Archive for the ‘son’ Category

Around the blog-o-sphere lately, many of the writers whose blogs I subscribe to have been celebrating birthdays. Kate just turned 25, AJ just turned 30, Annie turned 36. Babies! In the spirit of competition, or one-ups-manship (how do you spell that?), let me just say this. My youngest son, my baby, turned 30 last week.

How can this be? How did this sweet boy…No really, how did this sweet boy…

That’s better. So how did this sweet little boy…

Become this man…?

And how did this young mom…

Become this, um, not so young mom…

I am having a bit of a hard time with this. All this time, I’ve been convincing myself that I’m just barely over 30 myself. I read these blogs written by these young women, and I relate to their lives, not as a mom, but as a fellow human, fellow woman, fellow vegan.  Then, this damn birthday comes along and smashes my illusions all to hell.

Actually, I’m just whining. I’m really happy with where I am in my life. I love my life, my husband, my sons, my dogs, and really wouldn’t want to go back. I look and feel good (please, Debbie, don’t add ‘for my age,’ even in your mind!). I run, I ride, I work, I…well, you get the idea. I have two wonderful sons, two darling grandsons, a teenage granddaughter.

So, why is this so hard?

I think it is because 30 is such a meaningful age. Turning 30 means that you are supposed to be an adult. You should have your life in order, your education complete, your career underway, your family planned. You are no longer a child. So, when you are the parent of someone turning 30, it’s like the double whammy to beat them all.

I am finished having my little pity party now. Happy Birthday, David.


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Sunday was Mother’s Day, and it started off in the best possible way. I slept in. Seriously, I don’t get to do that very often. Between working most days at 5:30 (yes, that is AM), trying to beat the desert heat, or just getting an early start on the day, my alarm clock generally goes off somewhere between 3:30 and 4:00. So my big deal was no alarm clock and I slept all they way until about 5:30. Woot!

After my coffee, I figured I’d be a good mother and take my furry kids for a run. They love it so much, but sometimes when time is short they miss out on their run. So I took them for a two mile run. The video below is from a different day, but it gives you an idea of how much we all enjoy our run.

Next up..a bike ride with my husband. I am so happy that Alan is finally recovered from his bike crash. Yes, it’s great that he feels good and can get back to training, but, to be honest (and totally selfish), I am much more committed to my training when my training partner is healthy. In any case, we had a nice 35 mile ride with almost perfect weather.
Our timing was so spot on..with high winds forecast and of course, Mother’s Day plans, we chose to cut the ride short, arriving home just as the winds kicked up. The shorter ride allowed me time to have a short nap (oh, yeah!) before getting dressed for the actual “Mother’s Day” part of the day.

We were meeting my youngest son, David, at my favorite restaurant for lunch. Native Foods, is, of course, the only vegan restaurant in the desert, but even if there were competition, it would stand out above the others.

I needed to try their Mother’s Day special. As quoted from the Native Foods Facebook page:

Oh yes, I needed that. I encouraged my son to order the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger, something I always suggest for first-timers, non-vegans (or anyone who is hungry). Alan had the Chicken Run Ranch Burger, which was the daily special and came with a side. My entree was wonderful. Why doesn’t my tofu scramble taste like that?
We had an extra treat during this visit. Chef Tanya was in the house and kindly stopped by the table to chat and let me pose with her! She is always so nice whenever we see her at Native Foods and seems to love to get out and talk with her customers. She suggested I post the photo on Facebook (which I did–Twitter too!).

That's my little boy!

Following my advice…
David gave me, you guessed it, a new cast iron pan for Mother’s Day. I always feel the direct request works pretty well. Nathan, my oldest, and my future daughter-in-law, Sarah, sent flowers.  Very nice.
This post has been a bit of a ramble, but it was obviously an event filled day. After lunch, I resumed being “Debbie” instead of “Mom.” We did a little shopping, then headed home. I did want to mention dinner (since it is in my post title). I made Vegan Mexican Pizza. Follow the link for the recipe, but I did make a slight change. I didn’t have any of the Vegan Queso, so I made my own. I took about a half cup of Daiya Cheddar, added an eighth cup of almond milk and an equal amount of fresh salsa and popped it in the microwave until the cheese melted. Perfect!

I sprinkled some cilantro on top and served with a chopped salad.

Really an excellent day.

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>The Way It All Came Out

>I will get right to the question you have all been asking, “So, how did it all come out?”

The answer, “It was great.”

