Category Archives: Who is Wilson?

Why Wilson hates sleepovers

Last Saturday night, Wilson and I were at Eli’s baseball game, freezing our asses off in the dark and willing it to be over when we received a text. It was Aden who was with a bunch of friends at our block party, and he was asking for a sleepover.

Every time one of our kids asks for a sleepover Wilson’s visceral and immediate reaction is “NO!!!”

Wilson doesn’t get riled up over much but if there are two parenting scourges he despises most it’s Playdoh (hardened in the bottom of the toy box and carpet is his fav)….and  sleepovers.

No good ever comes of sleepovers!” he wails each time, as if I’m not aware of his feeling on the subject. “They stay up too late and come home tired and cranky!!”  

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Jacob’s giant sleepover party in 2011. (There was no sleeping)

And he’s right. No matter how many times they swear they’ll go to bed early, they always stay up late and teeter on a tantrum the following day. Or they get sick. Or break a bone. Or bring back lice.

When you host, there’s always the risk of the anxious kid tapping you at 2am pleading to go home…or the broken chips in the bottom of the sleeping bags and sticky juice spills on whatever surface was closest to the video controller.

What’s nuts is that they have zero memory of any of the negative effects the dreaded sleepover has on them. It’s as if their recall of raging, crying, and passing out in a bowl of rice at dinner the following day have been zapped from their brains.

I don’t care for sleepovers either– in the same way I don’t like the shiny synthetic sports shorts my kids wear daily– but I’ve accepted them as part of boyhood. Sometimes you have to let kids be kids, even when you know there’s a better way.

So I’m usually the one talking Wilson off the “NO!” ledge by offering reasons why spending the night at a friend’s house (or worse, at our house) might be ok. Wilson loves a good excuse, so our rule is generally no sleepovers if you have a game the next day before 2pm. One of the virtues of Hebrew school at 9am every Sunday is that it eliminates many Saturday night sleepover opportunities. Homework can also serve as a deterrent.

But none of those applied Saturday night. I texted the host mom to make sure she hadn’t lost her senses by opening her home to 3 pre-teen boys determined to play Xbox and text girls all night. She (foolishly) insisted it was no problem so Wilson relented and Aden was off.

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Not 15 minutes later we got a text from Jacob asking to sleep at his friend’s house. While we wanted to say no– because the more he’s out of our sight, the more likely he is to get into trouble– we couldn’t come up with a legitimate reason.

Sleepovers at 15 are a whole other concern. We’ve developed communication avenues and trust with Jacob, and the “make good decisions!” mantra is so overused (I literally say it every time he leaves, even for school in the morning) it’s become almost comical.

But still. If he wants to be out of the house on a weekend night, there is a high possibility of shenanigans.

Part of the reason I give in when the boys beg for an overnight with friends is because I remember how much I loved sleeping over when I was growing up. Some of my favorite memories are of crashing in my friend Deb’s basement after crank calling boys, pounding Diet Cokes and having deep talks about life as  James Taylor, Queen, and Steely Dan played in the background.

Giggling with my girls circa 1985

Giggling with my girls circa 1985

When we finally turned off the lights, there was a glow from the neon beer sign over her parents’ wood-paneled bar. We’d laugh until our sides ached or until one of us fell asleep. In the morning we’d eat Lucky Charms and gossip with her mom.

Good times!  How can I deny my kids that bonding experience?

There are also life lessons to be learned in the 24 hours spent in another house. Navigating peer pressure, sleeping in a different bed, and respecting another family’s rules (and craziness) can be an education in itself. Sometimes it even makes kids appreciate coming home.

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Chatting til the wee hours at Tufts reunion 2015. I still love a sleepover!

So when Eli asked to have a few friends sleep over for his birthday in a few weeks I said I would consider it. I’m certain I’ll regret it by 12:30am… and I’ll have to slip a Valium into Wilson’s beer to cut down on the griping.

But I’ll say yes, and hope the exhausted, crabby, ungrateful child we’re left with the next day will be overshadowed by a great memory.

