Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Race

I’ve said this before, but he never ceases to amaze me with his determination and perseverance.

Today was the fund-raiser for Franciscans Hospital. My daughter and a friend from her team ran; I ran; and – a late entrant and a dark horse – my son ran. My son has been keeping in shape by taking long walks and playing Ultimate Frisbee. As we made our way to the start this morning, he told me he was “going to try and run the whole thing.” I reminded him (as if I needed to) that he had really not trained at all; he had (to my knowledge) never run a mile non-stop, much less 3.1…largely uphill. And, in your face Mom, thanks for being so encouraging.

So he took off in front of me and, even at my snail’s pace, I fully expected him to be waiting for me at the top of the first hill. Not there. Nor was he at the top of the second hill, about three quarters of a mile into the race. I caught up with my daughter and her friend, and they hadn’t seen him. I must have past him and not realized it.

As I crossed the finish line in 34 minutes (with the girls just behind me), there was my son greeting me. In fact, he had been waiting there for four minutes.

Our little group raised over $500.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho...

A few months ago, my son’s aunt suggested he might like working in a not-for-profit institution, and he might want to consider using his Communications major to that end. Having a built-in connection to Franciscans Hospital for Children in Boston, my son contacted someone in the media and development department there, that he has been in touch with for the past few years. He offered his services for the summer as an intern and she agreed to an interview. She interviewed my son and he must have managed to favorably impress her!

Now home for the summer, he began working there last week. This is an unpaid internship and, for the time being, once a week. But think of the work experience he will be able to add to his resume and the good he will be doing for Franciscans. This is truly a win-win.

My son’s first task is to help with the campaign for a fundraiser the hospital is doing – a 5k run called the “New Balance Heartbreak Hill.”  New Balance because the company is the major sponsor of the race and a significant benefactor to the Hospital; Heartbreak Hill, because it is run on that particular part of the Boston Marathon route. My daughter and I ran it last year; she beat me by five minutes, or about a half mile, without training. Oh to be young.  I suggested this year that they run the race in the opposite direction, but the organizers didn’t bite! While my son promotes the race and volunteers on race day (my husband will as well), my daughter and I are running and hoping to raise funds; we’ve renamed our team to add “Banyana” to the title – this is an African term for Strong Women and the name of my daughter’s soccer team, who are offering their support.

Here is our link:

Click on or copy and paste the above into your browser to read about this fundraiser and to make a donation if interested.

I will let you know more about my son’s specific contributions as an intern in another post.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Nothing That a Few Late Nights Won't Cure

The past few weeks have been more than a little stressful for my son. He had what seemed like an impossible workload to be completed before the end of the term: papers, project, exams, etc. I felt terrible as I watched him try and deal with the amount of work, the bulk of which arose from a single course.

As I write this, he has completed all of the assignments that were due by last Friday, and is now focusing on final projects and exams. The difference in his attitude today compared to where he was only a few weeks back is remarkable. There was little anyone could have said or done at the time to make him believe that it would all get done. Once again, he has risen to the task.

He will be home for the summer early next week, and has a clear schedule laid out for the following three months or so. He will be doing an unpaid internship in the development department of the rehabilitation hospital that I have written about many times on these pages (more about that in another post); and he will be taking the few more driving lessons he needs to pass his road test and get his license. Admittedly, the whole driving thing still has me a little worried – but I promise not to be surprised when he succeeds at that too!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

How I Spent My summer Vacation - Prologue

On a suggestion from one of his aunts, my son got in touch with a woman who works in the development office of the rehab hospital where he spent four weeks in early 2005. As a family, we have kept in touch with the administrators there and have been involved in some of their fund-raisers. My son is frequently invited by the hospital’s Development Office to take advantage of donated sports or theater tickets, or other opportunities (which he almost always gratefully accepts!).

