is a work in progress and various chapters are posted -- agent interest is welcomed!

Last Licks: A Mom’s Parting Shot to Her Adult Kids

My youngest – my baby – just pulled up the rear and became a grown up (well, in the pass me a beer sense.  We all know they’re already true grownups at eighteen *raucous laughter) so what, game over?  Is my job done?   Now that everyone in my litter is (deep breath, slight smirk) adulting I’m golden, right?  Interesting idea.  I’d like to think so but something tells me I haven’t clocked my last timecard.

Listen, I did alright (hair flip).  As a group, all four have become functioning, at times quite likable. members of society.  Nobody’s got a probation officer.  Each has a fancy piece of paper with calligraphy proclaiming educational accomplishment and debt beyond their wildest dreams. They’re making their way, making missteps and figuring things out without too much falling debris.

But if I’m being honest, my no-longer-kids kids have a bit more work ahead of them.

In the event they’re all feeling ultra-confident in their adult super-skins and feel they no longer need mommy, I’m thinking it might be prudent to give them at least a parting shot of sage advice as they venture out into the great wilds of Knowing It All.  But if only I could leave them with the wisest advice, the holy grail of guidance, what would that be?  Cue Eminem, if you had one shot…

Be a good human? Be respectful? Be kind?  Sure, sure, sure. Kumbaya.

I guess I could impart any of those ambiguous ideologies and poof! the world would become a better place, yes?

I don’t know about others but my kids – excuse me – my adult children, may require more specific instruction.   With happiness and wellness in mind, I whittled my words of wisdom to my top three:  tangible actions that may keep their adulting on the right track – and maybe keep melancholy at bay at the same time. Full disclosure: I have no empirical evidence or lengthy research but I do have firsthand knowledge of their own, shall I say lacking areas.  Naturally I’ve put them in order of importance in case any of them lose interest and stop reading.

Here goes.

Be Thoughtful.  This requires an action: actually thinking about others and how they might feel.  For example, your father’s birthday is the same day every year.   Fortheloveofgod, write it down.  Better yet, put it right into your handheld computer-appendage. Better still, start keeping track of all the dates you can bestow simple attention on someone.  Out in public, continue to be thoughtful.  Give up your seat to an elderly person or pregnant woman not because it’s the right thing to do (it is) but because you’re thinking about how lousy it is to be standing at that age or condition.  Your small actions can literally change someone’s day, maybe even life and as an added bonus byproduct: making others feel good has a profound impact on making you feel good, too. Hello, dopamine!

Stay Mindful of Your Money.  Pay your bills on time, pay yourself & watch your money – every week and all the time.  Endless virtual transactions and online apps fool you into thinking you have money.  You do not.  If you start paying attention to the particulars of your finance flow you won’t be gobsmacked by your W-2 realizing how much you truly made in a year. Staying aware of the spending will help keep you ahead of the anxiety that comes with being broke.

Find a Source of Satisfaction.  Find an activity that’ll keep your hands occupied and (mom silently screams) off your phone.  Incessant scrolling is really just amplified boredom and boredom leads to the blues.   Flip pages of books, swing a golf club, dig some dirt, build something, create.  If you have no hobbies or interests, make it a point to find some; it may help make your universe bigger.  Spend time with people in person.  Connect to your community.  A sense of belonging does wonders for the human psyche.

That last one is clutch.  I really do believe the harder stuff falls into place if there’s a healthy mindset because despite an abundance of modern conveniences, they seem to be struggling more than we did.

Maybe we were a tougher generation.  Maybe we had more mettle or survival instinct or perseverance or I don’t know, better movie quotes to keep propelling us through adversity (Goonies never say die!)

Whatever the reason, whether it’s social media or Gen XYZ entitlement or maybe just because they’ve grown up without a good swift kick in the ass (sigh, laws, whatever), they seem to be carrying a lot more emotional baggage than we did.   More than anything I just really want my kids to know that jobs and people come and go but if they can become their own influencer and retain a good sense of self they’ll be fine.

The kids’ll be alright.

I know I’m leaving out a lot and could come up with more … but I’ve got to go assist an *adult dig up a missing birth certificate.

Mom, out.

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and recently was featured in Huff PostShe appeared in the Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements. (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore). A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook  &  @Eyerollingmom on Instagram.  Her collection of essays, A Momoir, can be found  here (agent interest ALWAYS WELCOME!)

Outsmarted by Mom? Pfft. Always.

My childhood played out in the 70s and my adolescence was fine-tuned in the 80s so despite a legitimate fear of the ocean thanks to fictional cinema, I grew up a genius.

Okay maybe not an actual genius but definitely brilliant – especially compared to my kids at that age.  Diplomas aside, I’m sorry, what in the world happened to street smarts?

I grew up knowing things.  Cool things.  Important things. I could Name That Tune in three notes.  I could get anywhere with directions taped to my dashboard (because my friend’s neighbor’s cousin had just traveled there so I knew which Sunoco station to pass then make the next left).  I knew precisely how fast I’d have to run home to make curfew for every minute I’d chosen to overstay my good time.  I’d mastered public transportation by age thirteen (that was just sink or swim – seriously, whose parents were driving them anywhere?)  The things I didn’t know I just sort of figured out, usually by spying on the older kids making out under the street lights.

My kids most definitely could never have swung a covert six-hour road trip to a Genesis concert at the Syracuse dome without GPS OR alerting any parents. They wouldn’t know how to stash two friends in the nearby bushes while hitching to a movie (ooh, big disclaimer here:  kids, do NOT try this today.  There wasn’t any crime back then and no internet to scare us about it if there was, so this reckless act would definitely not be considered brilliant today).  Our refrains of the Reagan era remain to this day: How are we even alive or better, Did we even have parents?

When one of my sons (birth order has been redacted to protect the humiliated) graduated high school he texted me at work to ask if I had a template he could use for his Thank You cards. Wait, wut?