What’s your take on sleepovers? Tell me in the comments.


It actually was a fairytale wedding

My brother-in-law’s wedding last Saturday was a beautiful, love-soaked gathering…I only wish we could start the weekend over again because after months of planning and preparing, it flew by.

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Destination weddings are always fun because everyone escapes real life for a few days and is extra-committed to being together. This one was in New Haven, CT, near where my new sister-in-law grew up. We stayed at a great hotel called The Study at Yale, which was sleek, accommodating and put up with all our shenanigans.

Wilson and I packed up the kids and several heavy hanging bags filled with dresses, suits, belts, handbags, and 15 pairs of shoes and headed north.

The rehearsal dinner was on Friday night at the Union League Club: yummy food, stiff drinks, and a room filled with shiny, happy people ready to celebrate.

Eli and Uncle Jon getting pumped for the rehearsal dinner

Eli and Uncle Jon getting pumped for the rehearsal dinner

My kids had never been to a rehearsal dinner and loved all the toasts. Wilson’s dad made a lovely, moving speech, the bride’s mom belted out a clever song about Beth to the tune of “You’re the Top” from Anything Goes, and several bridesmaids spoke about Beth being a great friend who always makes us laugh.

But the highlights had to be Wilson’s cousins, Jeremy and Keith, who wrote an epic, hilarious poem about Jon that made me laugh so hard, my stomach hurt. They were the only ones to roast him good– but they managed to do it with charm and underlying affection.

Beth’s brother Matt produced an amazing photo montage, including video from all the nieces and nephews that made everyone say “awwwwww!”

You may remember that I set up this happy couple. Beth is the sister of our friends, David and Allison, whom I also set up many years ago. So since we were practically sitting on the Yale campus, Dave put on his professor hat to make a power-point presentation of a  course about the Lefferts and Ansel family dynasties– complete with family trees, diagrams, and a pop quiz on how well you know the players.

Wedding post on carpoolcandy.comIt was genius!

Beth is a detail gal and there were so many personal touches throughout the weekend, like this welcome note in the snack-filled hotel goody bags. It was created by a family friend who’s an artist and known Beth since she was little.


On Saturday we explored New Haven and looked at the Yale campus.

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But soon it was time to get dressed for family photos. The process of getting my boys tuxedos and all the necessary accessories and tailoring was torture. They complained every time they had to try them on (itchy! stiff! annoying!) but it was all worth it.

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Dapper boys!

There were lots of snacks and drinks flowing during our wedding party/family photo session, cause that’s how we roll.

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The wedding party was huge, but it made it more fun.

It was such a festive scene with everyone adjusting dresses, hair, makeup, and ties and all the adorable kids running around like they were out of a Ralph Lauren ad.

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Flower girls with attitude

We kept the little ones busy with electronics.

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Cousins take a break from gaming

You’ve waited long enough to see the bride.

Beth wanted an ethereal, fairytale mood and she succeeded. Her dress was a silk J Mendel, and with a tiara and light veil streaming only down the back, she looked like Greek goddess meets A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Gorgeous!

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Her wild flower bouquet included rare anemones, ranunculus and sweet pea

The mood followed through to the earthy chuppah– with giant roses in the greens– and candles everywhere. Beth and Jon had a rabbi do blessings, but it was David who got ordained online and actually married them. The ceremony was personal, and sweet.

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The chuppah looked like an enchanted garden

Even the cake had a rustic feel with fresh flowers…..

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The venue was an old club with great wood and checkered floors, high ceilings and art deco light fixtures. The food was delicious and abundant….Shrimp, clams, oysters…seafood galore (and that was just the cocktail hour!)

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Quite a raw bar!

The band was great and we danced our tootsies off.

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First dance

It was especially fun for my family because all the grandparents were there, plus the Ansels, who have been like family to us since I moved to New York more than 20 years ago.

It was a lovely affair, but what made it special was Jon and Beth so clearly in love and right for each other. Even the crankiest curmudgeon couldn’t deny that warm feeling watching them laugh and dance and take it all in.