Now, to back up a little, as I posted on Saturday, Alan received a call from a man who told him that he was his son. After spending a restless Friday night, he was up early on Saturday, on the internet, on the telephone to his new-found daughter-in-law, just finding out what he could about this man, Kelly. It didn’t take long to find a picture:

Aren’t they beautiful? Alan’s son & his wife

 A close up look of this and other pictures shows very clearly (as Kelly’s adoptive mom, who was helping research told him) that there is a very definite resemblance between the two men. The eyes, eyebrows, and ears are so similar as to be almost scary. We also found pictures of the two boys, 5-year old twins. The excitement was building. So much so, that Alan was on the phone at about 6:00 am on Saturday morning, speaking to his new daughter-in-law, Lisa.  She told him that she had instigated the search, now that she had two sons, she wanted to find out their background.

When you read a story like this, family separated by adoption or other things, it always seems that they are across the country from each other and it takes months of phone calls, letters, emails, and other arrangements before the long-lost family finally have an opportunity to meet.

Not this time.  Kelly lives in Huntington Beach, a two hour drive from La Quinta, a great beach town that Alan and I visit a couple times a year, most recently, last Independence Day, when Alan announced their annual holiday 5k. The race, by the way, takes place only blocks from Kelly’s house.

So on the phone, early Saturday morning, Lisa and Alan devised a plan (pending, of course, approval from Kelly).  Alan and I were headed up to Ventura on Saturday, where he would announce a triathlon the following morning. Our plan, then was to drive down the coast, and meet up with Alan’s son. Less than 48 hours after the first phone call.

Sunday morning, we took care of business as quickly as possible.  Of course, Alan was announcing the triathlon, and doing the award ceremony, so it was about 2:00 when we finally started down the coast toward Huntington Beach. Kelly and Lisa were welcoming us into their home, just a block off of the Pacific Coast Highway, near the HB pier. We finally arrived, shook off the stage-fright, and walked to their front door.

 The eyes (and eyebrows) have it. Just look at the resemblance!

 Yes, those eyes, through the generations!

Lisa welcomed us into her home, where we soon met two beautiful, energetic boys, fraternal twins, five years old. Then, finally, Kelly comes down the stairs. I felt like I had been holding my breath waiting for this moment. As Alan and Kelly tentatively greeted each other, I let out that breath, knowing that however this evening went, something wonderful was happening right now.

 Ah, the grandsons.  Five years old, full of energy.

We really had a nice time. Lisa is lovely.  She went to the trouble of preparing a vegan meal for us! The kids were a lot of fun, not understanding what was going on, but it was fun nevertheless, getting to meet our “new” grandsons. Best of all, though, was that Alan had an opportunity to meet and talk to his son, this 42 year old man, whose existence was totally unknown to him before the weekend.

Some of the things we learned:  Kelly was adopted as an infant by two wonderful people who gave him a great home and an excellent upbringing.  In fact, his biological mom was able to choose his parents, based on profiles of three different couples. Kelly was an excellent athlete, starting quarterback all four years in high school, a good surfer, with golf as his current passion. He started playing not too long ago and has quickly become the winner at the local tournaments in which he plays. I have always described Alan as the kind of athlete who was good at any sport that he tried, whether it was baseball or golfing, running or triathlon. What is funny is that at Kelly’s age, Alan was also focused on improving his golf game, and had spent his younger years on a surfboard.

Lisa described her husband as a wonderful man, caring, funny, handsome (I could see that!), and a great father. His kids are following in their dad’s (and their grandfather’s) footsteps, surfing, playing baseball, and other sports.

 A great family photo, taken by a 5 year old

What comes next? Well, we’ll see. We certainly liked our new family.  We think they liked us. Alan is most definite that he wants a relationship with his son, a relationship that he was deprived of by circumstances that happened over 40 years ago. We would love to become a part of the children’s lives as well. Alan is impatient, he wants all this now. I want this for him as well, I just try to slow him down a little. So, we’ll see.

Over the last year and a half that I have been writing this blog, writing about my dogs, my family, my hysterectomy, and more, I have found this to be the most deeply personal thing that I have written. I have tried to share our feelings about this huge change in our lives. I am amazed that it was less than 72 hours ago when everything changed.

For the better.

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>It’s a Boy!

>Just a quick update…

Last night, Alan received a facebook message asking if he knew a certain woman named Kathy. He answered, “Yes, she was my high school girlfriend.”

Well the guy who sent the message wanted to talk to him so Alan called. After a little bit of conversation, Alan asks, “Who are you?” And the man answers, “Well, I think you may be my dad.”

Pause for chills.