A friend told me her son sent cash to the DMV to pay his $400 speeding ticket.  The worst part?  They actually accepted it so now he thinks his mom’s a nagging lunatic that needs to chill out.

Another’s kid peeled out and sped away from the police after being pulled over – then he forgot to turn off his headlights after he’d successfully ducked into a random driveway down a side street.

Good lord. Am I the only one with concerns?

My kids fully acknowledge my stealth upbringing ruined them.  Getting past me with red eyes or minty breath?  Not a chance. Skipping school?  Fuhgeddaboudit. They were doomed from the start.

They can keep their TikTok; I will forget more in my lifetime than my kids will ever learn.

Good thing they’ve got itty bitty computers in their pockets.  If only those were ever charged.

***

*Disclosure: I submitted this piece to a bi-annual Erma Bombeck contest which is sponsored by the sweet local library in her sweet little hometown in Ohio. It was my first time and I gave it a shot. It wasn’t selected but after reading the sweet winning entries I can guess if I ever try again I’ll leave out the hitchhiking, evading police and lying to parents parts (laughing emoji). Lesson learned! Next time, next time!

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and recently was featured in Huff PostShe appeared in the Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements. (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore). A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook  &  @Eyerollingmom on Instagram.  Her collection of essays, A Momoir, can be found  here (agent interest ALWAYS WELCOME!)

https://www.facebook.com/Eyerollingmom

Worse Than The Mean Girls? The Angry, Angry Adults.

I have been trying my damnedest to turn away from negativity but I’m finding it no small feat.  It would be a lot easier if nastiness wasn’t (accurately) everywhere but it seems it’s become the norm to express anger the moment it’s felt.  Have keyboard, will spew.  It’s insane. And getting worse.

The spewing has been gaining in momentum and rising in vitriol for years.  How have we not managed to reel this in?  How is there still so much bullying going on?

When I appeared on Trading Spaces the producers emphatically warned: don’t go onto the internet.  Of course I did and it was awful.  The message boards were brimming with horrid comments and insults because why, total strangers found good fortune?  What in the actual hell.  That was 2003.  Almost 20 years ago.

I recently watched the amazing Amy Schneider’s thrilling run on Jeopardy (who? give it a Goog).   I just read that she, too, was counseled to do the same and in fact, went so far as to delete all her social media accounts for the duration of her record-breaking reign.  How sad.

Clearly we have not come a long way, baby.

It used to be we worried about our kids being bullied – or worse, being bullies.  My daughter was a victim back in eighth grade.  That was 2008.  Not physical (thankfully) but traumatic all the same.  While I was alerted at the start, the other parents were only brought into the loop days later – after confessions were tied up in a neat little bow and receipts for vandalized possessions were printed.

At the time I thought more about being the other parents and getting that call out of the blue. Can you even imagine?  I would’ve been distraught.

I think about years ago when my husband worked for a real pompous ass (I know…who hasn’t, I digress).  One night we channel surfed onto a national news program reporting on a hazing scandal at a prestigious prep school nearby. It was worse than bad.  (Think locker room, cocky jocks and (sorry) bananas.  Horrific.)  One of the perpetrators was the son of the pompous ass boss. Seriously.  I couldn’t help but feel utter devastation for him.

Our kids have always had the ability to change the direction of our lives on a dime with One.  Stupid.  Move.  One poor choice.  One thoughtless act.  As parents, all we can do is brace ourselves for the unexpected and try to do our best to keep things on the right track and pray that common sense prevails.  We’re not masters of the universe though.  Kids are still being horrible and social media has ignited an entire breeding ground of cruelty.  It’s an anonymous wild west of venom and a whole new playing field of warfare.  We get that (prayers to parents of emergent tweens. Shudder).

But adults are bringing unkindness to a whole new level.

Remember when the worst display of adults behaving badly came from contempt shouted from the bleachers? (*Sighs wistfully) Those were the days.

I’ve written about this before but it’s only gotten worse in the years since that posted.

I had a recent piece published on a national platform (wait, what, you missed all my shameless plugging? Fret not!  It’s right here ). The gist was simple: closing chapters on friends that no longer reciprocate affection or attention. That’s it, nothing earth shattering.  It was a personal essay, not a declaration of my opinion of politics, air fryers or, worse, Yellowstone. Yet – holy fkkking shtttt, – out came the villagers with torches.   Incredibly (in the you have GOT to be kidding me file) most of the naysayers were men who apparently have a lot to say about female friendship.

Seriously?

Staaaaaaaaaaaaaaaap.

What in the world motivates grown-ups to be negative and nasty?   Even if a person comes across something upsetting, aren’t there enough kitten pictures out there to ease that temper and turn that frown upside down?

I don’t have a proclamation for my soapbox and I certainly don’t have any solutions (actually if I could brag I’d admit I’m actually in pretty good company:  I just saw my good friend Ty Pennington come out with guns blazing over his body shamers) but I wish more people would just stop typing.

Or at least use a dictionary.

Excuse me while I go find some puppy pics to go with this post.

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and recently was featured in Huff PostShe appeared in the Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements. (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore). A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. And @Eyerollingmom on Instagram.  Her collection of essays, A Momoir, can be found  here (agent interest ALWAYS WELCOME!)

ScoliosiS(hit)

Eyerollingmom’s Diary Page — Wednesday, October, 1, 2008

Those who check in occasionally know I normally use this space for a light chuckle.  Unlike many who utilize a blog for always beautiful, sometimes cathartic prose, I tend to go with the humorous details of my life.  I find the funny in every day.

Still, there are my peeps that do check in to find out what’s new.  (These are friends who are well aware that the photo I’ve posted is many years old.  Hey, hey, hey — people on those cyber dating sites do this ALL THE TIME.  Apparently using an old yet flattering picture is like, totally, cool….)

