when do you give up on a child?

one of my favorite parts of my weekend is reading Modern Love in the NY Times Style section on Sunday.  They are well written essays about all kinds of relationships.  This past Sunday was no exception.  But, while it was well written, it has really disturbed me.  Pleaseread it and tell me what you think.  In short, a woman had a boyfriend who died leaving an orphaned 8 year old girl.  The writer didn’t really like the girl.  Eventually an aunt and uncle took her in, but after a whopping 5 days decided they would turn her out.  This child went to foster care and then was adopted.

The end of the essay the writer is musing on what her life would have been like had she decided to mother this orphan.  I’m thinking, who cares about you lady?

I would not put my niece and nephew up for foster care.  I am the god mother to my best friend’s child and if, God forbid, something happens to her parents, it’s all written down that I will take her.  I’m sure a child in that position would be difficult: their parents have just dropped dead.

This theme was brought up a while ago when that lady returned her adopted Russian son.  But, why do people think children are like a belt from Nordstroms?

My mother told me the essay depressed her as well.  But, she has known kids (she runs a high school) who have had their families give up on them.  I get it, they are inconvenient.  So what?

Who Runs the Party?

Now, not one of those many stories about who is in charge of the GOP Rush Limbaugh or um, or somebody else.  But kiddie birthday parties. (Pic is of Vivien’s 1st bday, which we had in Palm Springs the night before our wedding redux.) Most parties I go to the mom has the grand plan, and she is telling dad.

“Fill the ice chest”

“Time for pinata; what it’s not hung up yet, get to it, scrappy.”  Stuff like that.

Well, my eye went to this past Sunday’s style section in the NY Times (since Monday cannot begin until I have) to a story about a dad who decided to start running the kiddie parties.

I asked Mark, “Gave you ever run a kiddie party?”  Since he was married before and has three children from his previous marriage, I figured this issue had come up before.

“Well, in my experience, mothers don’t want to cede control of the kiddie party. They have an idea of where it should go, and if I didn’t buy the pink plates or whatever, the mother (notice how he tries to be diplomatic when speaking of his third wife) had in mind they get mad.”

Point well taken. I said, “Well why don’t you plan Vivien’s 4th birthday party?”

He said, “okay” with the same suspicion as if I had said, “Let’s ask that big busted 29-year-old woman to join our marriage.”  Like if he said “yes,” he will get slapped.

I thought for a second. “Okay, if you didn’t pull it off, I would be pissed. If there were no balloons, pony, fairy clown, favors for the kids, jumping house, etc., I would probably come unglued.”

He nodded.  “I can refill the ice chest,”  he kindly offered.

So, like so many issues this is something I have to work on myself.

Commencement

My daughter is about to graduate from her first year of pre-school, and since I won’t be asked to make a speech after they sing their songs, I thought I would do it here. Well, this speech isn’t for pre schoolers, but the parents and grandparents who are trying to navigate this kooky time we are in. Note: the picture is of the flowers on our mantle when we were married ( in our living room).

The NY Times reported Wednesday that the SEC has officially barred Bernie Madoff from working in the securities industry. Now, are they sure they aren’t rushing into this?

Granted he was arrested Dec. 11th 2008 for operating the largest Ponzi scheme in the history of the US, probably the world, but are they sure?  This kind of news piece gives bureaucracies their bad name for being large bloated, ineffective piles of doo.  And not just the SEC which was suppose to look out for Madoff’s to begin with.  oops, missed that one.

I don’t know if you feel like I do-since I’m a VOB ( victim of Bernie), but I feel a bit stymied about what to do with the savings I still possess and what to do with money that I hope will be coming my way one day.

Real estate, hmm, I own a money pit investment property.

Stocks… what would you buy?  One has to be super sharp for that and watch it minute by minute.  Index funds, we all lost on those.

Bonds… should it still be 30% of your portfolio?

Muni bonds, conservative, but not FDIC insured.

Okay, then savings account, but the interest is so low it doesn’t add up to the time and value of money.

Which also can cancel out..

The mattress.

Diversification!  Ah, how much, where?

