About


I am a fifty nine year old woman.  That in itself amazes me, as I still feel 15 on most days.

I have three kids, but while I was busy cooking and shopping, they all grew up on me.

When all three moved out for good one summer, I found myself facing the future without my favorite title, that being, of course, “Mommy”.  I was still Ma, and Mom and even “Mammadukes”.  But I wasn’t “Mommy” anymore.  My big question at that point was: What next?

I started this blog, back in the fall of 2010 on the advice of my wonderful therapist, who encouraged me to record my feelings as I slogged through a true bout of “Post Departum Depression”. I found kindred souls, helpful advice, funny stories and a lot of incredibly talented writers.

Now, in the summer of 2015, I am happy to pronounce myself “all better”!  No more sadness, although I’ll always be nostalgic for those sweet baby days. Now I find myself looking forward with interest to the next phase of life.

I’ve just retired from teaching, with a little push from my administrators and the education reform movement. My oldest child is married, and is facing motherhood. I am honing up on my “Nonni” skills by buying picture books and practicing cookie recipes.

My husband and I are enjoying our quiet times, and have started to travel together. We’re looking to buy ourselves a little RV!

Life looks good, and I want to keep writing about it!

60 thoughts on “About

  1. My dear sister Karen. Having just read through your postings on this chilly October morning, I find myself full of emotion and pride and gratitude. As I watch Atticus venture into his senior year, already talking about life after living with us I realize how unprepared we are for that part of his life to happen. I’m also sitting next to Zee as she nibbles at her bagel and cream cheese and makes random 2nd grader comments just for fun and I know my heart will surely break at the slightest glimpse of her departure a decade or so from now. And then there’s Cam. Almost thirteen. Awkward but handsome, too young for the big stuff and too old for the little stuff. Somehow I see him here with us until he’s 30 or until some lovely girl carries him away.
    …Anyway, your words inspired me to look up and take note of these kids. But they also did much more. Yours is a personal account of your experience as a mother, unique to you and your beautiful family. But the emotions you describe and the internal recognition of the achievement of parenthood sound so much like our parents. I hear Dad in your words. And I know Mom will appreciate your ability to articulate so much of what she felt along the way to each of our departures from her house. And just as you described those dark nights holding your sick child and breathing with them, I think I can feel Dad doing the same to us even now. So perhaps it wasn’t really the last time…

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    • Oh, Dave, what a beautiful thought! To hear Dad in my words. I hear both Mom and Dad, and as I have done so often through motherhood, I keep thinking, “Now I know what they meant!”
      Hold those babies close, and just keep telling them you love them!

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  2. I want to thank you for your very thoughtful replies to my posts. I enjoy your work very much and can relate as a parent who is about to send my eldest of to college. Let’s continue to support each other along this journey. By the way…Happy Mother’s Day!

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    • Thank you! I am humbled and pleased beyond words, but I am going to pass on trying to follow the directions. So I won’t accept your very lovely nomination: I am currently on the verge of totally overwhelmed with a difficult grad class, getting ready for a new school year and taking care of family. But please believe the sincerity of my “thank you”!!!!

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  3. You are welcome and I am happy to just give the shout out to your blog, which I enjoy reading! That is awesome that you are in grad school!

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  4. I haven’t been able to “Like” or comment on your latest post about the night before school starts. For some reason it says, “Page not found.”
    I wanted so much to wish you good luck today. I’m sure it went well and that you are off to another successful and fulfilling school year.

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    • Thank you!
      Its because I accidentally posted it on PostDepartum, when I intended it to be on TeacherDreams (my teacher blog!). So I deleted it, but it didn’t really go away…..!?
      Anyway, I am super excited to meet my new class tomorrow. Thanks for your good wishes!

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      • Oh, I didn’t know you had another blog. I’ll have to check that out. Your students are incredibly lucky to have you. You’re the teacher they’ll tell their children and grandchildren about.

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  5. Pingback: Beautiful Blogger Award « The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

  6. Clever title! I, too, am a recent empty-nester though the chicks still seem to come and go (not fully launched). I’m not really depressed about it, but I do get restless and feel at loose ends sometimes. Being a single empty-nester can be even more challenging though my two dogs and newly-adopted cat do keep me company.

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    • Glad you stopped by! I’m getting better at coming to turns with my quiet house, but I really do miss those active mothering days. Sometimes I just wish for a time machine, just to go back and hold my babies for an hour, to give one more bath or read one more bedtime story. But I hear you on the pets; don’t know what I’d do without mine!

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  7. Thank you for the reminder. As a mom of a 13yr old…I can still enjoy the time I have left w/ my lil guy who seems to straddle that fine line between the baby he was and the man he’ll become.

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  8. My mom is your age and she struggled with that same question (concept?) for a while as well – if I am no longer a “mommy,” then what am I? She has had to sort of re-discover the person she was before having children. Of course, that was 35 years ago and it’s been a long difficult road for her.

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    • Give her my sympathy, and a big hello, please. This transition has been the hardest of my life, by far. Other life changes seemed more defined, somehow; this one feels like I am being simply “put out to pasture”, even though my kids are all still close to me, both physically and emotionally.
      Your mom is lucky to have you there for support!