In any case, here we go:  while her mom still navigates the residual emotional exhaustion of yesterday’s six-hours at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, my daughter donned her new (pink) scoliosis brace for the first time today.

I have resigned myself to the fact that I will be A) battling spontaneous tears (that come from said exhaustion) and B) battling my daughter for many, many calendar days to come.

No mother, nowhere, at no time, wants any doctor to ever tell her there is something not perfect with her child.  The same initial wind gets knocked out of her whether she’s hearing her child has leukemia or asthma.  Whether her child needs a new kidney, a new hearing aid or a new scoliosis brace.  It’s just the way it is.  Parents feel the same level of terror when their child goes in for any surgery whether it’s ear tubes or tonsils or transfusions.  These are our babies.

However, being at Children’s Hospital is a tremendously humbling experience.  While I wanted to wallow in the lousy turn my daughter’s life is going to take right now, I could not.  For as we waited our turn in the brace shop I was drawn to the smiling faces of the beautiful toddlers who were being strolled in by their weary mothers.  Each had on a brightly colored cranial helmet.  I almost broke down in shame.  How could I possibly be upset at my situation?  There are far, far worse things in life, I truly, deeply know.

But today, away from the babies and awakened at dawn for brace patrol and an early morning meeting with the school nurse, I am sad.  And at the same time ashamed at my sadness.

So I’m not feeling very humorous today.  I can’t help it.  It is awful enough being thirteen. Whether or not it’s a favorite color, pink doesn’t always go with everything.

*2022 Update: The exhausted mom turned out okay. The gal in the brace … even better.

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and recently was featured in Huff Post. She appeared in the Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements. (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore). A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and@Eyerollingmom on Instagram.

Her collection of essays, A Momoir, can be found on this site (agent interest ALWAYS WELCOME!)

Missed the start of A Momoir?  Begin here:

Chapter 1, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/07/29/a-collection-of-eyerolls-chapter-1-yes-billy-joel-we-will-all-go-down-together/

A Momoir, Chapter 15: Down & Dirty: A Marriage Turns 30

I just reached my thirtieth wedding anniversary.  It came and went without the Rocky music playing; just a basic Tuesday, a bottle of wine, some seafood and a couple of cute photos posted. Honestly, it didn’t seem like such a Herculean effort reaching the milestone. I’ve got a bunch of friends and family still long-hauling in their marriages.  I’ve also got friends who are my-age-newlyweds and one that has finally found Mr. Right with husband #3.  These friends are still at the starry-eyed stage so I try not to spend too much time with them (it makes me feel bad about broadcasting every misstep of my spouse).  Obviously they’ve got a lot of catching up to do but my point is, hitting thirty years didn’t seem as symbolic as it (probably) was.  Really, if given the choice between staying married or online dating … shudder.

I don’t have any words of wisdom and can’t share any magical tips (my Master Class on Matrimony would most resemble a stand-up routine) but having made it this far I guess I might possess some admirable experience on living harmoniously with facial tics, no?

Sure, we’ve come a long way, baby, but it’s not because I picked a perfect partner (please — more on his jazz hands later) but I guess what it boils down to is I just sorta picked someone perfect in putting up with me.

I’m super easy going.  Until I’m not.

I’m fairly sensible.  Until um, shoes.

I’m reasonably intelligent.  Until um, history, geography and science questions.

I’m a (cue WooHoo!) damn good time. Until um, Tito’s.

And that’s not even mentioning the heels, hot wings, beer and karaoke I come with.

Trust me, as wives go, I’ve got it going on.  Him?  Sigh.  Not so much.

He’s a little bit weirdo (closes every blind in every room when he takes a shower, convinced the neighbors are lying in wait with binoculars), a little bit rebel (that’s it, NO!  I am NOT getting up in the middle of the night to finish this final dose of colonoscopy cleanse!) and at times a lot annoying (everyone likes him.  I mean everyone.  Really, it’s annoying.)

Worse, while I battle the sands of time and do everything in my power to fight the good fight (collagen powder, get to work, girl!), he chooses to age right in front of my eyes.   Want to hear the extended 10-day forecast every morning before you’ve stirred your coffee? He’s your guy.

His signature move?  Watching rock and roll documentaries every weekend in the early hours before I rise and telling me all about them all day long.  Stevie Nicks, we hardly knew ye.

And then there’re all those other things I’m pretty sure are commandments of the Husband Oath:

Picking movies of zero interest to others, then falling asleep during them and asking for a recap. (Hard nope.)

Demanding the remote, selecting a show, then immediately scrolling on his phone.

Warming up the shower for longer time than his actual shower.

And finally, the absolute worst: losing weight effortlessly, whenever he feels he’s put on a few.

Right?  How in the world does he have any woman? 

I could scream, but if I’m being completely honest, it’s not all bad.  For starters, he happens to be an exceptional dad, (although he was forced to relinquish his power to assert consequence after, during a heated family blowout, he delivered the infamous phrase that will now forever be etched on our family tree: This ain’t no gangsta family!) It certainly diffused the tense situation but it took awhile for four teenagers to get up off the floor.  He’s slowing regaining some street cred with them (he ran a couple of marathons and got Venmo) so he’ll be fine.

He’s a keeper.  He gets me.  He still tells me to be careful every time he spies me on my folding stepstool.  And he continually buys me itty bitty icky underwear off the internet because in his eyes I haven’t aged a day or gained a pound since 1991. 

Most days we are a living, breathing marriage meme (If you like getting annoyed at the way someone loads a dishwasher marriage may be for you!) but clearly we’ve seemed to find our groove. Longtime couples get super fat, super grey, super snippy and super unsexy over the course of time.  We’ve figured out the secret sauce is not doing it all at the same time.  We’ve learned to alternate and stagger that shizz. 

