Life Topics

Red October

After more than 20 hours of extreme physical pain I was beyond exhausted.  I pleaded for release, an escape.  But they continued to barked orders at me. “I don’t want to do this” I repeated in defiance.  My heart felt like it was going to explode in my chest.  I was a prisoner.  It was now well beyond my control. I was fighting with every ounce of strength that I had.  None of the people in the room would listen to me.  They just kept saying to me, through low voices, that I was fine.

First, I heard an agonizing scream.  Was it coming from me?  I was confused and couldn’t tell at first.  In and out of a groggy haze, in a dimly lit room, I could see figures coming and going.  They didn’t seem concerned about my discomfort.  I realized the guttural scream was coming from deep inside me.  I was hot and uncomfortable, cursing them with each breath.  My hair was plastered down with sweat, and I was feeling nauseous.  I prayed to God for it to be over.  “Please take me now.”

They moved me to another room.  It was cold and brightly lit with hanging lamps.  I looked up and squinted because of the glare.  Again, I pleaded and cursed.   Instead of helping me, I was just told to keep going.  I wanted to go, get as far away as I could. In the transition between wake and unconsciousness, I silently begged for help.  They just turned to each other and quietly chattered amongst themselves.  I tried to hear their words to understand what was going on but couldn’t.   And then, the knife came out.

In a remarkable moment, the room fell silent.  I could feel a chill calm in the air.  Was this the end?  My breathing had slowed, and the pain was starting to subside.  I wasn’t screaming anymore.   They must have injected me with something to numb my body.  All I could hear was the din of rhythmic machines in the room. I looked up, and he was standing over me.  I noticed he had kind eyes right before I turned my head in total defeat.  It was over.

I heard a short high pitch cry. I felt my soul leave my body, floating above my captors.  I was shivering uncontrollably, as warmed blankets were lowered onto my body.  I glimpsed at the clock on the wall, it said 10:42 on this chilly autumn day.  A moment later I was gently handed my first-born child.  The nurse had quickly cleaned him up to make a fitting introduction.  As he was lowered into my arms, I saw his feet.  The first thing I noticed was that he had my ugly toes.  Why didn’t I pass on something charming and attractive?  Nonetheless, I cradled him, and softly caressed his head, his shoulders, his back and whispered, “I love you, you’re perfect.”   Through my exhaustion, I was completely relieved and happy.  I felt like I had waited forever to meet him.

The agony of a 24-hour labor was beyond worth it, as this was a well-deserved reward and an epic moment in my life.  It’s a blessing that the ordeal is soon forgotten when you first lay eyes on your child.  I realized since becoming a mother, twice, that birth was the least of my concern as a parent.  There would be a lifetime of worry to come.  With time and love I learned that they are my purpose in life – to raise my sons to be good, strong and decent men.

As far as the toes, it really doesn’t bother him. That long ugly second toe that reaches beyond the big toe isn’t the worst thing in the world.  He came to me healthy, which is all I prayed for.  Merely a superficial anomaly, an awkward physical trait.  He did, however, also inherit my humor, my nose, and my walk.  I’m not going to go as far as to say he’s my favorite, but I do gravitate to our similar dispositions.  He has been strong, independent and stubborn since the day he was born.

I survived both births and promised myself to never wear open toe shoes again.

Life Topics

Second Chance

How early is too early to arrive at the airport; two hours, three hours?  If you are taking an early morning flight and like to get there when they are washing or fueling the plane – you are there too early.  If arriving before dawn, which I did tonight, chances are the place will be a ghost town with few gates open.  Getting through security is a breeze but getting a cup of coffee is damn near impossible.  Trudging through the dim gray lifeless terminal, I stop several times to put my large pink tote bag and luggage straps back onto my shoulder; a groggy balancing act.  I knew I should have brought my suitcase with wheels. A few people are ahead of me making their way to a glowing area, the place where the journey starts or maybe ends.

I wait at the gate, people watching and typing on my computer.  Across from me sits a pair of new parents with a blue stroller in front of the dad, and a lot of gear littering their space.  The mom sitting a few seats away from the dad eating a yogurt, probably exhausted.  It’s 3:30 in the morning.  A large red bag that resembles a hockey duffle sits between them on the uncomfortable plastic airport seats, no doubt filled with baby stuff.  Mom was tall and thin with shoulder length brown hair, which looked like she wore it up a lot, maybe just took it out of a ponytail.  Wearing black sweatpants and a zipped-up fleece jacket, she sat staring into space.  The dad is obviously on duty, looking into the stroller intermittently.  He is shorter than the mom, a little hefty with sandy blonde hair, with day old stubble wearing a layered winter coat.  It was a cold March night in Boston.

I could see little arms and legs flailing inside the buggy but couldn’t see a formed human.  There were fussing noises coming from inside, as he reached in to relieve distress.  He pulled out an alert and adorable 8-month-old baby girl.  She wore a blue dress, cream tights, and a ribbon in her peach fuzz hair.  The dad held her on one knee which made her shriek with delight.  I can’t help but drift back in time to when my sweet angels were an armful.  I’ve been there, juggling a bag of toys, diapers and Cheerios, my travel buddies for years.  Then slowly over time, one by one, you would lose the rattles, then the diapers and finally the Cheerios, substituted with soft granola bars suitable for their new teeth.