The purpose of his call was to offer his services to the hospital for a summer internship. He has been developing his communications skills this year, working on the University’s student newspaper. He would like to learn more about not-for-profit organizations, perhaps using his writing to promote fund-raising events this summer. But he would be happy to help in any way he can.

After some back and forth by email, he had an interview a week or so ago, and it looks as though he will have his summer hours filled with helping out there – a good cause for him to put his effort behind while gaining some experience in the real work world. I don’t know how the interview actually went; he didn’t share much. I do know that he is excited to get this opportunity and looking forward to the summer.

Three weeks of school before he completes half of his college education. So far, so good.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Not long from now, I expect my son will step up to the plate and manage his life. And he never ceases to amaze me by showing how he can do that when I least expect it.

Near the end of his freshman year, he tried to create a back-up of his computer files and got an error message that the drive could not read the disk. I tried a few months later and got the same error. We used a flash drive and I forgot about it.

Just a couple of weeks ago in one of those Eureka moments, I woke up thinking that the DVD drive (indeed the whole laptop) is covered for service for the four years he is at school, and I thought maybe the DVD drive is the problem.
 Of course, in the morning, the thought went nowhere and I forgot to even mention that to my son. Fast forward to just a week ago, and I happened to be spending a nice Sunday afternoon with him. He mentioned that the DVD drive on his laptop wouldn’t work (he has two movies to watch for his Shakespeare class). He told me he was going to the tech office the next day to drop it off. He brought it to them the following day, explained the problem and, without so much as an argument, they told him they would get a new drive for him. It was fixed by Thursday.

No prompting, no advice, no practicing, no intervening by Mom on his behalf. As I’ve written here before, he has his own schedule

Monday, March 21, 2011

Things Get in the Way

I am happy to say that shortly after my last post, I had back to back interviews for three jobs and accepted one. I started at my new company on January 3 and have not come up for air since. It's busy and demanding, but I like it very much.

My son is now more than half-way through his second year and I can’t tell you how happy I am to say that this has been a very good year all around. He continues to play Ultimate and I‘ve been to a couple of his tournaments. The team still occasionally socializes outside of practice (he recently hadn’t been in touch for a day or two and before I could call the police he called and happened to mention that he went bowling with some teammates the evening before.

His roommate and some of the crew that lived on the same floor as my son last year have been great at keeping him in the group even though he now lives on another floor – they all went downtown on Halloween (one of those occasions when my son was one of the few non-drinkers in the crowd!). All in all, a very successful term from a social standpoint.

Academically, it’s been even better. He is thriving as a Communications major and posted a 3.5 GPA in the fall semester. The spring semester seems to be a bit more difficult and he has had one short bad period, but he got through that and is back on track.

I know I won’t be as faithful as I was last year, but I would like to see this blog through on a more-or-less regular basis until he graduates. So, until next time…

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dennis Lehane on Writing

In conjunction with the release of his newest book, I heard Boston iconic writer, Dennis Lehane, speak this past week.  He said if you want to write, you should write; not talk about writing, or read about writing, or study how to write, or join groups of writers for support.

I just want to let my readers know (both of them!), that I am not stopping this blog. However, I need to put it on hiatus for some unquantifiable period for two reasons:

First, I am still in the hunt for a new job. Although I have been finding a lot of appropriate opportunities, this seems to be taking longer than I would have hoped!

Second (to tie the sabbatical to the focus of the blog), my son is more than halfway through his third semester in college, and he is doing exceptionally well. Many things have gone right for him: the Disabilities coordinator and he have found a rhythm of regular meetings and my son appreciates the support. He has successfully changed his major to Communications and also has a faculty adviser who actually is in that department. He celebrated Halloween with about fourteen other guys by going to the downtown area in costume. While my son was (probably) the only one who had not had any alcohol prior to going downtown, he was accepted by this group of students. I think this is due in no small part to his freshman roommate, who continues to make sure my son is included when guys from last year’s dorm floor get together.

So…more to follow when I am once again gainfully employed and back in my own rhythm.