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And now they’re off to the Caribbean for two weeks, those lucky bastards.

I won’t nag, but I’ll be secretly wishing for a baby soon….and maybe a house in Jersey!

A bridesmaid can dream…..


TBT indulgence: Wilson and my big day 1998

As you may have read in this space, Wilson’s brother is getting married to a terrific gal this weekend. So basically our family can talk about nothing else and the preparations have taken over our lives. Dress alterations and a special bra (don’t ask!), tuxedo shoes rented and ties borrowed (Thanks Lisa!) speeches written and rewritten, family airport pickups and hotel room changes,… you get the picture.

But it’s all for the best reason, and I know once the roller coaster launches Friday night, it will be three days of joy and laughter (and maybe a little complaining from my boys about wearing a tuxedo.)

The impending nuptials inspired me to dust off Wilson and my wedding album from May 1998. We got married at the Union League Club in Chicago and it was a magical night. We even had a horse-drawn carriage drive us home. Too bad the photographer had already left and it was pre-smartphone days so we have no pictures of the romantic gesture that sent us off on our path to married life.

But I did find these photos that I thought you’d enjoy. You may have noticed I never use photos of Wilson on the blog. I’m making a small exception here but still trying to keep the mystery. Truth is, he looks better now than he did then– that stud– so you almost wouldn’t recognize him!!

The requisite bride turn back photo....

The requisite bride turn back photo….

I didn’t want an off-the-shoulder dress because I thought it would limit my dance moves. (No joke, I really thought that) but my mother talked me into this one. My favorite part was the long streamers off the bow on the back and the matching border on my veil. It’s the little things!

My maids....

My maids….

Can’t believe I made them buy matching navy dresses they’ll never wear again. Ah youth….



Can you guess which one is Wilson?

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My brother walked me down the aisle.

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I love this photo. The room was so pretty and old in a classic way. The chuppah was made out of birch trees and my great-grandmother’s table-cloth from Russia.

Party girls

Party girls

My dress didn’t stop me from dancing all night.

Some things never change

Some things never change

I love this picture of Wilson’s Michigan crew because it could have been taken last month at one of our kids’ bar mitzvahs. They still know how to party!

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Mazel tov to Jon and Beth! May you be as happy and lucky as we are!

Michigan reunion: my weekend bleeding maize and blue

Last month, Wilson and I traveled to Michigan for a college reunion with his fraternity brothers. He went to U of M in Ann Arbor– let’s just say, many years ago (the number is too painful to put in print) — and has remained very connected to the school and his pals.

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Since graduating, Wilson has tried to make an annual pilgrimage back to Michigan to see football games with a few of his buddies. Five years ago, a bunch of them put on their organizing hats for an extravaganza reunion weekend that was so well attended and successful, they wanted to make it an every-5-years tradition.

Out of about 26 brothers of Sigma Alpha Mu (aka Sammies) in their graduating year, an impressive 20 came to the reunion this year, with many wives, and kids in tow.

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The SAM gang

They’re an accomplished group– with careers in law, business, medicine and media– with partners and probably more than 50 kids among them. But they put that September weekend in Sharpie on the calendar because — as any alumnus will tell you– Michigan bonds are mighty.

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One of my best friends from high school, Deb, went to Michigan and I used to visit her in January because Michigan went back to school a week earlier than Tufts. Wilson and I have figured out that we were definitely at the same Sammy parties. Amazingly, he lived off campus senior year in the same house Deb lived in the following year when we were seniors, and I spent a weekend there back in the day.

So I have some nostalgia for the place, but it’s nothing compared to the cultish enthusiasm Michigan instills in anyone who’s walked the diag or sang Hail to the Victors in the Big House.

We met at the stadium Friday afternoon, where everyone got t-shirts and hugs as the brothers and their families streamed in. Many of them hadn’t seen each other since the last reunion so as we strolled through the stadium on a private tour, everyone was making introductions, catching up, and snapping pictures.

