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Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy Mothers Day

I was not the type of woman that grew up wanting children. I was a child of the 70's feminist movement. I knew I could have it ALL but mostly I just wanted a career. When and IF I had a child it was going to be on MY terms and not societies. I had been married for 7 years, had just done a shitload of tv shows as a comedian when Io and behold I was late getting my BFF. Now understand this, I was ALWAYS TERRIFIED of getting pregnant, I used to put in a diaphragm, foam and make my husband wear 2 condoms. But here I was, working a comedy club up in Seattle and I was feeling funny, not standup funny, body funny. I went to the drugstore to get the home pregnancy test and went back to the comedy condo to use it. These were in the early days when the test would be pink if you were or white if you weren't. Well for the life of me I couldn't figure out what color it was. My friend and I spent the ENTIRE day going back and forth. Is it pink, looks like it, nope, yep, etc. That night I went onstage and let's just say I realized I was NOT pregnant.

You know what? I got sad. When I got home my husband and I started to try for real. He was thrilled, unprotected sex for months! I got pregnant immediately. At my parent's apartment. I kid you not. My mother walked in asking if we wanted bagels in the morning. She had NO CLUE what was conspiring under those covers or so she said......This time I got a BETTER home pregnancy test and yessir I was preggers. Having my son Layne blindsided me, I fell in love with him the moment I awoke from my drugged stupor. I fell into motherhood so easy I shoulda been catholic. My whole life was consumed by this little bundle of flesh. As he grew up I was there all the time, taking him to playdates, making sure he got to school, kissing his booboos away. Hell I even moved to Las Vegas so he could have some semblance of a normal life. Yeah, his mom worked in topless burlesque shows as the comic and was vice-president of the PTA, REAL NORMAL.

We grew very close, still are to this day. But at some point you realize that well, they need to be on their own, regardless of your relationship. Letting go of my son was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I am a typical jewish mother so to NOT be clinging to him every waking moment is a huge step for me. But I knew that it was time. Just before he turned 18 in 2010, I was asked to go overseas to perform for our military in Kuwait and Iraq. I had been asked numerous times but always wanted to wait till he was older. The flight over was 13 hours and when we got there our American phones would not work. It was the first time I didn't hear his voice for 3 DAYS! We got to "talk" online but I didn't speak to him until I got to the hotel in Iraq and was able to use a free military phone. When I finally did talk to him, he wouldn't stop! We had a 15 minute time limit and I was the one who to say I had to go. By the way, you ever want your teenager to talk to you, go work in a warzone! What did the trip teach me?

Well he was just fine without me hovering all the time and yes it freed me up to do things I wanted to do. I just had to figure out what the hell THAT was. 2011 seems to be the year of teaching me to let go. Of my son, of my past, of my stuff. When all you know is what surrounds you, it's very hard to venture out into the unknown. And so I've let go. And it's tough. I haven't had to deal with ME for almost 20 years. Kids are a GREAT diversion. And then if you've done a good job they go onto their own lives. And if you've done a GREAT job they actually call you once in awhile to ask your advice. I remember when I was in my 20's I called my mom for advice and she said " Carole, no matter what I tell you to do, you're gonna do what you want anyway" And that's the way it should be. Happy Mother's Day.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

National Mom: Just Like my Dad!

Growing up my father was larger than life. He spoke loud, he drank loud. He did his entire life loud. By trade my dad was a teacher, during the summer vacations he worked as a bartender in the Catskill Mountains. On the side he was a bookie, but that's a WHOLE other column. For so many summer days I would watch him set up the bar in the afternoon. In would walk some of the comedy greats, Rodney Dangerfield, Jackie Mason, Totie Fields. They were there to do their soundcheck. Is it a wonder I feel so at home in a bar? That I became a comedian myself? I wanted to be just like him (many would say I am).

I remember when I was just a little girl, I would sit and watch him shave every morning. The shaking of the shaving cream can, filling the sink with water, getting out his razor. The sound of the razor against his skin, the dipping of the razor in the water, then the tapping. How I so wanted to be him.

One morning I asked him if I could shave with him and lo and behold he said yes. Quite the odd request from a girl. I'm sure he was thinking of the therapy bills coming down the pike. I stood next to him on the toilet bowl lid and put shaving cream on my face and with a toothbrush followed everything my dad did. Even patted my self down with what I will assume was old spice and, off to school! I went smelling like my dad, but beaming.

I got so much of who I am from my dad, especially my sense of humor. My dad could tell a joke! Laughing was something we always shared and I would learn to share as I grew up. We would watch I Love Lucy during dinner, Abbot and Costello on Sundays before football and my beloved Marx Brothers whenever their movies showed on tv. I can still remember me and my dad on our family vacation in Europe repeating lines from Go West as we walked down cobblestone streets.

