I walked into the house after the gym today and I was met with empty rooms, deflating balloons, empty pizza boxes and cake crumbs.
The teenager is with a client. The guests have gone, even the one that drove a distance and stayed overnight.
Throughout the teenager’s life, she frequently lamented that she was the youngest in the class snd never had a birthday during the school year. That inconvenient June birthday.
But yesterday she was able to gather people who celebrated her and had seen her grow and wanted to marvel in who she was as a person, as a young adult, for a graduation/birthday party.
She wanted pizza From Nicolosi’s in Forks Township and pretzel nuggets and dip from the Pretzel Company. (And I think out friends will be patronizing Nicolosi’s now— several of their flights with the pieces cut in half is a great way to spoil guests.)
She wanted to bake her own cakes and decorate them, which she did.
She wanted to play Cards Against Humanity. And we did.
The party started with a raucous discussion of the Hess’s Department Store and ended with promises of homemade pie.
And the dog only ate a small chunk of the red velvet cake.
The teenager is now a high school graduate and soon she will no longer be a teenager. She will be the young adult or the offspring or some other nickname, but she will always be my pride and joy.
So much of parenting is learning, slowly, to step aside and let your child grow into her/his own person. To be mindful and humble and supportive without smothering. To be proud, but subtle. To encourage and guide, but not nag.
And to trust.
To trust your parenting. Your child. And that young person’s decisions.
And seeing that child grown— the love that pours out of you… eventually you might feel like a deflated balloon and then that child does something that makes you float once again.
I will always be my daughter’s mother, but the bulk of the intense, hands-on work is done.
And so today, Curly led us in making an infused oil of basil, lavender and sea salt to bless ourselves and my home with positivity.
It’s all part of the cycle— especially for women— maiden, mother, crone. I guess I might have to transition to the crone phase now.
**this post may contain strong language… no, this post will contain strong language. I plan to drop an “f-bomb” in the first paragraph. But I promise it will be lighthearted and humorous not vulgar and full of rage.
Sometimes I wonder if the process of losing your mother-fucking mind which seems to descend upon a person once your children enter their teens isn’t the cause of dementia. Will the brain fog that accompanies keeping life together as the offspring prepare to leave the nest clear as they depart? Or is it permanent?
I think when you reach the latter half of the forty-somethings, the time you might have spent on hobbies, movies or parties in your youth is replaced by the tedium of home ownership, career, family, parents and medical care (your own, your family, probably even friends). And maybe you just don’t have the patience you used to.
I am currently waiting for the remediation team. If you skip back to Tuesday’s blog, you’ll recall that my 50- or 60-year-old toilet exploded and damaged my dining room ceiling. The plumber came Tuesday and installed a new toilet, and the teenager gave me shit. Not only does she not like the new toilet (as the plumber warned me) but she also had beef with the plumber for taking her old toilet.
I asked the teenager, “what on earth would you do with an old broken toilet?”
And, of course, the teenager told me. She wanted to take the ancient pink ceramic toilet and use it as a planter in our front yard next to our pink rose bush.
“It would look so cool,” she said.
And it probably would. But I did not go to college and embark on all the adventures I have to place a broken toilet in my front yard.
The scheduler for the insurance adjuster called Wednesday morning, about 29 hours after the incident, and scheduled the adjuster for Wednesday June 1. I asked the teenager if she could handle letting him into the house. She agreed. The scheduler called again and moved it to Tuesday. Teenager agreed again. Scheduler called a third time to ask if we had had a remediation company come to check if we had any or were in danger of collecting any mold. I said no. She said to call one.
So Wednesday on my lunch break (my first day back after a month of medical leave), I emailed ServePro because I didn’t have the time or the quiet to talk on the phone. They called, and after about three difficult phone calls with them, (the person on the other end couldn’t hear me well. I was wearing a mask, using one AirPod and working in a noisy warehouse.) they said they would confirm an appointment for Thursday or Friday by the end of the day.
[note: this is a pause in the blog post as the remediation team arrived.]
The remediation scheduler called about 4:30 p.m. Thursday, which was about 60 hours after I turned the water off to the toilet and started mopping up the damage. My appointment was for 1 p.m. Friday, about 80 hours after the original accident.
But at least I made myself a nice dinner of fig & ricotta ravioli from Lidl with Alfredo sauce from Hungryroot and vegetables (baby broccoli, red pepper, and peas) cooked in the Cuisinart air fryer toaster oven.
Last night, when the teenager got home from her dad’s, I think I was emptying the dishwasher and I went on a psychotic rant about silverware. You see, when her father and I got married, we registered for Oneida’s Easton flatware in the satin finish. I have always loved that silverware. It was $100 a place setting, and that was in 1999. That’s $20 per utensil. But it’s beautiful, and my husband and I both agreed on it without compromise, and it’s heavy, and we lived in an apartment in downtown Easton, Pennsylvania.
And sometime between when teenager two lived with us and now, many pieces of that silverware have disappeared. And it’s melodramatic, but the loss is like a gaping wound. No other silverware feels right in my hand. So I snapped, for the umpteenth time, and shouted at the teenager about my missing silverware.
In that moment, I realized that for some reason, that silverware really means something to me. Eating with it brings me joy. And that silverware looks as new as the day we bought it. Our marriage lasted 20 years, and the silverware may last generations.
“I don’t have the money to replace it,” I screamed.