And laughing. Remember how much you laughed in college? Good times.

Some genius hired a professional photographer to capture all of it and he found a way to make a bunch of 40-somethings look great.

Although I’m never all that impressed by the inside of an empty stadium,  even I was awed when we got to go on the hallowed field. The precision of the lines, the professional air of the place, and the enormity of standing on the very turf of the storied Michigan football program was cool. Some of the kids tossed a football around, making plays and tackling each other, just cause they could.

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We had a terrific dinner at Zingerman’s Roadhouse, where everyone got a chance to move around and chat. The food was great and the video montage– with pictures from college to the present–  made everyone verklempt.

On game day, the guys were giddy. They got up early, donned their maize and blue and hurried to campus, as excited as the first game freshman year.

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The famous gold M on the diag on campus

We walked around Ann Arbor and campus, and spent too much money buying Michigan swag at MDen.

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Maize and blue duds at the MDen

Side note: Everyone was wearing Michigan colors: t-shirts, sweatshirts, socks, headbands, hats, jackets, sneakers, jewelry, even nail decals.

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School spirit was infectious

I would not have even considered showing up at the tailgate without an M on. It’s just bad form.

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Catered by the famous Zingerman’s deli (the bread is to die for) the tailgate had a full bar and coolers stocked with beer. Just like old times, only more civilized.

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Some of the brothers now have kids who attend Michigan or plan to apply, which made me feel old. In my heart, I don’t feel that much older than those kids running around campus. But the perfect antidote to that is spending the weekend reliving our college days, hanging out in a parking lot on a sunny day with nowhere else to go, drinking and eating more than we’d allow at home. Our tailgate kicked ass.

The game was a disaster. No more needs to be said about that. We all met for one last dinner at Pizza House where we tried to finish all the interrupted conversations sprinkled throughout the weekend and check in one last time before the bear hugs and goodbyes.

Some of the wives went to Michigan too so they see these men and must recognize the boys they once were: pontificating, teasing, laughing, like they did many years ago.

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The wives and daughters. We’re bonded too!

I didn’t know them as boys, only as the amazing men they are now, but to see them together– gives me a small glimpse of what they must have been like then. The dynamics of leadership, the old personality traits, but more than anything the affection and love– real love– they have for each other.

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It’s a rare and special connection. I feel grateful to be a part of it, if only by marriage.

As we were leaving the restaurant, Wilson and five of his buddies looked across the street at Rick’s with a nostalgic nod. After getting the ok from the wives, they entered the bar for one last round of shots, just like they used to. They toasted to friendship.

The high from the weekend lasted a few days after we returned and we eagerly scrolled through the photos, trying to hang on to the buzz. It takes an exceptional group of people to pull off a weekend like that. These guys are leaders and best.

I lost my driver’s license on vacation (and tried not to freak out)

I was spending a glorious weekend in Ann Arbor for Wilson’s University of Michigan fraternity reunion (another post on that later)…. when I lost my driver’s license at the tailgate party.

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Warning #1:  They don’t allow any bags into Michigan Stadium.

None, at all. Whatever you can shove in the pockets of your skinny jeans is what you can bring into the game.

I didn’t realize this until I was at the Campus Inn picking up friends before the game. So I grabbed my phone, camera and a credit card and left my bag in their room.

Warning #2:  Trust your instincts!
I debated whether to bring my license–I didn’t think I’d need it– but my friend convinced me you never know when you might need ID. (As if a 40-something year old mom would ever get carded by a 20-year-old bouncer at Rick’s) I wasn’t sure why I would need it but it sounded reasonable so I put the license and credit card in my camera case.

During several hours of tailgating I took the camera out to snap photos and was careful to put it back with the cards. But right at the end of the tailgate, the Bloody Marys had kicked in and I was not on my game.

I took the camera out to take a picture and my credit card fell out. As I picked it up, my friend, Eric, said “You better be careful not to lose that card.” I returned it to the case and saw the license in there.

That was the last time I eyeballed it.