Our marriage has had our fair share of critical moments but like childbirth, those times fade to a murky remembrance once you’ve gotten through them and the storms are in the rearview mirror.  Deep down we genuinely like each other.  And (jazz hands notwithstanding) we make each other laugh. 

About those jazz hands, I’m not spilling tea here – he parades them in public when (cringe) dancing.  Picture a ridiculously happy guy, arms raised above his head, pumping them up and down while encouraging others to join him — you know, like a bouncing (bopping) billboard for Club Med.   In the secret society of love languages, this is our private signal that I am now the designated driver.  See?  We work well together.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, James, will you accept this rose?

It’s time we celebrate.  Whaddaya say we get romantic and pop in our edited, three-hour wedding videotape to see if we recognize anyone.

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements. (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore). A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and@Eyerollingmom on Instagram.

Missed the start of A Momoir? Catch up here:

Chapter 1, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/07/29/a-collection-of-eyerolls-chapter-1-yes-billy-joel-we-will-all-go-down-together/

Chapter 2, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/08/13/chapter-2-sometimes-kids-suck-a-lot/

Chapter 3, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/09/22/chapter-3-sorry-were-tied-all-kids-are-filthy/

Chapter 4, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/12/02/a-momoir-chapter-4-a-moms-plea-to-seth-rogen-enough-with-the-masturbation-already/

Chapter 5, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2018/04/20/a-momoir-chapter-5-the-magnitude-of-the-middle-aged-mom/

Chapter 6: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2018/08/24/a-momoir-chapter-6-im-not-always-like-you-mom-but-thats-okay/

Chapter 7: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2018/12/01/a-momoir-chapter-7-hello-happiness-are-you-out-there-hello-hello/

Chapter 8: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2019/06/14/a-momoir-chapter-7-high-school-graduation-my-big-fat-so-what/

Chapter 9: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2019/08/12/a-momoir-chapter-9-parenting-horrific-behavior-would-you-know-could-you/

Chapter 10: Click here: A Momoir, Chapter 10: Coming Clean: The Art of Mastering Uncomfortable Conversations

Chapter 11: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2020/02/22/a-momoir-chapter-11-how-many-back-in-my-days-until-you-officially-morph-into-your-mom/

Chapter 12: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2020/03/17/a-momoir-chapter-12-when-a-teen-up-leaves/

Chapter 13:  Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2020/07/24/a-momoir-chapter-13-covid-edition-or-rather-still-not-skinny/

Chapter 14: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2021/04/03/a-momoir-chapter-14-this-good-mom-survived-a-bad-kid-spoiler-alert-you-can-too/

A Momoir, Chapter 14: This Good Mom Survived a Bad Kid & (Spoiler Alert) You Can, Too

If only life’s REAL rollercoaster was this innocent!

* Disclaimer:  I was recently contacted by a distraught mom.  She’d read one of my pieces about the time my son was putting us through the ringer while in high school (catch it here).  She wanted me to know she was going through something similar and was heartbroken but that I’d given her hope.  It made me remember another related story about that time so I dug it up & decided to make it another chapter. (Sorry if it seems repetitive – perhaps one day a savvy editor will assist with this!) Maybe this one will offer some hope as well. I believe the singular best moment of motherhood is realizing how utterly normal our imperfect families are.  Recognizing this is genuinely life changing.  I think it’s important to share our good, bad and please-delete-that-pic ugly so we all know we are soooooo not alone when slogging through the darkest tunnels.   It helps seeing the glimmer of light.  Because there’s always a glimmer. Always.)

*    *    * 

My parenting style is fairly conventional (except maybe when my sons were young and I’d hand them a scraper and say “Get to work” after finding dried boogers on the walls next to their beds.  I don’t know who else does this but it should be standard practice if you ask me.  Nasty boys.  Anywho).  When it came to discipline I pretty much just swayed towards commons sense.

Honor Roll allowed a kid to keep a cell phone in middle school.

A clean bathroom got a high schooler out the door on Friday night.

You dent the car, you pay for it.

It never really seemed that hard.

My parenting philosophy didn’t involve much head-scratching so I have to admit, I was ready for the adolescence of my children.  Growing up on Long Island in the unsupervised 80s, my friends and I had mastered the art of outsmarting authority and evading evidence of typical teen shenanigans.

I had this, I thought.   Bring on the acne.

I never imagined it would culminate with a composed call to the police, asking them to come get my child.

It was especially trying — and surprising — when my second born, a daughter, went through her head-spinning-Linda-Blair stage first, at fourteen.  While she was screaming and carrying on about calling Child Protective Services and attempting to bore holes into our foreheads with her fury, my oldest son just flew under the radar.  A junior in high school, he was a typical, well, boy.  Immature, uninterested in school and willing to eke by with the minimum of work exerted.  By most standards, the textbook teen boy.

He was always a bit young for his age but rather than dwell on his mediocre grades we tried to focus on his charm, and magnetism.  He was well-liked, pleasant, good natured and  —  mother’s pride aside —  a delight.  I loved the stuffing outta him.  Always have.

Turns out, this extreme love came in handy when I began to hate him.

I don’t recall exactly when the metamorphosis of my good-boy-gone-bad began but I do remember every detail of warning, every red-flag.

With each rebellious incident I tried to keep perspective.  I even rationalized.  I did this, too.  The drinking.  The pot.  The skipped school.  The scummy friends.  Wasn’t this typical teen territory?  I even admitted, I did far worse (thank you, 1986).  So I tried to keep a cool head and held firm with consequences.  Even though much of the time I felt like I was swimming against a tide (a tide of parents who unfathomably presented cars for sixteenth birthdays and provided smartphones through school suspensions) I did what I was supposed to do.  My litany of repercussions included (but were not limited to):  grounding, taking phones, taking plates off cars, paying for NOTHING (yearbook, class trips, clothing, toiletries, prom, car insurance) ….. Good God, we took away everything.  We joked that my son lived an Amish lifestyle.

