Available for Adoption

 

Recently, I have started to think that my parents, specifically my mother, aren’t up for the job of being my parents any longer. As a result, I am putting myself up for adoption.

It all began when I asked my mom if she would consider coming to New York City to visit me. I haven’t seen my parents since Christmas — I know, it has only been 3 months, but it feels like a long time to this homebody.  My work/life schedule has been pretty busy and is only going to get busier of the next couple of months, so I thought inviting her for a long weekend of mother-daughter bonding in the big apple would be a great idea since I probably won’t be getting home anytime soon. However, when I mentioned it to her, she didn’t seem very enthused about the idea – saying something about not knowing her work schedule and whether or not they (meaning her and my dad) had any upcoming plans. I told her that I would really like to see her (and my dad if he could get away from work) and left it at that. I thought I was pretty clear.

A few days later when I was chatting with my sister on the phone she mentioned something about how mom and dad were going to visit her the last week in April. I practically dropped the phone and fell over in the street. I immediately hung up and called my mom.

I questioned her out on their upcoming trip to see their beloved daughter – who was not me! I could hear my mom’s guilt coming through my iPhone headphones but I didn’t care. Why hadn’t she mentioned this trip to me earlier? And why had they chosen to visit Abby over me? Just because I am married doesn’t mean I don’t need my parents. Angry and hurt I hung up the phone with my mom and called Matt to complain. He wasn’t very sympathetic, but I do think he would have enjoyed a visit from my parents as well, at least to take the burden of “dealing with me” off his hands for a weekend.

Since this information was leaked, I have done nothing except make my parents, particularly my mother, feel guilty about this blatant display of offspring favoritism. I thought for sure she would put a visit to NYC on the calendar just to get me to be quiet. I am shocked and disappointed to report, that has yet to happen.

And today – it got worse (I know, I didn’t think it could either!) During my 15 minute walk to the subway this morning, I called my mother to have our daily morning chat. Thankfully, she answered the phone, which has become a rarity lately. She mentioned that she couldn’t chat long because she was meeting a friend at Panera. Most people know that Panera is my favorite suburban restaurant. As a former employee I hold this establishment in the highest regards. Whenever I am home, I make sure to squeeze in at least one trip to the mecca of the lunchtime soup and sandwich combo – usually with my mom. So for her to partake in this ritual with someone else – well I would be lying if I said it didn’t hurt. At least it was with a friend and not my arch nemesis sister.

She was meeting a friend to strategize about an upcoming political fundraiser that she is throwing for someone running for Executive Counsel in NH (man I love local politics!). When I probed her about the event, it became painfully obvious that she needed my fundraising/event expertise. When I offered to review her invitation she seemed more annoyed than elated. Hmm – maybe she is forgetting that I work for a non-profit that throws THE most successful fundraising event – ever/period/hands down. Oh, and did I mention that since I am now on the communications team, me, Molly Brethauer – her daughter, is often the copy writer for our invitations/programs/newsletter/every form of communication that we produce (ok, so maybe that is an exaggeration, but what parent doesn’t embellish how important their children are?) Even after pointing out that these facts to her, I still had to practically beg her to let me help.

So that’s it — I am taking a stand and I am officially accepting applications for my adoption. Requirements for my future parents include (but are not limited to):

1. Frequent visits to see me
2. 24/7 phone availability
3. Weekly care packages (these can contain things like homemade cookies, interesting articles from the local town newspaper, and/or fun things from the dollar section at target)
4. Sympathy when I don’t feel well
5. A deeper and more genuine love for me than for my sister
6. Constant praise and adoration

What you will get in return:

Joy and pride for all of eternity (and I am certain that your friends will be insanely jealous at your incredible parenting skills — obviously they are amazing if you were able to produce me.)

My husband will be screening all applications. You will only be contacted if I think you are up for the job.

Thank you.

 

 

An Interview with Big Bird

As I have written about many times before, I grew up in a cable free household. And not only was it cable free, but because of the poor antenna reception we received living out in the woods of New Hampshire, we only received four channels on our tv: NBC, CBS, ABC and PBS. This meant that I didn’t get Punky Brewster, the Smurfs, Gummy Bears or Duck Tails. As a result, both my sister and I spent nearly all of our television watching time with the characters of PBS. I can say without hesitation that the most influential television show, movie, music or theatrical performance in my life has been Sesame Street.

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This show and its characters exposed me to early reading and counting skills, songs and games as well as the ONLY bit of spanish I have carried with me into my adult life. It was also crucial in learning how to tell time – instead of saying that a car ride would take “an hour” which meant nothing to my 5-year-old self, my parents would say “one hour which is one Sesame Street.”

