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Heroes

Recently, I noticed how much my son likes his friend’s parents. They are cooler, nicer and easier going than I am.  Gee, how easy is it to get along with the child you don’t have to ground, check up on, and read report cards on.  They get to listen to my son gripe, nod in sympathy, and measure their awesome parenting skills against, my well, lacking parental skills.

Not that I am not guilty of it myself, I have listened to a few angry teens, and could see their side, and, as long as I didn’t have to deal with the fall out from any of the misadventures, I could remember my own teen years. I assume, since I listened and didn’t say anything, it was my turn to be the cool parent. In other words, be the hero.

There are a lot of other times its easy to be the hero, when you listen to a coworker, gripe about their spouse, or spring for lunch at a get together, or buy a surprise gift, your the hero. Everyone thinks your fun, easy to talk to and generous to a fault. It could be ,to be that person. It could also get you into trouble.

I remember something my grandmother always told me. A hero is someone who is always there, puts themselves right into the fray. They do the dirty work, they listen, as well as correct, even if it isn’t welcome, it may be their JOB to guide, not just nod and seem non-judgmental. They are the the spouses who don’t gripe, the parent that waits up late for that teen to come in, they stay on their feet, sick or injured, and they sacrifice most of their time, needs and dreams. They are there everyday.  They know who you are and see past your faults, and mistakes.

They may not seem like the most adventurous or ‘generous’ people, but strangely they are always there when something goes wrong. Those are the real heroes, the ones who show up everyday, whether they are acknowledged or not. After all, its not about the glory of being the best or brightest star at the moment, its about consistency even when we are talking about the dirty work. They are there.  And if we aren’t real careful, we might start taking those people for granted, especially when we are measuring them up against the ‘heroes’ or trying to be one ourselves.

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Badge of Honor

My son recently got a tattoo, yes I said tattoo. For his 17th birthday. Not an easy thing, but if you know my son if he had to wait to get it at 18 he probably would have came home tattooed from head to toe. And pick your battles, blah, blah blah. I hated it, at first, then I didn’t mind it. Now I am okay with it. Pretty amazing huh? Well it was an odd journey from there to here.

At first, people were like, ‘You let him get what?!” and I felt under the parental microscope. I found myself defending myself and getting frustrated. Then, something funny happened, that old rebellious surge from my own teenage years returned. It was kind of funny, people’s reactions.  Probably how it would have felt if I had gotten a tattoo when I was his age. After awhile I did get sort of a satisfaction watching people become appalled at the tattoo.

The next step to being okay with that large mark on my son’s body was how much he enjoyed it. I mean, my argument had been ‘one day you’ll regret it and then what?’  It dawned on me how many times I said that not only to him but to myself over the years. Now that I am older and look back, there were soooo many things if I had done I wouldn’t have regretted it, because now I am old enough to realize what is the end of the world, and what is not. He is living in the now, something I haven’t done in a very long time. I contemplate whether I should have lunch with a friend is as productive as say, grocery shopping?

When did I get to be such a stick in the mud? I began to understand, there is a time to be responsible, and a time to enjoy each moment. So now when I look at my son’s tattoo, I see he is enjoying his life now.  He wears it like a badge of honor, and perhaps it just might be. Because now when I look at that mark on his arm, I will never love it, but I do respect it. It says loud and clear, “It’s not the end of the world”  Because it really isn’t

Looking For Answers

I run into a lot of questions when it comes to my book, Soul Mates, but the one I hear the most is why did I chose to create 2 sides in the spirit world on the side of good? I am a people watcher, most writers are by the way, and human nature fascinates us. In my book the ghosts that protect the living from haunting or evil spirits are from different eras, they died at different ages, and they are different races. So they are all different(nothing to bond over except you are either a Hailite or a Tracer) , this sets the stage that it is human nature to jockey for ‘superior position’ even when all old prejudices are removed, that as humans we will find new ones. It is only conquering it in the mind that we can ever conquer it in the world. So when on Tracer falls in love with one Hailite it does become a love conquers all storyline on many different levels. It is also a story that human nature is not without its resources to rise up, and it is never too late to learn or find a better mindset.

http://soulmates.tateauthor.com

also available on Amazon.com

Barnes&Noble.com

You ever get the feeling that all the columns just don’t add up, or some columns are remarkably in the black of life while others are in the red? Take one of my best friends, she has four kids, two dogs and a pig. That’s right I said pig. This wouldn’t be particularly except when you take into account my husband is Muslim. This is her second pig the other went on to piggy heaven. But the first one really caught my husband by surprise. It was about seven or eight years ago and my son NJ was about eight years old.

Donna had had the pig for about six months, and one day she took piggy for a walk, on a harness leash, yep right past my window. And what do wondering eyes should see?? My husband jumped off the couch just as they strolled by.

