End-of-Summer Wrap-Up

Hello Friends,

Labor Day is upon us and that means it’s time for another end-of-summer post from yours truly. In previous years, I talked about whether or not I succeeded in enjoying my summer (I was 1 for 2 over the past two years, if anyone is keeping score).

This summer we experienced a changing family dynamic.

Our children are not children anymore. They are active, growing people, with their own agendas. My older son is working now, starting to drive and making his plans. My younger son keeps himself busy with sports, camps, friends and video games.

This is all well and good but for the nagging feeling that my family unit is unraveling. Where is the togetherness that I enjoy? Where is the nucleus my husband and I spent so many years cultivating?

Where? On a golf course and a swimming pool. Separate from us and each other. Out with friends. Always out with friends. Many nights this season my husband and I found ourselves alone. While there’s something to be said for this new parental freedom (we also have friends we love to see), I still pine for the four of us around a dinner table or on a couch at the close of the day.

I know as they get older, things are going to continue to change. In two years, we’ll be taking one to college. Two years later, the other. Gone are the days when I can pack my boys into the car and take them to the beach, or to visit their grandparents for full afternoons, or to get ice cream. Now they want to jump on the Fire Island ferry to spend time with friends. Or golf. With friends. Or go to parties. With friends.

We’ve been replaced. My husband and I are no longer the center of their world.

By the beginning of August, we had not taken a family vacation. Everyone was too busy, committed to Driver’s Ed, camp, work, practices and games. Exasperated, we booked a last-minute trip, jumped on a plane and headed to our beloved Longboat Key.

Five days alone with our boys. The four of us. Together. No friends. We went tubing, jet-ski’d, swam with dolphins, saw our first 4-foot turtle in the Gulf, our first manatee, played Marco Polo (for hours), ate dinners out. It was perfect, not because of all we did, though each experience was wonderful, but because we had only each other. We laughed and talked and had fun. It was exactly what we needed. Just a reminder of who we are and what’s most important.

 

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Within an hour of returning home, I dropped my son at work. The other headed for his videos. Back to reality. But for a little while, they were still ours and no one else’s.

Everything changes, I get it. It’s a part of life. But sometimes I just want to hold on, grab a smidgeon of days gone by. It’s as possible as holding water in my hand. But it won’t stop me from trying.

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~Kim xo

Letting Go Cover

Hello Friends,

I’m so excited to share the cover of my soon-to-be-released adult contemporary novel called  Letting Go.

Here it is:

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When her seemingly perfect life is suddenly ripped out from under her, Lucy Buchanan watches as her family struggles to pick up the pieces.

Available in ebook and paperback soon.

Until then, enjoy the rest of your summer!

 

On The Radio

I did a radio interview a few weeks ago in NYC. What?

I was offered to do the show, a book-talk segment on an internet radio station called BreakThru Radio, and before I could get inside my own head and tell myself I shouldn’t, I agreed to do it.

Once committed, I then decided to find out a bit about the station, the show and the DJ, Kory French. I listened to a few interviews and read Kory’s bio. He’s young (well, younger than me), he’s hip, he’s into vinyl albums and not into the mundane. There is nothing commercial about this guy. He loves new artists, stuff I’ve never heard of, interviewed soldiers who’ve been to Afghanistan and an author who was a former heroin addict.

I listen to 70’s satellite radio and buy “Best of” CD’s. My worst addiction is chocolate.

This wasn’t going to work. I sent a (long-winded) panicked email to the coordinator, telling her we should cancel. Two days later, I received this response: “It’s all good.”

Oh-kay.

I went over talking points in my head. I listened to more of Kory’s interviews. Every week, he introduces a new author along with a new artist/band. Each interview is different. Each one tailored to the author and their work. Even the music he chooses compliments the subject. The more I heard him, the more I liked him. I was in good hands. I hoped.

