Single’s Awareness Day (February 14)

Love

Love

Single’s Awareness Day is upon us. And if you don’t know what that means – Valentine’s Day. Courtesy of a fellow people-rescuer therapist (thanks Jae!!!), I’ve learned a new way to look at an old holiday. As a single working mom, I’ve found it very difficult to go out and date. Not only do I have kiddo, I also work full-time as a child & family therapist and write on the side. So, my time is somewhat limited.
Since last September, I’ve been aware and appreciative of my singleness. Don’t get me wrong, I do feel lonely once in a while, but I’ve been extremely happy being single for the last five months. Though it’s going on three years since I’ve officially been flying solo.

In seeing how many people around me (family, friends, etc) have dating and relationship issues and the drama that goes along with that, I’ve also noticed my relief that I don’t have to worry about someone else’s feelings, thoughts, wants or needs. I am happy that I don’t need to go all out for Valentine’s Day for a partner. Kiddo, of course, but that’s the usual.

All I can say is that I am very aware of my singleness and am so glad to have it. Happy Valentine’s Day all. May you receive all the love your hearts can stand. Cheers!

photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via photopin cc

Stepping Into Independence

Independence. Everyone has to go through it sometime or another. Now, it’s kiddo’s turn. And I’m petrified! Kiddo’s a pre-teen who will be 12 in a couple of months. He’s been asking for more independence – to walk to school alone, a cell phone and an alarm clock.

So far, I think I’ve done pretty well with the adjustment. Err, maybe not. We’ve been working on this since last May. Kiddo’s still not walking to school alone, though we’ve got it to 60% alone. At first, it meant dropping him off at the corner closest to the school and watching him cross. Then it was the corner before that (which was a straight shot to the school so I could still watch him). Slowly, we ended up around the corner.

The school sits at an intersection and from our house, it is a zig-zag pattern. And we live in the South Bronx. Don’t get me wrong – it has improved a great deal and there’s a bigger police presence than ever. But, I’m realistic. I know where I live.

With guidelines on how to walk on his own, plus using it as a way to modify his behavior positively (ie if he screws up, I walk him all the way to school; devastating to a pre-teen), I’ve been a big girl mature mom and let him go. Independence is a PITA, but it’s a part of growing up. Only I’m the one feeling the growing pains. Sigh. On to the alarm clock.

Raising a Book Critic: Advice to Writers

Happy first Tuesday in January readers!  Today’s bit of advice to writers comes from kiddo. Kiddo’s full of surprises this morning. One was his critique of a kid’s book. As I’m sitting at my home computer desk, trying to keep my eyes open (yes, I know it’s 8:30am), I’m reflecting on his critique without naming the book here out of respect for the writer.

Add raising a book critic to my resume. I’ve been encouraging kiddo to read more (indeed, my tweeps know all about that). And since he was up and dressed early this morning, I egged him on to read before school. Except, I chose a book that he didn’t like after 20 pages. I asked him what he thought was going on with the book. Here is his advice to writers.

Get to the point. With a great cover that had me interested in reading the book, I thought kiddo would go for it. I was wrong. He told me it was the 7th book in a series. Kiddo was bored with the recap of the previous books. He was waiting for the book to get interesting. He kept trying to read it and now he won’t look at it.

Keep it simple. Kiddo didn’t understand the point of the story because he was too busy being annoyed by the backstory. He didn’t like all the previous history. Yes, it might important for the writer’s vision for the book, but without writing for the readers, especially kids, it’s very hard to reel them into the story.

Improve your writing or else. The writing didn’t work for him. Kiddo said he wouldn’t finish the book. And he’s not. It doesn’t matter how much I sweet talk him, cajole him or threaten to Gangnam Style at his school – he’s not having it. And I’m pretty sure that if he saw another book by the author, he wouldn’t think twice about rejecting it.