This really happened last night. Alan had no idea that his former girlfriend had been pregnant. She gave the baby up for adoption without ever telling him. The boy (man) is now 42, and hired an agency to find his biological parents.

He found mom first. She lives in Oceanside. She told him that Alan was his father.

And guess what? Alan is a grandpa! Twice! And they live in Huntington Beach, so it won’t be long before we meet our new family. And they own a home in Palm Desert! And, in this small world of amazing coincidences, he went to high school with one of our friends!

Alan is very overwhelmed. He’s happy to have been found by his son, excited at the chance to meet him and his family, and a little angry and sad that he didn’t know anything until now.

I’ll keep you posted as this true story develops.

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>I am enjoying one of my rare “on my own” days. My husband is off to LA, where he will be announcing the Acura Bike Tour early Monday morning. I had already scheduled myself to work on Memorial Day, so I could not go with him. Instead, I planned to do a few chores, a few “me” things, and just generally enjoy the time alone.

Ah, the best laid plans…

I did have a great bike ride this morning. I headed out about 5:30 am (it’s a must here in the desert, even on a Sunday). The weather was wonderful, cool, no wind, probably in the high 60s. I rode about 45 miles, planning to get back in time to see my husband off on his trip.

I got back in plenty of time, as I knew I would, because, frankly, Alan is slower than molasses getting ready and out the door. I offered to make a trip to the cash machine for him, just to save some time. When I went to start my car, it did one of those grinding, slow starts that tell you that your battery is not long for this world. I felt lucky that the engine actually turned over, and I knew that I better not shut it off or I’d be stuck somewhere waiting for AAA.

I headed to the bank, carefully keeping the engine on (it’s such a habit to turn it off that you really have to be aware of what you’re doing). I needed gas, so I did that without turning off the engine as well (I felt guilty, what with all the “turn off engine” signs staring at me!). I headed back home, again keeping the car running as I went in to hand over the cash and tell my husband I was off to Pep Boys to get a new battery.

They were quite busy at Pep Boys, saying it would be an hour (and $103!!! for a battery!!!). I called my hubby to let him know that it would be a while. He needed to get into LA for his announcing gig, so he decided to head out before I got home.

I was walking distance to a small shopping center, so just to keep out of the auto shop waiting area, I headed there. There was a small diner, the type that you order at a counter then they bring the food to your table. I hadn’t had a chance to eat after my ride, so I thought I’d order a small breakfast. I ordered two eggs, no potatoes and rye toast with the butter on the side. It was $6.42, which I paid, but then as I sat down started wondering about. On their menu, they had three eggs, hash browns and toast for $5.90 (plus tax=$6.42). I decided to ask the waitress about that when she brought my order–it just seemed way too high.

So, after waiting too long considering the restaurant was empty, she brings my order–with hash browns. I told her, no, I had said that I did not want potatoes. I also mentioned that the price seemed high. She took away the order, brought me some cash (about $1.75), all without saying a word. When she returned with my eggs sans potatoes, it looked liked they’d taken the potatoes off the plate, cut away most of the egg white, and just left the yokes, over easy. And the rye toast–with butter.

Not being in the mood for argument, I had my tiny (and cold) breakfast. For a tip, I left a penny, along with a note that said “I also asked for toast without butter.” I’d never done this before, I felt guilty, yet at the same time daring. In case you think I was overly mean with the server, she was the same person who took my order, got it wrong, and didn’t apologize.

I headed back to Pep Boys just as they were parking my car (only a half hour!). My car had been starting sort of slow for a while, so it felt good when the engine started right up. I headed home, planning my solo day ahead. It was only about 11:00.

Well, I did color my hair, get to the store for toilet paper and napkins (some things you can’t avoid). What I did not do: Go to the gym. Clean my house. Much more serious shopping than above. What I will do tomorrow morning (hopefully) before work is get out for a three mile run. So not all wasted time. I did take a nice nap. Right now, I’m enjoying the quiet..I generally keep the television off when I’m home alone. The dogs are snoozing. Peaceful.

I did want to post a couple picture from the other night. We took my son, David, out for his birthday. Cheesecake Factory (where I did not have an avocado eggroll!). I think he is very handsome:

Soon, I will head off to bed alone. Well, not exactly, because two of my dogs will be there with me. I never sleep quite as well for some reason. There is a kind of subliminal awareness that the world (or at least the bed) is out of balance. I will still sleep on my own side (while the dogs will have no qualms about taking up the rest of the bed). I do enjoy my solo days, but I am always happy when they are over and my husband is back sleeping on the other side of the bed.

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