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  9. Moms, It’s May 6 and my email gave me the full text of a wonderful piece you wrote for the monday before the big state tests in Mass. But it’s not showing up when I click on it. I don’t know if you took it down or if there is some other glitch

    All I can say is it is beautiful and you are a wonderful teacher. Good luck! (and I hope you can get it up)

    Like

  10. Thanks for following my blog! I’m having problems with my computer and can’t hit the like button unless it’s in my reader, sorry, but I’ve followed you back and later today I’ll be going through my reader and will read and like what you have if it turns up. This problem should be rectified within the week. Take care, Sage

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  11. At age 63 and just 4 month shy of my 64th BD, I have a 40 yr old daughter, a 33 yr old son, a 19 yr old son, 14 yr old daughter and soon-to-be 10 yr old daughter. No empty nest in sight for . . . oh, I don’t know how long! So I’m going to imagine it would be like being at a basketball game where the visiting team hits the winning basket in the last second. Dead silence.

    Thanks for dropping by and perusing my work. I, too, would like to see Nana’s Night Lights illustrated, as well as Stinky and the Night Mare. Maybe, when the nest is empty!

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  12. Hi Momshieb. Would you so kind to delete my previous comment please, before moderation a long with this one. I have had second thoughts about sharing so personally– although I do not use my own name but I cannot seem to delete it myself.I hope you understand. But I’m following your blog because it’s so beautiful and touching!

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  13. You’ve been awarded the Dragon’s Loyalty Award. I know that not everyone accepts awards. If I’ve linked to you and you don’t want it, please don’t be annoyed with me, just take it as a sign of appreciation for what you do. You do not have to accept this or any other award. It is a compliment, not a curse!
    BB

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    • Thank you so much!
      I was just thinking about you the other day, hoping that everything is OK with you and yours. I hope that yours is a happy busy and that the kids are avoiding most of the winter germs and bugs and viruses!
      Thank you for your kindness, and for reading my thoughts!

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      • Definitely happy busy, but not so much on avoiding the germs. The two younger ones are very efficient germ incubators, it turns out! Unfortunately they have youth on their side and bounce right back, while I’m always leading behind.

        I really do love your writing, especially the ones about education and your experiences as a teacher. Your kids (school and biological) are lucky to have you!

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      • It’s easy to see you’re one of those special moms whose children will never forget everything she did and what she continues to do. And what they remember they’ll impart onto their own children… You’ve created a beautiful, caring family – rare and completely unforgettable. 🙂
        AnnMarie

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      • And I hope smile too – you’re a good mom I can absolutely tell. For the last 4 years, I’ve been a substitute teacher and if more students had a mother like you to come home to – well, let’s just say, it would make more of an impact than all the anti-bullying, Common Core practices and all other educational strategies combined.
        AnnMarie

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  14. I happened on your blog this evening and have read just a few posts and have enjoyed them very much. My children are reaching the age of flight from the nest and my struggles are just beginning. Although my daughter has promised me for the past five years or so that “I’m never going to leave you” I know this probably won’t be the case. I try to cherish every moment I have with both my children and make the most of the time I have with them at this point in our lives. I look forward to drawing on your wisdom and experience. ~ Tilly

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    • HI, Tilly! I’m so happy that you found me out here! I have had an interesting journey as I’ve adjusted to the empty nest. I really thought that my heart had broken when they were all gone, but have found (with a lot of time, and friends and thinking and therapy) that life is just as sweet now that I have grown but still beloved kids in my life! I wish you well on this tough path; you sound like you are doing it right as you cherish every little moment. Best of luck!

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  15. Hi karen, I´m a two little boy´s mommy (6 and 3 years old) and, sometimes, I catch myself thinking about how life will be when they just grow up and go out to live their lives. ´Cause every older mom I know says that time flyes and one day, sunddely, they´re grownups. Must confess it scares me a little. Liked to read your posts, it was a kind of preview and also a lesson to be prepared and grateful in having this blessing oportunity to see kids growing 😉

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    • Hi, Carol!
      So nice to meet you: like you, I was a little bit afraid of my kids growing up, and sometimes I think that made me sad when I wish I had been happy about those many milestones.
      Mothering is the most wonderful experience! It was hard for me to let it go, but writing this blog helped me to recognize the beauty and joy of this next phase of life, too.
      I wish you joy with your little ones, and many many years of love with them, too. My kids are still the lights of my life, and we are all still very close!
      Thanks for coming by and for commenting!
      Karen

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  16. Hi, 59 year old writer friend. I’m someone walking from the other end.

    I’m completing twenty two years soon, and am writing from India. I just read one of your articles. It was very sweet. I liked how you looked upon your life in such a simple and sweet way. And I’m glad that you’re writing about it. Well, many such kind of reasons got me to writing. Things about life and other subjects. It should be interesting for you since it’s a time that you went past a long time ago. Have a look at my thoughts and I’m waiting to read more of your articles from the other end.

    Like

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