My dad is 81 now, his step a little slower, his mind a little weaker. It's easy to get frustrated with him as I still move at the speed of sound. He's still loud but that's because his hearing is going. That's what the sadness of aging is, you remember the young and vibrant person you once were as you look in the mirror and see someone who is breaking down. It's what happens, it's life. I do worry about him. When the time will come when he can't do for himself, what then? One thing for sure, I got dibs on giving him a shave.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

COOL MA


When my son was younger I would do anything to make him happy. It was my life's mission to prove how cool a mom I was. I'm not sure why I had this need, but every year it seemed to be more urgent. I was big on doing what other moms wouldn't. Hell I worked in 2 different TOPLESS Las Vegas shows, I win on that credit alone everytime. I am fearless in life, when it comes to my son I am Superman. My son today is an accomplished musician and writer, when he was young he just loved music. Anytime we could take him to see a rock concert that was all ages, my husband and I would try to get tickets. He saw Joe Walsh at age 4, Chumbawumba at 6, Everclear at 10. Here's what type of mom I am. We got the tickets to Everclear but were seated in the balcony. My son was able to sneak to the front of the balcony cause he was 10 and adorable. Just before Everclear does their last number the lead singer Art announces that they will take fans onstage to dance with them for the last number. I look at my son, he is raising his hand cause he thinks like a student and was waiting to get picked. Now I see this and know, there's NO WAY they're gonna see him so I run and grab him and we start running down the backstairs to get to the floor of the club. Of course in my haste I'd forgotten we were at a ROCK CONCERT WITH EVERCLEAR. No one was budging, everyone was pushing to get to the front and not letting us through. Now you know how we moms are, I start pushing my way through crowds of drunk, tattooed, pierced men to get to the front and give my son his moment. I'm getting elbowed and body slammed left and right. Finally I said to this humongous creature, "Do I look like I want to go onstage with Art?" The guy turns around and sees Layne and then the coolest thing happened. He goes "Yo, little dude, c'mon!" And he makes a path for him to get to the front. Of course Art is now saying no more people please. Layne is heartbroken. All of a sudden, everyone in the front starts pointing to my son. At that moment Art nods and they lift him up to get onstage with his favorite band. Layne still says it's one of his favorite memories. The kicker is as we were leaving the show, he went to the bathroom by himself. I figured at 10 he didn't want to go into the ladies room so I always would time him. 3 minutes and he's not out, I'm going in. Well he walks out talking to an older guy and I run over to him terrified. The guy says to me " I was just a the concert, he's a cool kid. When he gets old enough, I wanna give him is first tattoo" And he gives me his card and walks away. And that's why I'm a cool ma.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

SATURDAY IN TUCSON

When I launched National Mom in 2010, I was hoping to raise awareness to the constant bickering that seemed to be going on in our fine country. "Everyone is right, no one is to blame, I'll just yell louder" And now this. 20 people shot, 6 people dead including a child. How's that anger working out for you……EVERYONE? Now in the weeks to come there will be blame from the left and blame from the right. Already the right is calling the shooter a liberal who didn't agree with Gifford's views . Umm she's a DEMOCRAT or have you all forgotten that? And the left is blaming Sarah Palin. Did she put the gun in his hand? Absolutely not. Did the map with targets over certain congress members have something to do with it? Probably not, but it does make me wonder why all of Sarah's yee haw tweets have been mysteriously scrubbed. Is she finally getting a conscience? Nope, someone on her team realized that after the incident, it may be on poor taste to keep it up there. The excuse of course is that it should've been taken down long ago. Yet it stayed up and NOW it gets taken down. But enough on her, people know how I feel about that subject.
Here's the point, SIX PEOPLE DIED. Why is it that whenever we disagree, all this rage comes spewing out. On twitter I watched people go off on each other in the most brutal way possible, everyone FORGETTING the severity of the situation. As someone who lost a family member to violence, I can tell you that it is something you never get over. You are always looking over your shoulder wondering who the next crazy person is. The families of the people killed are in such horrific pain. Can't ANYONE have a civil disagreement anymore? You know being able to disagree is one of the great things about this country, so is being able to own a gun. How sad that instead of bonding together we are all fighting and yelling to see who gets out on top. Once again, no one is taking responsiblity but blaming the other side. How fucking 10 years old of you!
I wonder what will happen if one day there really is a war on our beloved USA land, will we fight together or throw each other in harms way? Sadly I think I know the answer.