He Just.  Didn’t.  Care.   About anything, it seemed.

When enough was enough, we finally took his four-year-college off the table.  We had done our part:  attended freshman orientation, bought the sweatshirts and travel mugs, kept our hopes high for some show of maturity.   It didn’t come.  As his senior year came to an end, he still hadn’t gotten it.

We put our foot down.  No way, we said.  There was no chance we were going to strap ourselves paying for a university when he wasn’t even getting himself to high school – for free. We told him he needed to get his act together, prove himself responsible and start with community college.  It was all we had left.  We privately envisioned that kid – that horrifically headline-storied kid each year – that ends up dead in a dorm room from alcohol before classes have even started.

Nothing seemed to work.  So we told him to rethink his plans for the future.

Turns out, our Great American Parenting Plan backfired because well, he left.

He just left.

He called it moving out.  But conventional wisdom would argue that throwing some clothes in a duffle bag and heading out the door without an inkling of what’s happening the next day is no such thing.  He had run away.

He had had it with our outrageous rules, our absurd expectations and our irrational belief that teens should be responsible and respectful on their journey to adulthood.  So — without any angry fanfare or slamming doors —  my oldest child left our home six days before his high school graduation.

The situation, as an understatement, was hard.  Devastating, in fact.  It was the ultimate in rejection for a mother:  a child that doesn’t want her.

And I didn’t pretend to understand it.

But I knew in my heart: he was a good kid and we were good parents.

And I knew deep down that he’d be back one day.

He was.  After a long and fretful 47 days.

When he returned we spent what was left of the summer reconnecting as a family and licking our wounds.  Damage had been done and both sides were duly cautious about a recurring Groundhog Day of past occurrences.

But things were far from perfect.  In time, familiar nagging doubts started creeping in.  There was a level of distrust that I just couldn’t shake.  At times I seemed sadder now that he was home than when he’d been gone.  Things didn’t seem much better and I wondered if I would ever again feel joy when my son walked into a room.

Disrespect is a mighty deal breaker in my home and I do not believe a refrain of “This is my home and these are my rules” should be up for interpretation. When my beloved son’s behavior started down the slippery slope of insolence once again, I felt stronger and wiser when I addressed it.

Not long after he returned, he decided once again that our curfew was unreasonable and didn’t come home.

When he eventually did …  his room was packed up, our locks were changed and we were waiting.

I told him since he wasn’t ready to resume living in MY home with MY rules, he needed to leave. He refused.   I showed him all his things.   He still refused to leave.  I then called the police.

I wasn’t afraid of the neighbors seeing, or knowing, or talking.

I wasn’t afraid of him actually leaving either.  I realized I’d survived the last time he left, and would this time, too.  And this time, it was going to be on MY terms.

I realized I wasn’t afraid of anything. And that absence of fear was indescribably empowering.

We sat together calmly, in silence, and waited for the police to arrive.

I have to say, when they walked in they seemed surprised to encounter a domestic disturbance that wasn’t terribly disturbing at all.

The officer in charge kindly – but sternly – let my teenager know the deal:  It was 48 hours before my son’s eighteenth birthday, therefore by law, we were required to care for him.  But only for two more days.  After that, should they get called again, they would have to take him out of the home.

It is my honest belief that a couple of changed locks and a few police cars will do wonders for a teen’s psyche.   It changed everything for us.

My son learned a lot of things that day.  He learned we were absolutely done. And he learned (thank you, officer) that if you expect to live in your parents’ home, you should expect to follow their rules.  Period.

I believe – no, I know – that once this became clear to him, it may have been his personal epiphany.  It was as if his rebellion started to break away and let some clarity emerge.  Hell, maybe it was simply a badge … or a look of “Really, kid?” coming from someone other than his own parents.

I have absolutely no idea why it never sank in before that moment.  I likely never will.

It was a dark and rocky couple of years and – no joke – at times paled in comparison to my daughter’s fright fest at age fourteen – but we got through it.  Good parents raising good kids usually do.

It was excruciating and difficult to do what most parents don’t seem to have the strength to do:  follow through with consequences and demand respect.  But we did.  Even though it damn well felt as if our family was in tatters, we held strong.

The joy of my firstborn, while on hiatus for a heartbreaking while, eventually returned.

Today, many moons later, the kid that spun us in circles is a successful, independent adult.   He’s still well-liked, pleasant, good natured and  —  mother’s pride aside —  a delight.  I still love the stuffing outta him and my face lights up whenever he enters the room.

The thing is, now I’ve got to come up with some new rules;   that crazy Labrador of his runs this house when he visits and gawwwwd, I am turning into a softie. I have got to get ahead of this insanity before I lose my edge!

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements. (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore). A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and@Eyerollingmom on Instagram.

Missed the start of A Momoir? Catch up here:

Chapter 1, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/07/29/a-collection-of-eyerolls-chapter-1-yes-billy-joel-we-will-all-go-down-together/

Chapter 2, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/08/13/chapter-2-sometimes-kids-suck-a-lot/

Chapter 3, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/09/22/chapter-3-sorry-were-tied-all-kids-are-filthy/

Chapter 4, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/12/02/a-momoir-chapter-4-a-moms-plea-to-seth-rogen-enough-with-the-masturbation-already/

Chapter 5, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2018/04/20/a-momoir-chapter-5-the-magnitude-of-the-middle-aged-mom/

Chapter 6: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2018/08/24/a-momoir-chapter-6-im-not-always-like-you-mom-but-thats-okay/

Chapter 7: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2018/12/01/a-momoir-chapter-7-hello-happiness-are-you-out-there-hello-hello/

Chapter 8: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2019/06/14/a-momoir-chapter-7-high-school-graduation-my-big-fat-so-what/

Chapter 9: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2019/08/12/a-momoir-chapter-9-parenting-horrific-behavior-would-you-know-could-you/

Chapter 10: Click here: A Momoir, Chapter 10: Coming Clean: The Art of Mastering Uncomfortable Conversations

Chapter 11: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2020/02/22/a-momoir-chapter-11-how-many-back-in-my-days-until-you-officially-morph-into-your-mom/

Chapter 12: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2020/03/17/a-momoir-chapter-12-when-a-teen-up-leaves/

Chapter 13:  Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2020/07/24/a-momoir-chapter-13-covid-edition-or-rather-still-not-skinny/

Becoming Goldilocks: My Dumpster Journey to Just Right

I recently sold my house.  It went on the market right before the start of the pandemic and stalled for some time.  But then the real estate virus volcano – fueled by an urban exodus – blew and swept us up in its frenzy.  It was a great relief unloading our oversized frat house but it happened so quickly we found ourselves without a place to go.