Soon after, we walked to the stadium, laughing and talking as thousands of kids crowded the streets to get to the game. Just as we arrived, I looked down and realized the camera case was open and the license was gone.

My heart sank. I was pissed at myself for being a bonehead, but worse I didn’t want to be a buzz kill for Wilson and his friends. After an expletive-heavy outburst, I wanted retrace my steps back to the parking lot where the party was, to try to find it.

Although it was his only game at the Big House all year, although he was relishing bonding with his friends, Wilson took a half hour to help me look for it.

After an unsuccessful search we went back to the game. Michigan imploded on the field so although I felt badly that he missed some of the game, at least he didn’t miss any good plays.

I tried to put the stress of the lost license on the back burner and enjoyed the game experience and a fun dinner afterwards. I was worried about how I was going to get on my return flight and how I would drive at home without it but tried not to dwell.

I called campus police, emailed the tailgate caterer and asked around but came up license-less.

Warning #3  Get to the airport early if you don’t have ID
I called Delta when we got back to our friend’s house and they said I’d have to go through an extra security check when I got to the airport.

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Detroit Metro airport was bery bery good to me

Warning #4  Don’t copy your passport
Wilson thought it was a good idea to have my mom (who was staying with my kids at our house) take a photo of my passport and email it so I could show that to the TSA people at the airport as another official form of ID. Sounded like a smart plan but when we showed it to the Delta check-in guy he told us it’s a federal offense to copy your passport, and digitally sending it is also a no-no. Who knew? We were so grateful he told us before we got in more trouble with the TSA.

Luckily, it wasn’t busy when we arrived at Detroit Metro. We told the TSA agent I lost my license and after a bunch of questions he got a supervisor to help us. He asked what other ID I had (my work photo ID, credit cards and a health insurance card were enough to prove I wasn’t an impostor) and escorted us through the regular security line.

Warning #5:  If you’re going through security with no ID, don’t bring any sharp objects, and disguise all embarrassing items in your luggage.
My bag was checked thoroughly on the belt and then a rubber-glove wearing TSA agent went through it– right there, in front of everyone– testing for explosive residue. I had not planned for this, but was mentally rejoicing that I had put my dirty granny-pants in a side pocket and left all my see-through lingerie at home.

I was also treated to a pat down by a female TSA agent who seemed to take pleasure in ordering me around and getting to second base as Wilson looked on.

All in all, it wasn’t too bad.

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Wilson and I had time to kill waiting for our flight after the relatively easy check-in

We sailed through security with only a 10 minute delay and everyone was pretty nice and understanding.

Warning #6 (the most important one!) Don’t freak out.  

After the uneventful TSA experience, I was glad I didn’t come unglued and let the situation ruin my good time Saturday night. It was a special weekend with friends we don’t see enough, and just wasn’t worth the stress.

I hoped it would all work out in the end and it did. Although spending the morning at the DMV this week to get a new license may sour my sunny outlook!

Wilson thinks some good Samaritan Wolverine found my license and will send it in the mail. I’ll keep you posted.

Top 7 Reasons Wilson’s a Great Dad

Happy Father’s Day Dads! It will come as no great shock that my family spent some of the holiday playing baseball — a practice and a game today– and Wilson was happy to oblige.

Does anyone give ties anymore?

Does anyone give ties anymore?

Wilson is a good man. It’s important when you’re raising three boys (ages 8, 11, and 14) to have a strong role model and I feel extremely lucky that my sons have Wilson for a father. They probably won’t realize what a gift that is until they grow up and have their own children.

But I can see it clearly now so thought I’d share some of the reasons he’s a great dad…..

He has the patience of a saint. Unlike me, he so rarely yells at the boys, no matter what shenanigans they’re up to. It’s humbling (and frankly annoying sometimes) but admirable.