I have one friend who uses a financial manager, but they take 5% of your gross.  One would have to make some decent change to part with that.  And don’t we sometimes read about those guys being small time Madoff’s ? Not only for bloated rock stars.

My dad said to me recently “people don’t realize how hard it is to manage wealth.”  Which is why I think he will get the last laugh since he had a county job for over 30 years. He retired with a 110% pension plus medical.  He never owned a yacht, but he won’t be eating cat food in his golden years.  In fact he eats too much.

Like so many things in the entertainment business people’s success is partly about luck.

There was an interview with Clarence Otis jr, CEO of Darden restaurants ( they own Olive Garden, Red lobster) in NY times business page the other week.  He was asked about career advice.  He said,'”..it’s not about planning it. Things are too dynamic;there’s too much going; there are too many things that’ll pop up, good and bad.” “…it’s about preparation and building skills. and if you do that, then you’ll recover  from  the mishaps, and you be able to take advantage of the opportunities.”

This line spoke to me with what my family is going through now and I thought it might hit for some of you.  I thought we were set.  I had planned to live in our home for 30 years.  But, fortunately, my husband and I are still prepared to work and have skills.  So true about things being “dynamic”.  Think how quickly technology has changed?  If someone told me a couple years ago I’d be blogging I would have thought they were talking about flogging with lisp. And I was never into S and M so I would have been confused.

So, the moral of the story is, we can’t over plan.  That’s why when we camp our car is packed to the rafters, cause you never know. And call me a militia men, but don’t count on someone else to police where your funds are.  It’s not like we live in a failed state, but as my hero Frank Sinatra use to say:

Be Aware, Always Be Aware.

A Scar On Your Heart

As you may have seen in my video, I love reading the Sunday New York Times Style section. So when Viv went down for her nap post-birthday this Sunday, I dug in. I often enjoy the Modern Love essays, but this week’s provoked some tears. It was by a man whose wife had gone through a miscarriage. First it bugged me, because he and his wife didn’t seem that moved by finding out their son had died inside of her. But later on, the emotion is released.

Orchid

When I did a vlog – “What Not To Say” – about my own miscarriage, I was touched by the kind words people left. Many who have gone through the same sadness. The writer of the Times piece, David Hlavsa, experienced something similar when he told people at his work. He says people he barely knew told him about their own miscarriages. “Grief hauled about, and nowhere to put it down,” he wrote. Which I thought was beautiful and true. Like he writes, if one loses a parent, or spouse, anyone living, breathing, walking around, people have an idea how to treat you and you have a right to be really sad.

But, a miscarriage is a not-so-funny in-between. When we drove away from the doctor’s office, having found out our daughter’s heart had stopped at 14 and half weeks, I was sobbing great, big sobs. Like you do when you’re a kid, like the writer in the Times article described. As I sobbed, with Vivien strapped in the backseat to her car seat and Mark driving, I called my best friend, my family. “I have some very bad news, the baby is gone, she’s gone,” I sobbed, “There is no heartbeat.”

My dad was very sweet and said kind words. “I’m so sorry honey.” But after a few minutes he took a breath and said, “You gave me such a fright.” He went on, “Well, I thought something bad had happened to someone… to someone…” he hesitated, “To someone we have known longer.”

I had to smile a little. He had searched for the gentlest way to say it. “Yes, Dad, I know that would have been worse.” If something had happen to Vivien or my sisters, yes, it would have been catastrophic.

So, I think that’s what “grief hauled about and nowhere to put it down” means. It’s a scar on your heart, but one you tend to keep to yourself.

Sunday Styles

My husband has learned that there will be a wifely wrath if he dumps the New York Times Sunday Styles section before I have read it. I usually have to wait until bedtime to savor this tasty morsel. In the Vows section…all the engagements and weddings, I’m always curious about the ages of people. Do I think they are getting married to young, is it a May September thing? It’s funny I note that more than where they are from or their profession. Although, the happy couples profession and where they are originally from, does hold some interest.

Every week what is the thing you look forward to reading that you would throw a tantrum over if someone through out?

I just wanted to let you know, we will be taking a day off Monday for Labor Day. Don’t worry, we will be back up and running with new vlogs on Tuesday. Have a great weekend.