We took a deep breath, put all our stuff into storage and moved into a small furnished seasonal rental, a few houses from the ocean.  We began living a simplified life using other people’s stuff and it caused an interesting shift.  Turns out isolation plus a storage unit made me realize just how unimportant most stuff really is.

We slept on strangers’ sheets.  When I served soup it was poured out of a blue dinosaur plastic ladle because that’s all that was in the drawer.  My family photos were replaced by a charming assortment of mermaid kitsch and polite Thank You for Not Smoking plaques. I drank wine out of teeny tiny timeshare-type glasses and used the laundry detergent leftover from last summer’s Airbnb occupants.

I had very little of my own stuff around me and no lie, I really didn’t miss it. 

With space constraints coupled with work-from-home seclusion, I only unpacked one box of clothing: an assortment of leggings and tees that were worn in a constant rotation of who the fkkk cares?  I shared a bed with my husband but not a closet – it was way too small.  His stuff was somewhere else in the rental and I wished them all the best.

I didn’t require much of anything really.  I haven’t worn a pair of actual shoes in almost a year  (with nowhere to go and no one to see, seriously: who the fkkk cares?)  I kept out two pairs of jeans (one tight pair to keep me honest and one loose pair to keep me real) but I can’t remember the last time I wore either.  I haven’t worn less makeup since sixth grade so naturally I carry adequate anxiety for Revlon and wonder who might be keeping them afloat (I so miss you, Super Model No.45 matte lipstick, but since you are unseen under my mask… farewell for now).

Downsizing into a small space has been refreshing.  No big surprise: the more space you have the more you fill it – many times with unnecessary things (looking at you, filing cabinet). With our chicks flying the nest we’d spent the better part of last year purging but even after being dumpster-happy I still feel we have more stuff than we need.

So from the start it felt good to embrace a simpler way.  To even the scales of stress that came with the uncertainty of what next? the sun gods winked at us as we settled in, offering up a remarkable Indian summer autumn.  During our first couple of months we walked the shore at low tide and pondered our next move. It was mah-va-lus.

Alas, as the weeks churned, our carefree, no-strings-attached mood started changing.  When the cold weather came and the days got shorter, our beach turned ferocious. No joke: with every storm the water swished in the toilets.  The New England winter set in and with the blustery outdoors now a limited option we soon felt the constrictions of our tiny lifestyle.  Big time.

A family of adults working/schooling from home and living in tight quarters makes for long days.  Darkness beginning before the nightly news makes for long nights.  At times we found ourselves a bit, I’ll say, testy with each other.

When Crosby Stills & Nash sang Love the One You’re With they had no idea.

Really.

No.  Idea.

I cannot sugarcoat, it became a genuine struggle staying positive or (FINE) even civil.

But we kept the doldrums at bay by looking ahead.  We may have shifted from too big to too small but like Goldilocks, we may have found something on the horizon that feels just right to resume some normalcy.  Before the next Airbnb visitors arrive here to enjoy the blue dinosaur ladle we hope to be heading back to our loyal storage unit to see how our things have fared.

Hopefully we’ll soon be hauling them to a new location for a fresh start.

I’m going to keep purging (farewell, filing cabinet) but I’ll also be keeping things simple.

With or without Revlon.

Stay tuned to see if/where we landed!

Update:  this blog was duly unpacked!  We have landed in our not-too-big-not-too-small paradise and have turned a page on a new chapter!  I know there’ll be days when I miss some of the amenities I took for granted (like coat closets – GAH! why are houses ever built without them???  Stupid!) but I’ve got room for visiting kids and plenty of space for post-pandemic parties and well….  I should be all set as soon as I replace some of that stuff I madly tossed in a dumpster. See?  I’m almost ready for my friends! 

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the 2014 Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements. (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore). A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and@Eyerollingmom on Instagram.

Missed the start of A Momoir? Catch up here:

Chapter 1, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/07/29/a-collection-of-eyerolls-chapter-1-yes-billy-joel-we-will-all-go-down-together/

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Chapter 2, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/08/13/chapter-2-sometimes-kids-suck-a-lot/

Chapter 3, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/09/22/chapter-3-sorry-were-tied-all-kids-are-filthy/

Chapter 4, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/12/02/a-momoir-chapter-4-a-moms-plea-to-seth-rogen-enough-with-the-masturbation-already/

Chapter 5, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2018/04/20/a-momoir-chapter-5-the-magnitude-of-the-middle-aged-mom/

Chapter 6: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2018/08/24/a-momoir-chapter-6-im-not-always-like-you-mom-but-thats-okay/

Chapter 7: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2018/12/01/a-momoir-chapter-7-hello-happiness-are-you-out-there-hello-hello/

Chapter 8: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2019/06/14/a-momoir-chapter-7-high-school-graduation-my-big-fat-so-what/

Chapter 9: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2019/08/12/a-momoir-chapter-9-parenting-horrific-behavior-would-you-know-could-you/

Chapter 10: Click here: A Momoir, Chapter 10: Coming Clean: The Art of Mastering Uncomfortable Conversations

Chapter 11: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2020/02/22/a-momoir-chapter-11-how-many-back-in-my-days-until-you-officially-morph-into-your-mom/

Chapter 12: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2020/03/17/a-momoir-chapter-12-when-a-teen-up-leaves/

Chapter 13:  Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2020/07/24/a-momoir-chapter-13-covid-edition-or-rather-still-not-skinny/

Me, My Mom & the Stink Eye

My mom was a witch.  I mean, not in the literal sense (although you might not want to ask my junior high friends; that’s an unfairly rough period to judge).  But she was super-superstitious.  I spent my entire life watching her toss salt over her shoulder and muttering nutso things all the time.  Not the typical warnings of black cats and broken backs; more like ominous forewarnings of fate misfortunes, like having babies with horns or causing a wedding day catastrophe all because you’d carelessly added oregano into your red sauce.