— He’s still reading parenting books. When our oldest, Jacob, was born, I used to tease Wilson because he literally carried his baby Bible: Caring for Your Baby and Young Child around from room to room, looking up every squeak, cry, and bodily function. (He was a bit of a nervous nelly back then.) But that guy is still reading parenting books, to better understand every stage our kids are going through as it’s happening. He takes his parenting job seriously.

— He gives great advice. When my boys have a problem they know their dad will listen and help them work through it. It’s not always “Leave it to Beaver”-style problem-solving– there are often loud protests and tears involved– but my kids know that dad will persevere through the theatrics and find a solution or way of handling a tough situation. And even in the quiet moments when there is no issue to tackle, he’ll make a point to tell them something he’s learned about his choices and experiences.

— He’s a wonderful coach. Wilson has been unofficially coaching our boys in all sports since they could walk. But despite a heavy professional workload, he manages to assistant coach their baseball teams every spring and summer, coming home early from the office, devoting scores of Saturdays, even donning tight polyester pants for tournaments. He emphasizes sportsmanship and fun over winning, and never misses an opportunity to teach a lesson from a loss.

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— He’s not nearly as embarrassing as I am. Adolescence has hit big time for our 8th grader and I have become a target of ridicule and irritation. Everything I do or say elicits eye rolls and gasps of disgust. Yet somehow, Wilson has escaped our teen’s ire and remains a neutral figure.

He’s affectionate and communicative. Sometimes it’s hard for men to show love, but Wilson hugs and kisses the boys easily and often. He tells them he loves them so regularly that they say it back without even thinking. These aren’t just Hallmark moments, this is an essential life skill he’s passing onto them that will make them better boyfriends, husbands, and fathers themselves.  I think he learned it from his dad, who still gives great big bear hugs and sloppy kisses to his 40-something year old kid.

He embraces all of his children’s flaws. I’m not sure if he’s so blinded by love and loyalty that he doesn’t see the boys’ warts, or if he consciously chooses to look past them. But when our most stubborn, defiant child is acting up, he refuses to let anger and frustration override compassion. When our most manipulative child finds back doors and sneaks through dirty alleys to get what he wants, Wilson commends his ingenuity and tenacity. When our most dramatic child overreacts to something small, or fans his ego with false praise, Wilson humors him.

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Wilson gets some Dad’s Day love

I’m grateful that Wilson is all these things because he’s helping make three little mensches to send into the world.

As I read through this, I realize I’m putting this guy on a pretty high parenting pedestal.  But fatherhood (like motherhood) can be a thankless job, and you rarely get a review or a raise. So consider this Wilson’s annual review. He deserves a promotion but I bet he’d think there’s no better title than dad.

Remembering Dad and celebrating Wilson on Father’s Day

I grew up in a high-rise apartment building in downtown Chicago. One of my fondest childhood memories is falling asleep at night in the car on the way home from dinner or a weekend trip. The bright lights of our parking garage would usually wake me up as we pulled in, but I’d pretend to still be sleeping so my dad would carry me through the lobby, up the elevator, and into my bed.

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He was a big guy– almost 6-foot-3 and broad– who always made me feel cozy and safe in his arms.  Affectionate and loving, I imagine he enjoyed carrying me as much as I loved being his cargo. I wish I could ask him if he knew I was faking sleep to get those free rides, but he died of cancer in 1993.

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We want to give our kids everything– maybe what we had, maybe more– but what’s most important is making your child feel safe and loved. Kids who feel that unconditionally can navigate the world better.

I was lucky to get that from my dad. Wilson loves our kids that way too.

I took a day off from work recently to attend a play at 10-year-old Aden’s school and a musical performance at 7-year-old Eli’s school.  I made it to the play but the outdoor concert was postponed due to rain.

Traditionally, I attend the school parties and shows– mostly because I like going– but also so Wilson doesn’t have to miss work. But I couldn’t justify another day off for a 1st grade drum circle. When I gently mentioned the rescheduled event to Wilson, he said he would see how busy he was and decide that morning.

The concert started at 9am. I left for work assuming Wilson would skip it. (We had a friend who promised to take pictures and video.)  Then I got a text at 1034am: This is a nightmare. E still hasn’t gone and it’s 400 degrees in here. 