I’ve taken my love of the show into my adult life by learning as much as possible about the show, its creators, actors and supporters. I’ve read nearly ever book written on this group of incredible people, visited the Jim Henson exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image, and seen Being Elmo – an incredible documentary about Kevin Clash’s journey to Sesame Street. Two years ago Matt surprised me by taking me to see Sesame Street Live – and while we were certainly the ONLY adults there without a child, making us look a little creepy, it was one of the most amazing things he has ever done.

As I mentioned yesterday, I have a few things on my bucket list… near the very top of that list is visit the set of Sesame Street.

Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational foundation behind Sesame Street is one of the only blogs that I subscribe to (and I work in communications for a non-profit!) and I came across this post today. While I was sad that I didn’t realize the first day of Spring had already come and gone, I was happy to read this incredible article. I hope that all of you who also grew up watching Sesame Street enjoy it as much as I did.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIG BIRD!

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Baby Fever

This weekend, when Matt and I were in Chicago and got to meet Clare Leisinger, the beautiful daughter of our friends Jon and Natalie Leisinger. As we were standing there catching up, Jon asked us when we were going to “pop one out.” Now that we are married, this question seems to arise with everyone. I responded by saying that it was going to be a while – we aren’t quite ready to have a child of our own. Matt never even held a baby.

With that Jon grabbed the beer our of Matt’s hand and replaced it with Clare. Matt wasn’t quit sure what to do or where to put his hands. He stood there, awkwardly grabbing this 6 month old baby, his level of discomfort painfully obvious on his face. Well, it didn’t take Clare long to realize that she was in the arms of someone who wanted nothing to do with her. She promptly started to cry and reach out for her parents. Matt was near tears as well, so I quickly replaced the baby with his bottle of Oktoberfest beer.

Once Clare was back with her parents and Matt had his beer – all returned to a state of happiness.

Needless to say, we are not ready for children.

Be Your Own Boss – Cupcake Kids!

When I was in college, I had a friend, Jessi Walter, who was a few years older than me, that I looked up to like a sister. She was one of the nicest people I had ever met, extremely smart, and would give me advice whenever I asked for it (which was probably too often!) I loved hanging around her room – it was clean and organized and she had the most amazing hand-painted furniture.  I always felt like I was in a real house, as opposed to a dorm room when I went over there. Whenever I was there, I just felt happy.

I am so glad that we have reminded friends over the years. She is still one of the nicest people I have ever met, extremely smart, and she still gives me advice on life. Now, instead of hanging out in her dorm room,  we hang out in the Cupcake Kids! kitchen.  Every time I walk into the space, I feel that same sense of happiness, that I felt when I walked into her dorm room many years ago.

The idea for Cupcake Kids! was born when Jessi Walter decided to combine her love of kids and food in a practical way. Jessi set out to create a company that would provide students with hands-on cooking experiences designed to provide them with the opportunity to have fun in the kitchen while learning about food and nutrition. Jessi believes that creativity and education in the kitchen play an important role in a child’s development and help kids to build self-confidence and independence. For 4 years, she has been giving this experience to the kids of NYC.

Formerly a Vice President on Wall Street, Jessi’s passion for kids and food and her entrepreneurial spirit have taken her on a new adventure. Jessi graduated from Harvard in 2003, where she earned an economics degree and was a member of the Women’s Swim Team. As one of the oldest of 23 cousins, she has a passion for kids and their development. In her previous life as a swimmer, Jessi started a company offering technique lessons for young swimmers and brought the same enthusiasm and fundamentals to the pool as she brings to the kitchen today.

What sets Jessi and Cupcake Kids! apart from other child-centered companies is the pride that Jessi takes in her work and ultimately in her company. I’ve had the pleasure of helping out with Cupcake Kids! for the past 2 years. Jessi’s focus is on coming up with lessons that entertain, as well as educate, the “budding chefs” who visit her kitchen. She wants them to walk out of the kitchen with a smile on their face and a new appreciation for food and a sense of accomplishment. They gain confidence through measuring, mixing and baking. By combining ingredients to make a delicious treat, these children are able to see their successes right before their eyes, and taste them too! The excitement that Jessi, and her teachers, have for cooking and food is passed on to the children.

 I am so proud of Jessi for all that she has accomplished. I am also honored to have been a part of it  and I can not wait to see what the future holds for Cupcake Kids!

Please visit the Cupcake Kids! website to learn more about classes and birthday parties and, visit Facebook to become a fan of Cupcake Kids!