Being a mom is tough. We wear many many hats and uniforms.

This year, I have donned my chauffeur hat, and traded in craft shows and trade shows. I don't mind being a (meh) cook, a (really meh) maid, a taxi driver.

I manage (not very well) schedules. I am an exam proctor. A psychologist. A nurse. A teacher. An art instructor. A fashion consultant. Sometime, when needed, a fashion editor. I know how to hoist "the girls", mmmokay?

As they grew up, the kids, (not the girls, ) allowed me to finally retire from being a hair stylist, a sports coach, and kool-aid mom, and fishing instructor.

I do provide a virtual cheering section for teams, contests, and concerts. I am a "tiger mom" too, and expert nitpicker. A cajoler, a dealmaker, a fixer. Although, I had to take lessons in Catholic guilt from my hubby, I have achieved high amateur status, I'd say.

I have prayed to Buddha, Cheezes, Gd, the earth mother, Krishna, that the kiddos come home in one piece, not in pieces, and not with diseases. I have done a rain dance for grades. Kneeling by my bed before the Sat Gods and AP angels. Not that they listened. So, back to nitpicking and guilt slinging I traipsed.

They humor me when I sing to my roses, hopelessly name the fuzzy creatures that are inexplicably drawn to our home, as I talk to myself in the car, commenting on all manner of crappy drivers, ugly dogs, annoying weather, and wacky political garbage du jour. This is why Gd invented ear buds I guess. They are very good at smiling and nodding and not listening.

I see our resident duck, Quackie, return to her nesting ground in our dutch flower box, who provides us with ducklings. She quacks up a storm, summoning her brood. I witness the little things jumping onto the ground, 3' down, then following their mother to the canal. I wish my kids would do that. But, they don't. They meander, canoodle, stray, lollygag. In the animal kingdom they would never survive. They are lucky I am their mom. And not Quackie, who would have given up a while ago.

No longer can I control where they go, who they see, who or what influences them. I cannot tell them what to read, what to listen to, or who to follow. I tried. But, they have to make their own mistakes and learn. At least that is what I tell myself as I eyeball a possible foray into margueritaland...

You mamis know from what I speak. Our bodies have been sliced and diced, or stretched like a cheap budget on a bad day. The ehem, "celebrities" in all the rags, must sell their souls to the devil himself, cuz their ain't no hollah back, gurl... from all that... unless you like getting stitched and sawed and poked and prodded and hoisted with lil" lipo and silicone to rebuild what your mama gave ya. You tell me how they don't have the requisite mom flap!

Well, jealousy aside, I wish all of you moms and aunties a great day, and eat chocolate and enjoy a trip to margueritaland if that floats your boat...flaps be damned...

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Joy to the Finally!! Hubby and I met up with my folks outside at an actual live restaurant! It has been a year (plus), since we have gone out to supper. We sat at a lovely table outside, eating seriously great food at none other than our local, Bowman's Tavern. We got waited on! We didn't need masks! It was a bee you tee full day! Our kiddos were so happy to see my folks, and vice versa. It was great, even if we are just approaching normalcy. I have never been so grateful not to clean or cook, just sit on ye olde rump roast, with a good ol laugh n scratch. Afterwards, I hobbled along the canal path, watched turtles swim in the sun, and little troutlets stop and stare up at me wondering if they might be tomorrow's supper. This beauty moved me to tears for no apparent reason, perhaps because we have gotten so accustomed to the Covid life, we forgot what it was to just breathe. I pray we get to normal. I pray we can get together and have fun again. In the meantime, I will definitely go back to Bowman's for their country mushroom sandwich, which was divine. Outside, maybe with hubby in tow...

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I've lived in PA 2x longer than I have lived in NYC!

There are some things I really miss about living in NYC. A lot of it I don't miss. I hated the smell of piss. The smell of exhaust. The constantly aware feeling of people telling you a sob story and then dry begging. The competition for..well..everything. Tunnel traffic. Yeah, I was actually crazy enough to drive on a regular basis. Even my ex Army hubby won't do that.

I miss my bagels and lox and schmear and fuzzy sock mornings rolled up in a quilt near a crisp NYTimes. When it was still a good paper...

I miss the NY Post, on the train unwinding on route to visit my folks and having my backpack as a pillow.

I miss getting down and fonky miss honky in some dank underground disco with Ms. Bunnie, or Miss Steak. And enjoying a beer, knowing the cabs were waiting outside even at 3am. Unless I was headed to the Kiev for some kick axx pierogies and coffee.

I miss Chinese food, Indian food, Thai food, without having to worry about my waistline. Allergies. Kids. Etc.

Need a quart of milk? Slap on the bunny slippers and bop 10 feet to your left after you say hi to the quizzical doorman. In the mood for some Jazz? 20 clubs within 5 block radius. Plus Washington Square Park. And no, thank you, you can sell your sens and smoke and buddha for another gal...

Italian grandmas on lawnchairs outside as the precursor to CCTV. Or hanging out by windowsills. Watching dealers, breakups, old hippies...Old men feeding the pigeons.

Spanish speaking people mixing it up with Patois slinging Jamaicans whooping it up with Arabs and their halal food carts. As I gently pass by on a hot summer evening's stroll around 28th street. No one cares. Cuz we are all reeking and sweating and hungry and happy.

My meat packing district dive ( h and h!) with the bras thrown on the ceiling, and motorcycles parked outside. Or the restaurant that was affordable, excellent, and never judged. Run by a crazy French guy as I recall. (Florian)

The pros selling whatever floats your boat by the West side highway, before the high line was the High Line. And the John's idling in the cars exhaust smoke disappearing in the air as I wondered where in CT they hailed from and did his wife know?

The mangy hotdog carts full of unknown tasty sustenance such as ye olde boiled something in a bun and knish. And an orange Fanta for $3.00.

The coffee cart just outside Penn station. Filled with pastries of unknown origin and the flies that loved them so. And great, perfect coffee, served in a faux Greek cup saying Happy To Serve You. Blue and white. Always.

The show people, those intrepid souls making and selling fabulous work on Columbus and 80th. No, the flea market is 77th. No, you can't use my bench to change your baby. Please remove your dog before it pees....on my..tent leg...ugh. No, you can't sneak your pipes onto my table and slip me a hundred so I can sell them for you. But after slogging through it all, I have enough to cover my rent for 2 months....

Perhaps I get a bit misty eyed, but I am certainly glad I was there, even if I had to leave. It was a very special time indeed.

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