That good daddy not only went late to work but sat for 2 hours in terrarium-like conditions waiting for Eli’s 2-minutes on stage.

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That’s just one little snippet of the ways he puts himself out for our three boys. He coaches sports teams and attends teacher conferences. While my temper tends to flare when the kids get out of control, he’s the resident punching bag who absorbs their emotions and somehow remains calm in the face of hysteria.

He’s more concerned with maintaining boundaries than staying on their good side. In our house, he’s known for hating late nights and sleepovers because they lead to tired, cranky kids. He follows through on punishments when he thinks they’re warranted.

Every single night– no matter how tired he is– he tucks them in to make sure they’re still breathing and the room is the right temperature. He knows when to offer advice and when to shut up and listen.

When I was looking for love in my 20’s, I wanted someone who would make family a priority.  As Wilson and I started planning a life together, I had a good feeling about his parenting potential. But you never know until you’re in it.

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I love the way Wilson loves our kids. His role as father brings out his best self.

I dreaded Father’s Day in the years after my dad died. But now I’m grateful that instead of mourning my loss, I can celebrate Wilson.

Happy Father’s Day to Wilson and the other daddies out there. Thanks for making all of us feel safe and loved.

How love bloomed for me and Wilson

On this Valentine’s Day I thought I would  share the story of how Wilson and I fell in love.

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My parents met while studying abroad in Italy during their junior year in college. After hearing their love fairytale all my life, I went on the same program when I was in college, and secretly hoped I would find my mate.

I didn’t work out as conveniently as I imagined. I was boy-crazy throughout my semester in Florence, but never met my future husband.

Fast forward to 1993.

Wilson likes to say we met on a blind date but actually it was only visually impaired, because we had met briefly twice before.The first time we met, neither of us remember, but we were both at the rehearsal dinner and wedding of our friends, Matt and Julie in 1993. The dinner was small and we had friends in common so we must have been introduced, but neither of us can recall it.

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The next time we met, it was fall of 1995.  I was living in Manhattan with my  friend, Justine.

I was on a date with a guy named Barry who really wasn’t all that. Barry and I went to a movie and ran into Julie, Matt, and Wilson. Julie pulled Wilson aside and said she wanted to set me up with him. He told her that was weird because I was on a date. “She’s not having a good time,” Julie insisted.

Three months later, Wilson called and asked me out. Back then, I was working the late shift at ABC News so I couldn’t go out until 10pm. Our first date was at a cool bar on the Upper West Side called Phoebe’s (I believe it’s gone now.)  ABC had a two-story escalator in its lobby so when Wilson met me,  I remember checking him out below, as I stood at the top of the moving steps.

He had glasses (he’s since gotten Lasik surgery) and was wearing a horrible green sweater vest, but he was still cute.

Luckily, his personality eclipsed his fashion choice and I don’t think I ever saw him wear the vest again. But the date was great and we talked for several hours and had a lot in common. He called me the next day and asked me out again, which was very exciting because– back before cell phones, texting, and social media–  sometimes a girl waited days before a guy would call and you wondered if he’d fallen into a ditch.

On our second date, he took me to a bar downtown called Chicago Blues–  a charming choice since I’m from Chicago– where we had many drinks and made out in the back room. When he took me home, he asked me out for the next evening. No games. I liked that.

But the next day a blizzard hit New York, dumping 4 feet of snow and virtually shutting down the city. I was having fun with Wilson and wanted to see him again– snow be damned. We spoke on the phone and I challenged him to walk all the way across town in a blinding storm to meet me at the movies, like we had planned. He must have already liked me because he actually did it.

We saw “Dead Man Walking,” an uplifting film with Sean Penn playing a killer on death row seeking redemption from a nun, played by Susan Sarandon. Very romantic.

After the movies we walked back to my apartment where Justine was having a bottle of wine with her then boyfriend  (now husband and dad of their 3 kids) Chris. We joined them and stayed up late talking.

