4/30/18, Mom The Magician


Hi Everyone,
I hope you had a happy, busy week, and that good things happened or are about to!!!
I had a roller coaster week, non-stop calls, dilemmas, and crises. All of them resolving now, but what a week!! Things always happen at once, to most of us. I had one child with a severe allergic reaction (first to an insect bite, then to the medication for it), feeling absolutely awful in one city, not a fatal situation, but I hate it when my kids are sick. Another child whose dog was very sick, and needed surgery, so lots of calls with the dog owner, and the vet. Another of my children lost her beloved dog to cancer 6 months ago, which was a terrible heartbreak, and I’ve been looking for a new puppy for her, we found one with the help of a wonderful person who finally located one for us, and I had to figure out how to get the puppy from Arizona to California to New York this week. It finally arrived on Friday, with a LOT of organizing, and understandably, the puppy was jangled by the trip, and cried all the first night. So lots of calls on that, as I followed the puppy’s progress across the country into my daughter’s arms, with me in Europe.  To add a little more chaos to the week, I had house painters, and my apartment was a mess (but with great results when they finished. They painted a sky on my entrance hall ceiling, and I LOVE it!!), and I had a mountain of editing work on my desk, while fielding phone calls about sick and arriving puppies, and sick ‘children’, even though adults.
I find that the hardest part of being the parent of adults is that you can’t solve all their problems, kiss all their boo boos away, or protect them from hard life events or bad people. Motherhood is a lifetime job, and just as I once watched and protected them in the playground, or on the swings, and kept them safe, I wish I could still do that in real/adult life. A mother is expected to be a magician, and you should always be able to pull the rabbit out of the hat. It turns out that although motherhood comes with that expectation, in fact it does not come with a magic wand, a top hat, or a satin cape with secret pockets. I think fathers are often better at letting them solve their own problems, and stepping back while they do. I hear from friends, and know from myself, we as mothers want to ‘fix’ their problems, while not depriving them of the ability and satisfaction of doing it for themselves. We are by nature protectors once we have children. But there is so much to protect them from, as adults in the real world, none of it controllable, including their own mistakes, or things that just happen. It’s damn hard to cut the cord, and I don’t think I ever really have, and probably never will. If I live to be 100, I’ll still be there, wanting to protect my 80 year old kids from something!!! And crying children, in crisis, and suffering life’s blows (like losing a beloved dog, or a relationship, or job, or suffering some form of illness or injustice) just breaks my heart.
So I have to be content with being available, resourceful, creative, patient (not always my strong suit), and help solve the problems I can, or come up with a puppy, help find an apartment, or just listen when they’re upset even if there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. The latter is the hard part. The ‘nothing I can do about it’ problems are agonizing.
In the end, on balance, it was a good week, the sick dog is better and came through the surgery and the dog’s owner is feeling calmer and went to a baseball game yesterday, so he’s okay. The sick daughter is feeling better after a miserable week. And the puppy arrived in another daughter’s arms, and is settling in after an understandably bumpy first night. I didn’t solve any problems, but I listened and did what I could, with some advice. And a puppy to love is a wonderful thing. The calls came fast and furious all week, but things are quiet today. Somehow, I got my editing done, and the painters left, the furniture is back in place, and I have a really pretty blue sky overhead—-to remind me that eventually most storms calm down, and blue skies return. It’s a quiet Sunday and I’m enjoying the peace and quiet, for as long as it lasts, until the phone starts ringing again. And what would I do without that? I’m grateful that they call me, even if they’re grown up.
I didn’t make any great magic this week, I rarely do these days. I can’t produce a much wanted doll, find a lost teddy bear, or glue something back together. (I once went to the park at midnight to find a teddy bear one of my kids had left in the playground, and went through trucks of a hotel’s laundry, looking for one son’s beloved sleep monkey, and I found him, and came back from the park at midnight with the teddy bear. That was all a lot easier than grown up life today. I really shone as a magician when they were little kids!!!). It’s easier to make magic for little kids than for big ones. But most Moms try to make magic where they can, even if it’s only to produce a favorite meal, babysit for a sick dog, or offer advice when appropriate (rarely!!! Who listens to their mother? And as one friend says, “My advice is worth what you paid for it.”)
So I’m no longer the most efficient magician, but I sure try. I think most mothers do—-and when you actually get lucky and pull a rabbit out of a hat for your kids, whatever their age—-it feels SOOOO GOOD!!!!
Have a magical week!! I hope wonderful things happen to you!!!



much love, Danielle

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4 Comments so far
  1. Mary B. May 2, 2018 7:15 am

    Hi Danielle,

    Lost track of your blog for awhile. I was thinking of you since yesterday was Nicks birthday, its been 26 years since we lost Jeff. Time swiftly pushes us forward even if we reluctantly go. I am still working on freeing my mom from a fraudulent guardianship, she has been locked up in a nursing home for three years now …unbelievable.

    Life dealt another blow my dear dog got up in the morning and collapsed and died as he was getting a drink of water, shocking how swiftly we can lose our loved ones.

    We all need a kinder more loving world because life is so short.

    Love the idea of painting a sky on the ceiling, now have them put glow in the dark stars among the clouds so at night when the lights are out you can look up to the heavens!

    Have a Happy Mothers Day and enjoy the Spring.


  2. Christopher Atkins May 3, 2018 10:35 am

    Danielle,my name is Chris Atkins,my grandparents were superintendent of a builing in manhattan in 1940’s,you lived in the building.I believe they might have babysat you for your Mother.There names were Bert and Mae Atkins,my father was their youngest son John, probably in ww2 at the time.Well the building had large green area(park) behind building,i have a picture of your Mother on grass,and one of you with a large doll.if interested please feel free to email me.

  3. Joy May 6, 2018 3:02 am

    Dear Danielle,
    Yes, motherhood is a lifetime job. But, you are mistaken!! You think you don’t pull any more rabbits out of your hat. You’re wrong!!! If anything, you pull more tricks out of that hat, than ever before.
    You see, when I talk to my Mom on the phone, how she thrills my heart!!! Her voice is like no other’s. It is full of love, and laughter, and life. Oh, the stories she tells… they’re all originals! 100% Mom tales, that I ought to record.
    Last time, she called the HELP LINE!!! That’s me. Frustrated to tossing out her new food processor, she called me. I chuckled inside, as I instructed my grumpy Mom through opening up her gift, that she swore she opened, until it worked. She was SO thrilled. Then I said, that will be $50 bucks please! She almost split her pants!!!
    What are Moms for, but to love, cherish, and to have a laugh with. We could never ever live without you. All you have to do, is make us smile, and we’re happy. We’re so lucky to have loving Moms. All we think of is how could we ever show you how much we love you Moms. We try, but nothing ever seems to be enough, for the love you show us.
    Happy Mother’s Day!!

  4. Pamela hall May 7, 2018 12:16 am

    Love your comments and of course your books. I have read most and can relate to most.