My Life Without A Manual

Last week, I was sitting in my minivan waiting for Jenna to be dismissed from track practice. She had already sent me a text me earlier informing me to pick her up. As I pulled into the massive high school parking lot, my phone pinged with a text message.

“Where r u?” she typed.

“I’m parked across from the tennis courts.” I reply.

“K” she types too preoccupied or cool to type in the “O” A few minutes passed and I was concerned she couldn’t find me. I checked the time on my phone and sent a brief text to my son Andrew to let him know I was running late. When I looked up, I saw Jenna’s long, blonde hair draped over her bright, blue backpack. She was walking away from me in the wrong direction. So, I did what any mother would do. I jumped out of the car, waved my arm in the air and yelled –“JENNA! I’M OVER HERE!” Now, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you the look of sheer humiliation on her face as she made her way towards my car. I think I could see the steam coming out of her ears. She opened the car door and I barely got out an apology before she laid into me about how parents should be seen and not heard. Where have I heard that before? There was no apology good enough in the moment. I deserved her killer stare and eye roll combo that only teenage girls can conjure up.

As I tried to apologize yet again to the slumped over figure beside me, I had a thought. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a manual to advise me on how not to embarrass my daughter in broad daylight in front of her friends at school? A parenting manual would prevent so many “mom-fail” moments like this one. Without said manual, there is no sure-fire, 100% effective, 24/7, 365 days a year guide to raising children in the 21st century. My son and daughter amaze me every day. It is truly an honor to watch them grow up and be a part of their lives.

I only hope I’m not screwing them up. If I do, I’ll help pay for their future therapists.

Don’t you think there are times when a life manual would be totally awesome? I could have used said manual as a road map following my college graduation. With my liberal arts degree in hand, the only advice I had to go on was to follow my passion and find a way to make it into a career.

And then I’m pretty sure Leslie Nielsen walked in and said, “Good luck. We are all counting on you.” Career & family are just the tips of the iceberg. Life is complicated. And let’s face it, we are all just winging it in our own spectacular way! Some days, we have great success and others we fail miserably. A manual would be nice, but none of us have one. Thus was born the name of my new blog – Life Without A Manual. Here, I hope to share stories I’m sure you can relate to.

To use the words of my ancestors, I promise you will find kvelling (rejoicing), but yes there will be a good amount of kvetching (complaining) too. I’m sure you will find there is a method to my madness. Maybe you will agree with me and maybe you won’t. It’s all good. I want to hear your stories too.

So, let’s have some fun as we try to figure it out together. Welcome.

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