Justine says she knew that night that Wilson was the one.

valentines day blog

We were pretty inseparable for the next year and got engaged in 1997 and married in 1998. This year is our 15th anniversary and I still love the big lug.

I knew when I met him that he was smart, sweet, reliable, and valued family and friends. All that’s still true but now I know he’s an amazing father and patient, forgiving, supportive partner. Believe it or not, I’m not always easy to live with!

As far as fate goes, while I never met my husband in Italy, I did meet my friend, Julie, on the first day of the trip and she eventually introduced me to Wilson.

Sometimes you just have to trust your path and hope that love will find you when you’re ready.  Happy Valentine’s Day Wilson!    xoxo

Happy Father’s Day Wilson!

Last night, Wilson and I spent two excruciating hours in the Emergency Room with our 6-year-old Eli, who was writhing in pain and discomfort after an insect flew deep into his ear.  We had to hold him down while doctors prodded and flushed his ear until it bled, but still nothing came out.

The experience exhausted Eli and although he wanted that bug out– after two hours of poking around– he just needed everyone to leave his ear alone. At around midnight, we got drops to numb the ear and will have to see an ENT this week. He slept well and seems better today so we feel lucky.

Who stayed calm and comforting by Eli’s side the whole night?   Wilson.

It was late and after a long Saturday full of events, we were tired and worried about the possibility the doctors would have to sedate Eli with anesthesia to take out the bug. At points I was exasperated and snippy, but Wilson was unflappable.

He tried to distract Eli by discussing minute details of Star Wars Lego Xbox game scenarios and promised him ice cream as doctors pushed water and sharp objects into his raw ear canal.  He smiled and stroked Eli’s cheek and back all night.

It’s fitting that Wilson spent the early hours of Father’s Day doing what he does best: loving and supporting his kids.  Then he went on to coach baseball and man the barbecue before tucking the boys into their beds tonight.

My kids made the requisite Father’s Day cards for Wilson this year that hailed him as “The Best Daddy Ever.”

Last night, he proved it.

I  dedicate this post to Wilson. If everyone had a dad like him, we’d all be better people. I know there’ll be at least three amazing men coming your way soon.

Crying in Baseball Part 2

Wow! You never know what’s gonna set people off but apparently my last post about my 9-year-old son, Aden, crying after losing his baseball game touched a nerve.

My goal was to describe the epiphany I had at Aden’s game last week. His team was one strike away from winning and went on to lose the game, sending my son– and several others–  into tears ( you can read  post and comments here.)

Aden brings intensity to the mound

I got several positive responses from parents who related to the issue. One mom even read the post to her kids after a different loss last night.

The point of the post was that instead of being troubled by seeing Aden (and all my boys for that matter)  upset when he loses, I realized it’s a good thing that he’s so passionate about sports.

But the moral of the story was muddled by the details I revealed to get there.

One family friend — who clearly once had  sons who were umpires or is perhaps a representative of the illusive Teenaged Umpires Union– criticized my perception of the ump’s “bad call” from my bleacher seat, and suggested I refrain from such judgments in the future.

I received other comments and emails suggesting my version of the story was one-sided. One email pointed out that Aden’s team had as good a chance as the other team to win but couldn’t make it happen. A friend and so-called “Candy” fan even claimed I was the cry-baby for complaining about the call.


Of course the post was one-sided. It’s a blog! It’s my opinion of events.

But it did bug the journalist in me that I had reported the facts in a completely biased way. Frankly the facts were beside the point and could — and perhaps should– have been left out so only Aden’s passion shined.

Live and learn.

It’s interesting to note how some parents overlooked the lesson because they were focused on keeping score. And we wonder where our kids get their intensity.

One positive was how Wilson– who cares deeply about all sports outcomes–  fiercely defended me. In response to one disgruntled reader he said this:

“I don’t think she was complaining, as I don’t believe she cares one iota about who wins or loses any 9-year-old baseball game (nor should she or we.)”

Glad he’s on my team.