‘Kerry? Is that a, a, PIG?’ he asked

Whoops forgot to mention the lil bugger to him.

“Ah yeah.” I hedged shifting the laundry basket on my hip cursing Donna and her porky friend.

“Does NJ still play at her house?” He asked his voice riding in horror

OK That threw me, what the heck did that have to do with anything?

‘Yeah?’

‘You know he’s Muslim right?’ he said

OOOOOH CRAP!!!!!! I forgot Muslims don’t eat pork but since I never lived near anyone who owned farm animals I never put that together, eeek!

“Well?” My husband asked watching over his shoulder to make absolutely sure it was a pig in the street.

“Well I didn’t know he couldn’t touch it I just knew he couldn’t lick it.” I said without thinking,.

And that’s how the fight started at my house.

Stupid pig….

 

Appreciating yourself

There are days I am not my own best friend. I see the fine lines, the extra pound or two and the frizz that just won’t be tamed on my curly blond head. I don’t talk that nicely about myself as many of us don’t, I should have done it this way, I could have said this better, I had the chance to do this and that.

One thing over the years I have thankfully learned is that I am probably one of the most amazing people I know, and that is not being conceited.  I learned it the hard way as most of us do. So when I am faced with that situation or person, telling me to doubt who I am or all that I have done, strangely I don’t cringe anymore as when I did when I was younger.

Through the years I have learned I am dependable, kind, honest, selfless and strong. I try to always do the right thing or pair the option with the best possible right answer there is.  The thing is I try and that has made all the difference. If I had given up, played the victim I would never have learned my worth. Something no one can take away from me with cruel words, slights or just plain old selfishness.  I have worked hard to get to this place and when I think back on the days I needed approval or appreciation for who I am and what I have done with my life I almost smile. Gone is the unsure girl, the one who listened to the doubts and criticisms only to be replaced by the woman who wrote and published the book she dreamed of, raised and amazing goofball of a son, learned to drive a car (though am not such a great driver yet!), conquered my fear of the the internet and techie stuff,  And always put those I love ahead of myself. That’s a lot to be proud of.

The good old days

With holidays around the corner its a good time to remember the ‘olden’ days. For me it was before cell phones, the internet the microwave was just getting popular imagine cooking what took hours in just a few minutes. The internet came out when I was 18, so growing up it was Atari, keyboards that plugged into the t.v. that made it almost like a computer; CD were just around the corner to being invented. And the word recycling and ‘going green’ (though that’s not what they called it eco friendly maybe) was making people stand up and take notice. Like when Dad’s friends finally convinced him that the mouse he was trying to catch was not sanitary in an old snap trap or using poison pellets were horrible and cruel. So they introduced my father to the glue trap. ‘You just put it out and in the morning you got that lil bugger’ he was told. Dad did catch the mouse end of story? Wrong!

“I think those things are just cruel!”  Dad said when he was contemplating the whole build a better mouse trap.

“Why dad?” My brother Joe asked.

“That thing screeched like a sonofbitch when I had to rip it off.” He answered.

“Rip it off what?” Joe asked not understanding at all

“The trap! Its cruel.” Dad said shaking his head

“Dad! THEY ARE NOT REUSABLE!!” Joe yelled just thinking of what my father had done

After about a minute my dad said,”Oh, good. I was wondering how I was going to get the other piece off.”

My brother looked at him levelly and said, “Why? where is the trap now? You didn’t leave it for mom to find right?”

Dad turned around and left, “Be right back.” was all he said.

Happy Holidays!

A few weeks I drove by and a guy was putting up his Christmas tree lights. When I drove back at the end of the day on my way from picking up my son from a friend’s house the house glowed from top to bottom, and we were still two and a half weeks from Thanksgiving people. My son’s jaw dropped on the way by, “their starting early this year.’ he commented. Yep I thought and wondered if my neighbor across the street would start, who was in competition with his own brother down the block as to who could light up their houses more. When I have people come to visit around the holidays I tell em to look for the Northern Lights, I am right across the street.

People ask me why I don’t decorate that much outside, my answer? Why should I? I just leave my curtains open and I can apprecaite all the colors and blow up decorations I want. He even has a snow projector at night! So though I grew finally realizing Santa is not real I have come to find that Santa can come in all different ways. Growing up in the Bronx (the city) there were really no such things as this all out lights festival that goes on in the suburbs.

When I first saw the guy hanging his lights when I hadn’t gotten my turkey for Thanksgiving my first thought was ‘overachiever’ but then I saw Phil across the street and realized No way! Santa Clause is coming to town! With nutcrackers, sleds, Tigger the blowup Santa, elves and the Northern Lights! Yep Santa is coming and not a moment too soon, its getting cold, its been raining, PSATs have been taken. So bring on the eggnog and whoo hoo heard the first Xmas song on the radio today! Happy Holidays!!!  Now if I could just get Santa to bring me that Lexus…..