Writing is a tough gig. Being critiqued is even harder. You spend so much of your time making it perfect only to have a pipsqueak (like kiddo) tell you it’s not good enough. And it will sting. But, it will also help you become a better writer. I’m not saying that bending over backwards is necessary, but knowing who your target reader is important when you’re writing for that reader. If you follow the steps above, you’ll have a dedicated reader sharing his favorite books with his pals. Have a great Tuesday!

 

 

 

Christmas Day 2012

Christmas Day 2012 was a good one. It can be put into the books as a mellow and enjoyable holiday. Kiddo’s happy with his goodies and I’m just happy being in my new purple jammies (thanks to my dad’s gal pal) writing this post. And not only am I enjoying this quiet time, I’m also ecstatic that I’m on a staycation.  A full week off from the dayjob just to be home with kiddo and take time to rest. This is sweet.

I didn’t have a long list for Christmas. All I wanted was to get kiddo his gifts, time off from the dayjob (after six months of probation – I sorely needed the break) and time with family. I got all of those things plus a few more with the two new writing jobs I have now.

I’m tired right now, but so excited. Deep, deep down. lol I’m excited about the blessing of Christmas, excited about the possibilities of the future and excited about 2013. I’ve come a long way this year and am ready for my next adventure. I plan on taking that adventure after resting on my staycation.

Merry Belated Christmas!

Christmas Day 2012 008

Enter the Ice Hockey Mom

So this past weekend was my official coming out as an ice hockey mom. And I failed….badly.
My sleep-deprived brain needed coffee, so I went to Dunkin where I parked myself with my breakfast. And here I thought, “Kiddo’s on time and on the ice. I’m good.” NOT!
By the time I went back to the ice to cheer from the sidelines (more like raise my coffee as a salute), the kid was dehydrated after two water breaks. He was SO upset with me and I was SO upset with myself for failing my kid on the first day.
I was relieved though. After he drank some of his Gatorade, he smiled and went back to practice. Seems like I’m forgiven….until my next screw-up!

Signed,

Ice Hockey Rookie

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Happy 10th in Heaven Mami

If you’ve visited me within the last two weeks (thanks btw), you’ve probably seen that I’ve fallen off the writing bandwagon. I’ve not been so busy that I couldn’t write. I’ve chosen not to.

Mami in her heyday.

See this picture – she’s the reason why I’ve been offline. It’s been ten years since I’ve not hugged her or heard her voice. Some days the memories are so clear that it’s like she’s sitting next to me. And other days – it’s so hard to remember how she did the things she did.

I look at my son and see how much he’s grown. It is in looking at him that I’m reminded of the passage of ten years. He was just a year and a half when she died. And she loved him SO much! I just wanted to share that Mami was the strongest woman I’ve ever met and there will NEVER be another mom like her. My mom, my role model, my pain in the ass. I love you Mami. Until we meet again.

Frances Reyes (1942 – 2002)

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A Big Boy’s Room

 I’m the mom of an 11-year-old, about-to-start-6th-grader who was ready to break out of the little kid’s room. So, this past weekend, kiddo got his “big kid” room.

Kiddo’s original room had a captain’s bed and a small drawer chest lovingly provided by my father (he’s too good to me). It also had his toddler table and four chairs (a gift from my sister) and a rocking chair & ottoman (also from my father).

It was bittersweet for me cleaning out his room and moving the rocking chair, ottoman and toddler table into my spare room. I didn’t think he’d outgrow that. Now I totally get it when my father tells me that he doesn’t see Heiddi the grown woman with a kid and career. He says that he sees a six-year-old gap-toothed, pig-tailed little girl.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready for kiddo to grow up. But, it’s happening anyway.

Kiddo couldn’t wait until Wednesday (he’s at his father’s til them) to see his new bedroom set. My heart was racing when he walked in because I didn’t know if he’d like it (the set we picked was discontinued and I picked a new one). Squealing, kiddo raced up the ladder to lay on it and get a feel for the new mattress. And he had to test out his freethrow after all.

All I wanted to do was cry happy and sad tears. Happy tears for being able to provide him with his ‘big boy’ room and sad because my Cocohead is growing up. Onto the next mommy adventure.

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