Michael and I just returned from dropping his daughter off to college in Upstate New York. We got her all set up for her freshman year of college, and I must say, it felt so good to feel needed and do what I do best: Be a Mom -- or a Stepmom in this case. As you can tell from recent episodes, I’m really having a hard time adjusting to my kids growing up and not needing me as much anymore. This year was the first year I didn’t go back-to-school shopping with Joshua; he wanted to go with his friends. Ugh! I had to turn around when he told me so he didn’t see the tears in my eyes.
Joshua is entering his senior year of high school, and I do understand that he’s at an age now where he wants to be independent. That’s really one of my goals in raising my children, but it still stings when they don’t want to hang around me as much. Not only do I do my best to raise independent children, I also want nothing more than for them to be kind, appreciative, respectful and accepting of all people and religions.
In this week’s episode I mentioned that after my divorce, I let a lot of my family’s traditions slide and put them on the backburner after meeting Michael. Although Michael is half-Jewish, we’ve really concentrated on his Italian heritage. Sadly, Michael lost both of his parents –- his mom to cancer when he was 16, and his hero, his father, to Lou Gehrig’s Disease nine years ago this month. I’ve worked with Michael to keep his family’s traditions going, especially the ones he holds dearest to his heart: Christmas, cooking and Sunday pasta dinner. Michael makes the BEST lasagna and takes pleasure in making 65 meatballs for seven people!
I’ve realized lately that I’ve been so busy making sure that Michael’s traditions were kept alive, I’ve let some of my family's traditions slide. As everyone gets older, the time we all spend together is decreasing, and I figured there's no better way to make the family closer again than by bringing back some of our family traditions. Kiddush is a great place to start! Putting the phones down for a couple hours was tough at first for all but so worth it.
Family traditions are always great to bring back, but some things are better left in the past and shouldn’t be brought up ever again. Do you know what I’m referring to? That’s right, the ever-present feud between Jacqueline and Teresa. I love them both dearly and want nothing more than for the two of them to get back to the friendship they once had. However, just like with all relationships, if you harp on the past, you’ll never be able to move forward.
Let it go!