When my high school boyfriend gave me pearl earrings for Christmas she sniffed, “Pearls mean tears.”  She said nothing else.

Um, okay?

In fairness, he was kind of a jerk and her spidey sense for Wrong Boys was keenly aware of this way before my adolescence picked up on it but her remark alone clearly seeped into my subconscious.  I’ve never really been a fan of that jewelry (and, for this Long Island girl, ignoring that accessory was an 80s struggle for sure.  Thanks, Madonna).  But the truth is that boy caused A LOT of tears so who knows, maybe she was right.   

But there were others, and most came void of any logic or rationale.  You just obeyed.

Never put your shoes on the table.  I do not.  Never have.

Never open your shower gifts with scissors.  Think that’s easy?  Try it.

Don’t wear black when you’re pregnant.  I never really heeded this until I was strolling through NY’s San Gennaro feast in the ninth month of my first pregnancy.  Now, this is a typical street festive, where booths and food trucks line the avenue and you gain weight from the smells alone.  It was summer, and right before the start of my maternity leave.  I was wearing a spectacular solid black, A-frame swing dress that I’d ordered from a (gasp!) catalog.  It was perfect for my unforgiving girth and I could wear it even after the baby came.  Back in the pre-Amazon day you seriously took your chances with mail order clothing but this was a winner.  It made my bloated brain convinced I looked like Audrey Hepburn.  I bought two:  the other was hot pink.  Anyway, as I strolled the streets with a group of co-workers a very old woman started motioning to me from her food stand.  I smiled and started making my way towards her (free sausage sample?  All in, ma’am!). As I got closer I could see was definitely not smiling back, but rather she was shaking her head.  She began wagging a wrinkled, crooked finger at me and started speaking in Italian.  She gestured to my overall physique, kept muttering things I did not understand and made the sign of the cross before shooing me away in disgust.  

I wore the hot pink number for the remaining weeks of the pregnancy and never (ever) told my mother.  (Spoiler alert, the baby arrived without horns).

Crazy, right?  This odd and offhand advice was naturally followed up with Don’t dress your baby in black so you can bet your sweet ass my kids have never looked like those sleek Kardashian kids.  Good grief, so not work the risk.

I know all these tales of caution were the stuff of folklore handed down from her own mother.  Once in childhood my grandmother once told me to never sleep on my left side.  You’ll crush your heart, she whispered. Imagine a little girl waking up in a sweaty panic any time she woke in the middle of night to find she’d shifted to that position.  Gah!

For most of my life I took this all in and didn’t push back much because frankly I didn’t have the gumption (ahh, old-fashioned elder respect) or Google (ahh, 90s) to argue.

But every now and then in adulthood I did.

My mom would always affirm odd numbered years were bad.  Whenever something tragic occurred she’d remark knowingly, Well, it is an odd year…. 

I’d had it.  With all the respect I could muster I politely yet adamantly refused to acquiesce.  I pointed out that, in addition to getting married in an odd year (30 years in a few weeks, *smugly types with emphasis*) all four of my kids were born in odd years.

She drifted into thought for a few moments before nodding and smiling, You’re right she whispered.  I’m sure she was taking inventory of all the endless blessings that came from her obedient daughter shielding her grandchildren from all that ebony clothing.

She shrugged and went on about her business, indifferent that I’d taken down her stink eye.  Nonsense averted.

Boy, oh boy. Imagine my field day of smugness if she was here today having witnessed 2020.

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the 2014 Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements. (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore). A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and@Eyerollingmom on Instagram.

Missed the start of A Momoir? Catch up here:

Chapter 1, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/07/29/a-collection-of-eyerolls-chapter-1-yes-billy-joel-we-will-all-go-down-together/

Chapter 2, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/08/13/chapter-2-sometimes-kids-suck-a-lot/

Chapter 3, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/09/22/chapter-3-sorry-were-tied-all-kids-are-filthy/

Chapter 4, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/12/02/a-momoir-chapter-4-a-moms-plea-to-seth-rogen-enough-with-the-masturbation-already/

Chapter 5, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2018/04/20/a-momoir-chapter-5-the-magnitude-of-the-middle-aged-mom/

Chapter 6: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2018/08/24/a-momoir-chapter-6-im-not-always-like-you-mom-but-thats-okay/

Chapter 7: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2018/12/01/a-momoir-chapter-7-hello-happiness-are-you-out-there-hello-hello/

Chapter 8: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2019/06/14/a-momoir-chapter-7-high-school-graduation-my-big-fat-so-what/

Chapter 9: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2019/08/12/a-momoir-chapter-9-parenting-horrific-behavior-would-you-know-could-you/

Chapter 10: Click here: A Momoir, Chapter 10: Coming Clean: The Art of Mastering Uncomfortable Conversations

Chapter 11: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2020/02/22/a-momoir-chapter-11-how-many-back-in-my-days-until-you-officially-morph-into-your-mom/

Chapter 12: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2020/03/17/a-momoir-chapter-12-when-a-teen-up-leaves/

Chapter 13:  Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2020/07/24/a-momoir-chapter-13-covid-edition-or-rather-still-not-skinny/

Gone 9 Years: A Toast to My Mom (Who is Definitely Not Digging My Present Attire)

xmas fam

My mom died nine years ago today, a few weeks shy of her 70th birthday.  Her own mom died at 69 also.  Even though I’m not a chain-smoker (since adolescence, you know, the norm back then) and keep (relatively) healthy, there’s not a doubt in my mind when my own 70th birthday is on my horizon I’ll be holding my breath on the way to that (obviously) momentous milestone.  I hear that’s a pretty profound moment in any child’s life.