I don’t know if it is because I’m so tired that I can’t stop looking at them.  I didn’t sleep before leaving at 2am for my flight, running on anxiety and anticipation.  Am I having a nostalgic breakdown here at the airport?  My mind continues to wander.

My daydreams happen everywhere, coffee shops, libraries, restaurants, anywhere.  I look at new parents like I’m an infertile woman, longing for a child.  This makes no sense, as I am a middle-aged mother of two grown children.  I was blessed with two sons and feel so lucky to be their mom.  I’ve enjoyed them and have paid my dues; those days are over.  I really don’t want another child.  So, why do I do this?  I think I miss having a little one. Their arms and legs full of rolls and puffy cheeks, kissing exposed knees and rolled necks.  Maybe I’m trying to vicariously re-live those precious days. I want to once again feel that velvety baby skin against my face.  Inhale the unbelievably clean fragrant smell of the top of their head.  I want to be a grandmother.

The dad reaches into the large bag and pulls out a small plastic container of yogurt.  Putting it down beside him, he balances her on his knee and opens the treat to start feeding her.  Her eyes are wide and bright with wild anticipation of a creamy sweet mouthful.  She starts with a shake of excitement for what is coming.  A little shriek of euphoria follows as her eyes are transfixed on the spoon.  Her blue eyes bulge, the arms shake like a baby bird, and the legs stiffen, ready for the first installment.  I laugh a little at how cute and funny she is.  The mom catches my voyeur eyes and sees how amused I am.  We smile at each other.  She is so proud of her child.

About eight years ago I started to think a lot about having grandchildren.  It happened as the realization that my fertile years were over.  My friends were becoming grandparents and were transformed into a higher being.  All the fun with little responsibility; no babysitters, parent-teacher conferences, or doctor appointments.  I thought a lot about my sons having kids and being there to help them.  To me, it would be like having a second chance, enjoying the child of my child.  Watching them create a family and care for them as I did them.  However, my sons do not plan to have children, and I’m proud of them for making such an important decision.  If it’s not right for them, then I totally respect that.  Their happiness means more to me than anything.

There is a loud announcement that my plane is boarding.   I looked up from the computer, and the new parents are gone.  They slipped away without me noticing.  Just like my mothering years slipped away.  I hope they enjoy every step of the journey with their baby.  I gather my heavy bags and decide that this is my second chance.  I will live life to the fullest knowing my kids are safe and happy.  I can travel anywhere I want, whenever I want.   There’s great satisfaction knowing that I did everything I could to provide a happy childhood for them.  I believe being a good mom is the ultimate reward.  No more dreaming about things that aren’t meant to be.

I may never become a grandmother but I gave my mom two beautiful grandsons.

Life Topics

Thank you boys

Adam & Colin

Thank you boys for making me your mother.
There you were in my loving arms.

Thank you boys for teaching me that life’s plans are fleeting.
Ready for the party until someone was crying or had to go to the hospital.

Thank you boys for helping me appreciate time. Birthday party planning
and school trips.
The days were long and the years were short.

Thank you boys for showing me that I could be helpless
especially during the bedtime struggle when the night seemed endless.

Thank you boys for making me the mother I always hoped to be.
Making so many mistakes that you thankfully will never remember.

Thank you boys for your devoted love.  It is pure and sometimes undeserved.
I am only human.

Thank you boys.  You’re grown now, but you have taught me all I need to know.
My heart is full.

I will love you forever.

Life Topics

Dipstitch Podcast

Hello Dilettante Life followers, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything.  Time to get back in the saddle soon.  I miss my blog.

However, the reason I’ve been absent for so long is I have found a new passion I wanted to tell you about…

I have a new podcast!  It’s called Dipstitch,  a 15-30 minute episode of “sisterly conversation” brought to you each week.  What is sisterly conversation?  Well, my sister Susan and I talk about food, family, faith, dogs, knitting, jobs, holidays, parenthood and EVERYTHING in between.  I know you might be thinking, “this is a chic podcast” but it’s not. Most topics are very relatable and entertaining.  We have some laughs along the way and even have a guest every so often to join in the fun.

Won’t you have a listen?  Our audience is fantastic and makes the podcast worthwhile.  But, we’re looking to grow our fan base by inviting you to listen.  Dipstitch is available on a number of podcast platforms, but the easiest one to use is

To become a loyal listener, go to and in the search box type Dipstitch.  Our podcast page will come up and have a green “Follow Podcast” button on the right side of the screen.  Click on it, and you’ll get an email when a new episode is uploaded.  It’s that simple.  And, if you scroll down, you’ll see Recent Episodes with a link next to it, to “View All”.   One stop shopping.

Thank you so much for being a loyal follower of Dilettante Life.  I hope you will enjoy Dipstitch as much, and become a follower there as well.

Warm Regards,