And then I realized…
I launched a publishing company. I buy myself iced coffee about once a week. I spend almost as much on animal food as I do on people food. So, why can’t I figure out how to pay for new silverware? Especially since I know Replacements.comhas just about every silverware and china pattern ever made (used) at a discount. I think I found my dream pattern. I ordered a few pieces of my silverware, based on cost and what I actually need.
This morning started with a cup of coffee, some cuddly cats, a trip to the chiropractor and a whole lot of cleaning before the remediation team arrived. I made the teenager and I a breakfast of fresh baguette from Lidl, toasted in the Cuisinart oven, buttered, covered a slice of proscuitto and toasted more, and then drizzled with hot honey and sprinkled with herbs de provence. It was as amazing as it sounds.
The teenager had her last high school final exam, the only one she had to take this year, and returned home to find me aflutter with the broom and a mop. I asked her to do something for me. It might have been to move a multipack of paper towels to another room, when she stopped and opened the sunporch window.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
And I thought to myself, she’s not smelling the roses.
And she replied, “I’m smelling the roses.”
“Seriously?” I said. “I ask you to do something and instead you literally stop to smell the roses!”
She then picked a bouquet for the main room downstairs. Eventually, she moved the paper towels.
Once the house was cleaned and the teenager shuffled off to work, I finished Natasha Sizlo’s memoir, All Signs Point to Paris. I received a copy via NetGalley and reviewed it on Goodreads and mentioned it in my Parisian Phoenix blog post that will go live tomorrow. I tried to start P.N. Dedeaux’s Algiers Tomorrow but it offended me beyond rebuke within the first two chapters.
I understand that the book was published in 1993. I also understand that erotica by its nature breaks rules and can feature taboos. But in the first two chapters, we join two bratty rich sixteen year olds nicknamed “Boobs” and “Butt” through a vacation in France. By the end of the chapters, I want them to get murdered. I was hoping for some cheesy references to Algerians with which I could have some Mystery Science Theater 3000-type fun.
I ordered a chicken pizza with vodka sauce from Nicolosi’s Pizza in Forks Township. It was a custom pizza and I told them to “put whatever on it to make it pizza-y.” They added fresh basil. It smelled amazing. The teenager was picking it up at 2:45 p.m after work.
And don’t you know it, the remediation team was late… They called at 2:55 p.m. and arrived at 3:05 p.m. I had one bite of my scrumptious, piping hot custom pizza. And it was time to find out if my house was wet.
Unfortunately, it is.
We could lose our bathroom subfloor. Our hardwood floors and walls are damp. We have five industrial air movers in the living area and a massive dehumidifier. And upstairs we have three more air movers in the bathroom and another dehumidifier.
But we’re safe, and sometimes you just have to have faith it will work out.
It’s a fun, fun day for me as I not only got a good night’s sleep (although I did have a cat jump on my eye in the middle of the night when another cat scared her) but I also got to leave work early as we had voluntary early out.
At the Stitch Fix Bizzy Hizzy, I finally got a picture of the “please use stylist” versus the correct word, stylus. I spent my 4-hour shift in women’s returns processing. I was killing my numbers the first hour— my body felt good and for the first time all week I wasn’t so exhausted my limbs wouldn’t move. But, quickly, I found myself slowing down. Could it be the heat in the warehouse?
Regardless, the teenager was working her waitressing gig and I had promised her sushi after I got home. We agreed to try Jasmine Japanese & Thai Cuisine on Sullivan Trail in Forks Township, Pa.
Many people I know have given it rave reviews and encouraged me to try it.
I encouraged my daughter to order anything she wanted— and we promised each other we would have the leftovers for breakfast. Now, I’m not a fish person so I stick to sushi rolls. I cannot even bring myself to try sashimi. The teenager on the other hand loves it all, as I even used to send her to first grade with sushi in her lunch box, preserved on an ice pack.
The cafeteria staff used to tease her that she should tell her mom to pack her normal lunches, so she came home one day convinced that meant she wasn’t allowed to bring sushi to school. But this is the girl who used to request cucumber sandwiches and other oddities for packed lunch.
I wish I knew more about sushi. I wish I could use chopsticks. The teenager did try to give me a lesson (again). You can see the video here.
I ordered Thai iced tea for both of us and the “luck bite” appetizer. The Luck Bite featured seaweed and crab artfully arranged on a Pringle potato chip. That itself was amazing enough for me to leave happy.
The teenager was disappointed by her first experience with Miso soup, something I have learned to enjoy. Honestly, we barely touched our salads of iceberg lettuce and a tangy mustard dressing because of the sushi to come.
The sashimi combo platter came first— complete with lights and flowers and other adornments. The teenager loved it all but prefers her sashimi on a bed of rice.
I got the spicy maki roll platter with two specialty rolls, and I honestly don’t recall their names. The one featured eel and avocado and the other mango and crab.
The teenager tried it all. My favorite was the mango. We both enjoyed the maki especially with its crispy bits.
Jasmine truly goes above and beyond with presentation. The sauces and flavor combinations are vibrant without detracting from the star of the show— the sushi.
We spent $92, but we also ordered enough sushi for 4-5 people. The sashimi platter alone was $30. I feel like for sushi, their offerings and dishes were substantial. I think it would be quite easy to select a satisfying meal for 2 for about $40.
More importantly, the teenager and I needed a neutral place where we could unwind together. This was perfect.
We do indeed intend to have the leftovers for breakfast, and I can only wonder what the household and foster cats will do when they smell sashimi.