 

69 is way too young.  Especially when you are (relatively) healthy (chain-smoking notwithstanding), still incredibly stylish, newly-retired and just returned from a 1st ever trip to Europe.  Really.  It’s just not fair.

 

69 is way too early.  Especially when your youngest grandchild is still a toddler and the whole slew of older ones are in the throes of expertly keeping your kids exasperated.  Damn, if you could only see them all now.  All 10 of them.  We were all together this past Christmas and man, your heart would’ve exploded with happiness and pride.  So unfair

 

69 is way too untimely.  You had finally mastered your flip phone but had barely tried texting.  Of course you’d still be watching Law and Order but I think you’d really like Netflix.

 

Funny, the things a daughter won’t forget.  When my sister and I had endless babies crying and walls of crayon and strewn cereal and crap everywhere …. you’d gently remind us to comb our hair before our husbands got home from work.  If you were here today you’d definitely be dissing my overalls and oy vey, would have never kept silent during my gal’s Free to Be You and Me unshaven armpits stage.  (I’d get the full blown disappointment; the granddaughter would get the hall pass.  Naturally.)

 

You made sure we never picked out a funky dish pattern because it was important how food looked on it.  It was also important that the food colors be pleasing to the eye (no carrots and sweet potato together—too much orange!).  Funny, I’ve never had anything but white dishes.  Just another little something that somehow stuck.

 

I think about all the nuggets of knowledge I gained from you during our not-long-enough time together.  Your little tolerance for self-pity.  Your tenacity to get things done, figure things out, keep moving forward.  My childhood friends still remember you in admiration, still shudder at the memory of your cool exterior and, always, still admit in amusement how nice it was to see you soften throughout the years.  You lived a tough life yet never let a series of unfortunate events define your path.

 

You taught me dogged determination.  And fierce loyalty.  And unwavering strength.  You showed me how to plow through obstacles and brush aside setbacks because, get over it, it’s not the end of the world.  It’s never as bad as someone else may have.

 

I miss her all the time but especially in the dog days of summer, when the bell tolls on the anniversary date.  All the memories of all those long days and nights come rushing in and the weight of all the what-might-have-beens is crushing.   The last hot night I spent with her in her home is seared into me.  When she fell on her way to bed and couldn’t lift herself up anymore I knew.  When I couldn’t lift her up all by myself either  I knew.  I held the phone and agonized, pausing before dialing because I knew.  I knew once I entered those digits and that ambulance arrived, my mom would never again step foot in her house again.

 

She never did.  And I’ve never forgotton the anguish of that decision.  Funny, the things a daughter  won’t forget.

 

Nine years.  A lifetime ago.  Back before all my kids were (gulp) grown-ups.  Back when I had a 10 year old.  And 12 year old.  And 16 year old.  And 17 year old.

 

I am no different than anyone else whose heart stays heavy over a lost loved one.  I feel her most days and talk to her more.  Usually just a quick Thanks, Mom when something goes right or a sarcastic Thanks Mom when a kid’s being a smartass.

 

I was talking with my sister recently and was having a bit of a moment.  I’d just found out I had qualified for a sizeable mortgage all on my own, without the need of a co-signer.  Just me.  I know, right?  Like I said, it was a moment.   I was trying to explain to her what that felt like.  I struggled finding the words.

 

“It’s like …” I began.

 

“…you’re Mom,” she finished.

 

My breath caught.

 

Yes.

 

Yes, I suppose that could be true.

 

Cheers, Mom.  My hair’s combed and I’ve ditched the overalls today.  Just for you.  xoxo

 

 

 

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the 2014 Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements. (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore). A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and@Eyerollingmom on Instagram.

 

Missed the start of A Momoir? Catch up here:

Chapter 1, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/07/29/a-collection-of-eyerolls-chapter-1-yes-billy-joel-we-will-all-go-down-together/

Chapter 2, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/08/13/chapter-2-sometimes-kids-suck-a-lot/

Chapter 3, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/09/22/chapter-3-sorry-were-tied-all-kids-are-filthy/

Chapter 4, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/12/02/a-momoir-chapter-4-a-moms-plea-to-seth-rogen-enough-with-the-masturbation-already/

Chapter 5, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2018/04/20/a-momoir-chapter-5-the-magnitude-of-the-middle-aged-mom/

Chapter 6: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2018/08/24/a-momoir-chapter-6-im-not-always-like-you-mom-but-thats-okay/

Chapter 7: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2018/12/01/a-momoir-chapter-7-hello-happiness-are-you-out-there-hello-hello/

Chapter 8: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2019/06/14/a-momoir-chapter-7-high-school-graduation-my-big-fat-so-what/

Chapter 9: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2019/08/12/a-momoir-chapter-9-parenting-horrific-behavior-would-you-know-could-you/

Chapter 10: Click here: A Momoir, Chapter 10: Coming Clean: The Art of Mastering Uncomfortable Conversations

Chapter 11: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2020/02/22/a-momoir-chapter-11-how-many-back-in-my-days-until-you-officially-morph-into-your-mom/

Chapter 12: Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2020/03/17/a-momoir-chapter-12-when-a-teen-up-leaves/

Chapter 13:  Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2020/07/24/a-momoir-chapter-13-covid-edition-or-rather-still-not-skinny/