The Graduate (‘s stepmom)

Happy!  So Proud of Oliver ( my Nick Jonas).  I’m so glad that I got such a nice stepson.  It could have all gone so wrong.  Here we are ( with his grandma, Mark’s mom beaming in the background) right after the commencement.  While my pride and love for Oliver does not waver, but enthusiasm during the service flagged a tad.  Here I tell Rex what he missed.




Spying on a Teen

Every once in a while, I like a reminder that I am not a certifible loon. Yesterday, as I was working on my computer, I kept hearing this pinging noise coming from it. I finally minimized the window I was working in to see that I was getting instant messages. But they weren’t for me – they were for my stepson. I answered one with “Are you looking for Oliver?” It was a gal friend of his who I know, so I told her he was at his mom’s.

IM/Red Abstraction No. 2
Creative Commons License photo credit: Kris Cohen

The pings kept coming. I saw in the iChat menu that he had 10 friends wanting to talk – four boys and six girls. I won’t say I wasn’t curious. Since he’s a typical 9th grade boy and shares next to nothing about his life, the idea of one of those awful psycho moms who pretends to be the kid in order to get info flashed through my head. The thought passed quickly as I “quit” iChat (yeah, it took me a while to figure that out) and emailed Oliver that folks were wanting to gab.

I told him I had thought better of playing mom-spy. “Ha ha,” he wrote. “I know moms like that. They are weird.”

That was the nicest thing he’s ever said to me! I’m not weird! At least, that’s how I am deciding to take it.


This cracked me up from, “The Poop (great name),” about the writers first car. You never forget your first right? My first car was a 1976, Datsun 710. It not only had no AC, it had no heat, and no door handles. So, after a while the cranks to roll down the window also broke off. Nonetheless I was popular among my high school friends, because at least I had a car. Even if it meant we had to pick up the broken handles off the floor and stick them on the door to roll down the windows.

I just had another first. My stepson wrote me an email from his trip. He had seen a clip of me on “The Daily Show,” I was part of a montage about “cougars.” I had been commenting on it on “Showbiz Tonight,” on “CNN Headline News.” Even though for other reasons it has been a trying day, I was immediately perked up. It felt like I was in high school and a boy who I thought didn’t know I existed, suddenly pays attention to me. Especially cool if the boy looks like a Jonas brother. I felt like Sally Field accepting her Oscar in 1985, “You like me, you really like me!

If kids only knew the power they yield.

I Missed My Stepson

Yes, the one who looks just like Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers, and Sunday he came back for 24 hours. This is the month where he is taking many groovy trips, so Sunday was our only day with him. He had been gone a week before I realized I missed him. A friend’s mom said, “You miss a 14-year-old?”  Well, yeah, he may not always be Chatty Cathy, but he is no drama and we feel like more of a family when he is here. I do love him, even if I can’t be as demonstrative with him as I would my daughter.

Nick Jonas

When he walked through the front door, I wished I had had my camera ready. Vivien gave his legs a big bear hug, her head barely rising above his knees. My husband mentioned that Oliver hadn’t seen her new play equipment, so Vivien and Oliver walked out toward the back hand-in-hand and it was a microcosm of male/ female relationships.

Vivien: “Oliver, do you like my new dress?”

Oliver: “Huh, what?”

Vivien: “Oliver, do you like my new dress?”

Oliver: “Oh, yeah.”

He is always more interactive and involved with her if I back off. Funny how me rushing in the room saying, “Please love each other!!!” doesn’t seem to foster closeness the way hiding in the kitchen does. I keep one ear or eye out to take in the charm of their teasing and cuddling. I want to join in, but I know if I do, I clamp him down. I think she is so lucky to have a big brother, so I stay back. Maybe that’s what all parents have to do, not just step parents.

[Image: Kevin Winter, Getty Images]