That morning, I waited in the lobby, trying to hold myself together. Sipped my water bottle, while my flask sat in my pocketbook. The flask (a last-minute grab) was a metaphor for how nervous I was. I was hoping Kory would think it was funny, ease the tension. He didn’t have to know I bought it for my husband 2 years ago and it’s never been used.

He walked out to meet me with a friendly smile and guided me to his small studio where we’d talk, facing each other. The walls were covered with CD’s. I recognized nothing. I showed him the flask. He laughed. Later, my husband expressed concern that I brought one. You’ll look like an alcoholic, he said. I’m thinking I’d probably be more interesting if I was. Instead, I’m a tightly wound hockey mom who loves to write love stories. Sober.

Anyway.

Kory explained how the interview would go. He’d introduce an album and play some songs. Then we’d talk for ten minutes. He’d play some more music from the album. We’d talk ten more minutes and we were done. Cake. I was ready. I took a swig of water. That’s right. The flask was a metaphor.

When we finished, we talked a bit more off air. He’s personable, warm and friendly. Far from the intimidating voice I listened to earlier. I was happy to meet him.

At home, I admitted to my family that I was nervous and I wasn’t sure how it went. My 16- year-old said this:

You just did a radio interview in NYC, with a cool DJ, about a book you published yourself. How bad could you have been?

I know, right?

This is DJ Kory:

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Yesterday Kory sent me the interview. Weeks of worrying and it was here. I just listened to it today. It’s not that bad. It was hard to listen to my own voice, but once I got past it, it was okay. In fact, it’s pretty good. Kory managed to tie in the theme of Both Sides of Love with the changes that are demanded, of women especially, as we grow, become parents, put others before ourselves and lose the identity of who we once were. Genius.

And he paired me up with a really good band called Sonny Knight and the Lakers.

Whew.

To listen to DJ Kory French’s Book Talk, go to http://www.breakthruradio.com I promise you’ll like it. You’ll hear some new, groovy music too.

To hear my interview, click here:

Book Talk Interview

A Magic Summer

Summer is upon us ladies, and that can only mean one thing. Time for an overrated flick filled with half-naked, pretty boys and paper-thin plot. That’s right! Magic Mike XXL – the not-quite-expected-nor-needed-but-much-appreciated sequel to 2012’s movie (has it been that long?)- is here!

I’ll admit, the first movie was meh: weak plot about a misguided young guy with abs of steel, who gets caught up with a group of “dancers” with abs of steel, and gets in trouble with drugs, while his sister fights to pull him out of this horrific situation and set him back on the straight and narrow, because, deep down, he’s really a good kid, all while pushing Channing Tatum away (I know. Fiction).

So why a sequel? That’s like asking, why do we drink, throw up and drink more? Because before the realization that you’ve wasted some precious life hours hovering over a toilet bowl, you had a shit-load of fun. And Channing is so pretty, who wouldn’t pay $12 to see him half-dressed, strutting across a 30-foot screen for a couple of hours?

If you’re questioning whether or not to see it, have no fear (and check your pulse). I’ll be sure to provide feedback. I really hope there’s a deep plot with lots of meaning.

Just kidding.

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Happy Summer!

The Student Becomes The Teacher

With all that we teach our children, I’m finding I learn a lot from them too.

Patience is one trait my sons try very hard to teach me. I admit I’m a slow learner, but I’m working on it.

Recently, my older son taught me a valuable lesson. He turned 16 this past winter and decided that he was going to get a job. His goal was to work at a specific sports store, so he asked for an application, took it home, filled it out (no experience, keep in mind, slightly illegible, cross-outs) and brought it back.

While he waited for a call, I suggested he fill out applications elsewhere, just in case. He did, but his heart was set on the sports store. When a full week passed without word, he went back to the store and requested an interview in person. You’re persistent, the manager told him.

After the 45-minute interview, he was told We’ll call you. Another silent week passed. My son called the store, was told the manager was busy and would call him right back. He didn’t. Two hours later my son picked up the phone again and finally spoke to the manager, who told him the Corp office must approve applicants. We’ll call you, he told my son.

