I ran into a friend in the store yesterday. Her family goes back in my life as far as I can recall. She asked me how my son was doing and I told her.

He is in a great school, he has amazing friends, he is making music and he is absolutely a lovely human being. (well, most of the time, let’s not push it… He is a teenager after all…) She got the biggest smile on her face and she said, “THAT IS INCREDIBLE NEWS!!!”

Because it is!

I live in a small town, which, for many many years, has had little to nothing to offer the youth, many moms I know do not have good news to report, and I can’t imagine what I would do if I was experiencing the hard times they are going through.

top o the beanstalk

I feel fortunate, I feel blessed and I am so proud, of not only my son, but myself.  I have managed to raise a son to the ripe age of 16 and he towers over me at 6′ tall!!

I was a single mom for the first ten years, and my mom and friends helped me tremendously, and now I have an amazing partner and his Dad is pretty great too….

I am taking some credit here…

Can’t help it.


Because it is not easy being a mom. We have to encompass so much it is staggering. Single moms have to earn the money, do the work to earn it, do the laundry, cook the food, tend the sicktimes, cool the fevers, warm the chilly, drive the car, clean the messes, make the food, clean up the food, buy the clothes, encourage the homework and the efforts and be the strength…

It is intense and hard and then there are some rewards… Like last night.

The gift of reason. When your child begins to make decisions about how they look at life, or situations or the world for that matter, and choose to be easy about it, and begin choose to consider another human instead of only themselves, you have reached a milestone…

When your child turns to you, no longer a boy, but a young man, and says, It’s OK Mom, Birthdays are just another day, I don’t need a fanfare, I’m good… you have reached a milestone.

I went past some old birthdays in my head, the pomp, the circumstance, hired the Rock N Roll Therapist one year, carrying the picnic table across the rec field so we could party by the swing-set another, coordinating venue and people and food and then the clean-up…

Nope.. My little one turns 16 today and there will be no pomp or circumstance… Just some love and appreciation in both directions, maybe a killer gift because every 16 year old musician needs a loud amp and a new guitar.

Photo: Phil Mansfield Photography ©2014

I grew up an only child, but I have three sisters. When I was a little girl, my oldest sister Nancy jr. was always so nice to me, she looked out for me like a big sister does, and she protected me from my very large, always angry other sister, because even in her tinyness, she was the big sister I never had…

Little Nancy

Nancy jr. passed away when I was in my early twenties. It was both a difficult time emotionally for me, and, it was the event that shifted my life completely on it’s end.

I had been struggling in NYC and hardly keeping afloat. I was fairly aimless, in that I was not being creative, or productive. The toll it took on her mother sent me to spend some time with my own mother, who happened to live in a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery/Retreat Center. That visit led me to spend the bulk of my twenties there myself.

It was Nancy who sent me up there. Although I may have had some wisdom to give her, my sister was a very important teacher for me. Her life choices and the examples she lived led me to make important and life giving decisions in my own life. I am alive because of them.

The ebb and flow of life in a Dharma Center is a wild one, and it is impossible NOT to grow and learn, so suffice it to say, my big sissy led me to some serious expansion.

And then I had my son. On my big sister Nancy’s birthday.

When my father came to meet Chogyi, he stood, towering over his bassinet––enamored. He looked at me, pointed into the bassinet and said, “Whew! I think this guy is going to be my teacher.”

chogyi on the red stepsAnd in many ways, he was.

I dare say I am finding that out now…

He is my teacher too… He calls me on my shit, honors when I am right and chooses his own path and direction consistently… I feel so fortunate.
Here is to Good and Plenty More! Happy Birthday Chog!
Happy Birthday Nancy!
Always love.

5 thoughts on “Milestones; The big 16

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