Parental Highs and Lows: In One Afternoon



Hadley lagging behind Sam and I as we get to the escalator. We start down. She is paralyzed at the top. “MOOOOOOOOOM—-HELP ME!!!” I contemplate running the wrong way up the stairs. I contemplate making it to the bottom and then racing to the top to fetch my child. Instead, I scream. Loudly. COME ON HADLEY! PUT ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER. NOW. She is paralyzed by fear. It is Sam that rescues her. He takes two steps up and reaches for her. She takes his hand and steps. Everyone is ok. Everyone on the escalator is staring at me. Definite low.


If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me
Have you read the YouTube comments lately?
“Man, that’s gay” gets dropped on the daily
We become so numb to what we’re saying
A culture founded from oppression
Yet we don’t have acceptance for ‘em
Call each other faggots behind the keys of a message board
A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it
Gay is synonymous with the lesser

“Same Love” Macklemore

Maisy and I are riding in the car. The words are piercing. We are both silent. Like a young man on a first date, I play a question in my head seven different ways: “Huh. What do you think of this song?” “Hey Maisy, you like this song?” “Good song huh?” “What’s this song mean?”

Finally I croak out “Wow. Know who sings this?” She sits straight up and begins rattling off name, other songs, she fact that Macklemore “writes ALL his own stuff.” I know I am pushing my luck but I blurt out “Do you understand these lyrics?” “Sure do. It is an unbelievable song….so true.”

What? My 13 year old gets “IT.” An “IT.” Definite High.


Sam: “Mom, know what I did today?”
Me: “What babe? Take a shower?”
Sam: I made a ninja costume.
He proceeds to don an all black outfit complete with trash bag guantlets secured by roller blading wrist guards. “I got skills Chub!” He proclaims.

Who is he calling Chub? He spent the day creating a ninja costume out of trash bags and black t-shirts. My eleven year old son, the one who struggles using a fork, really fancies himself a ninja. He gets that from his father who thinks somehow he could be a real life Jason Bourne. Sad low.


Maisy is distraught. She lost her glasses at the pool. She is crippled. She is weeping. I drive one and a half hours round trip to pick up some samples of contacts to get her a bit of eyesight until we can have new glasses made. We spend the rest of the evening trying to get the contacts in. There is screaming, stomping, and crying. And, Maisy is not taking it too well either. I find myself with vivid memories of my first attempt at getting my contacts in. My mother stood over me clicking her tongue in disapproval. I was taking too long. Why couldn’t I just leave my glasses off for ONE party. NO MOTHER I CAN’T BECAUSE I CAN’T SEE. I know exactly how she feels right now: blind and hopeless.

I stand next to my M as she blinks and squints. I talk her through second by second. Hold your bottom lid. No your other hand. No not that finger….Finally, it’s in. She now blinks in disbelief. Against her better judgement, she is hugging me. HIGH!


Hadley has been horrible tonight. Screamed herself to sleep. She finally loses the unthinkable: Mommy will not put her to bed. I can hear her banging on her door begging for help. “I’m really scared…I’m really sorry..I’m really worried.”

It’s not pretty. It is taking every ounce of will power not to rescue her from the meanest disciplinarian in the world. That’s when the HIGHEST point of the night happens. Maisy, with her big, shiny eyes bounces into my room with a pack of Uno cards. “Wanna play Mom?”

I almost puked. I looked around. Yep, she’s talking to me.

Before I know it Sam is playing. He exclaims that we must excuse his “gassiness” as he is suffering from “gastric distress” we are laughing hysterically. They are beating me silly. I call Uno. 5 seconds later I am holding 27 cards–I have no idea what hit me. Sam declares “What you think of that Fool?”

Ok, I will be a fool…small price to pay for having two of my kids laughing. Highest.

Tomorrow, I’m going for some Hadley highs.


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