I explained that sometimes people don’t know how to give bad news, so they string you along, hoping you’ll stop trying. My son listened to me, but my cynicism wouldn’t deter him. He still believed they’d call. I didn’t think they had any intention of hiring him.

The next evening, there was a message on our answering machine. It was a job offer.

He’s been working ever since, sometimes eight-hour days. He loves it.

If you want something, go get it. Don’t give up. Don’t take no for an answer. Persistence is the vehicle that will bring you where you want to go. This is something I already know, but sometimes I need to be reminded. I’m a proud mama.

What have you learned from your children? I’d love to know.

Letter To My Younger Self

Dear Fourteen-Year-Old:

I know you may not want to read a letter from a middle-aged woman. As a teenager, you think adults know less than you. I promise, you know so little. And no one knows you better than me. I am an older, wiser you.

Let me start by saying that you will make mistakes. Everyone does. Get over it, hold no regrets. Your decisions will eventually lead you to a wonderful marriage and children that will be a constant source of joy. But you will have one recurring issue to deal with that could have easily been prevented starting at your age.

I have one very important piece of advice to share with you. Do not leave the house – ever – without sunscreen on your face. When you go to the beach, lather it all over. You’ll never be tan like your friends. It’s not in your genetic makeup, so stop trying. And don’t let the comments about how white you are deter you from doing this.

When you go to Florida with your boyfriend, heed his advice and wear a wide-brimmed hat, even though you think you’ll look goofy. He suggested it because he thought you’d look cute. And he’s the one who will watch you go to the doctor every six months for the next twenty years, leaving pieces of yourself behind.

Nothing is cute about scars on your face.

As you walk out the door, remember, a little sunscreen will prevent you having to listen to your plastic surgeon snip the cartilage in your ear to try to make it symmetrical to the other one after a hefty Moh’s surgery. Your fourth one.

The sun is not your friend. Keep to the shade. Wear a hat and protective clothing. You’re beautiful just as you are. Appreciate what you have. Take care of yourself now and in thirty years, you won’t have to write this letter.

Love,

Your Forty-Seven-Year Old Self

Happy Mother’s Day

“I’ll love you forever,

I’ll like you for always,

as long as I’m living

my baby you’ll be.”

When I first read Love You Forever, written by Robert Munsch, I was not married, not a mother, and found the story sweet, though slightly disturbing. The mother sneaks into her grown son’s window in the middle of the night to cradle him in her arms and sing to him? A tad “stalkish”, no?

I received the book years later, as a gift after my son was born, and I read it from a new perspective, as a mother.

Love You Forever is a simple, beautiful story about the cycle of life. A mother sings a song to her infant son every night. As a child wreaking havoc during the day, she is exasperated, but at night, as he sleeps, she cradles him and sings her song. Throughout his adolescence, she doesn’t always understand him, but she still performs the same loving ritual while he sleeps, telling him she loves him unconditionally and will never stop. When he’s grown and out of the house, she climbs a ladder, slips through his window in the night and sings her message. She continues to do so until she is finally too old and frail and can no longer go to him. She tells him to come see her because she is old and sick. When he arrives, she tries to sing her song, but is too weak and can’t, so he cradles her in his arms and finishes it for her, singing his version one last time.

I’ll love you forever,

I’ll like you for always,

As long as I’m living

my Mommy you’ll be.

Then he returns home, lifts his baby daughter into his arms and sings her the same words his mother sang to him, showing the cycle will continue.

My children will both be in high school next year. My oldest is driving and has a job. Time is fleeting.

I can’t read this book without breaking down. Each phase I experience as a mother makes me understand and appreciate, and love this story more. If I could, I would do the same. I would hold my children every night, all of their lives, whisper songs of love so they know. So they never forget.

Blessings to all who are privileged to be called “Mom” and to all of you who have a mother who you can hug, kiss, say I love you.

And to those who’s mother lives on in your hearts…

Happy Mother’s Day.