Sunday, December 14, 2014

Tooth Aches and Chocolate Pudding

Yesterday my husband Bob arrived home following his weekly pilgrimage to the supermarket.  As I dutifully helped him unpack, I pulled out not one, not two, not three, not four,  but at least 12, yes, 12 containers of chocolate pudding from the depths of the plastic bags.

At this point,  I turned to my husband and exclaimed in exasperation:

"WHY DID YOU BUY SO MUCH CHOCOLATE PUDDING?"

Sigh.

The poor thing did not deserve my wrath.

He had only been following instructions.

As the "survivor" of recent dental surgery, I had requested chocolate pudding, one of the few foods that could safely by-pass my swollen gums.

I just didn't expect 12 containers of said chocolate pudding.

Allow me to explain!

About 4 weeks ago as a lay in bed, eager to welcome the dreams that would carry me through the overnight hours, a sudden, incidious throbbing in one of my upper front teeth jolted me out of my impending slumber.

Clad comfortably in my cozy comforter, I weighed my options:
   1. Ignore it. It's nothing. It will go away.
   2. Take Motrin.
   3. Call the dentist first thing in the morning because it could be a very serious issue that needs urgent attention!!!

Guess which option I chose.

That's right.

Option number 1.  Until 45 minutes later when I decided to re-evaluate my original choice.

Time for option number 2.

And so on it went, for several days.  The pain was not nearly bad enough to force me to (egads) voluntarily schedule an appointment with the dentist!  That would be preposterous!

In the meantime, drug stores in southern New Jersey experienced an alarming shortage of pain medication as your's truly popped pill after pill, hoping the throbbing would subside.

Alas, t'was not meant to be.

With reluctance, I finally found myself sitting in the dreaded "chair" as Dr. Dentist poked and prodded, expressed sighs of concern, and then jabbed me with a shot of novacain.

"You need a root canal," he said, matter-of-factly.

Wait. WHAT?

I need time to digest this information!

I need time to prepare!
I need time to panic! To worry! To fret! To scream!

Too late!

The root canal had already commenced.

A few hours later I found myself at the dinner table, barely able to swallow mashed potatoes.

The pain would eventually subside, my dentist had assured.  In two week's time, as I was told,  the temporary crown that kept my smile intact would be replaced with a permanent model....and I'd be good as new and pain free!

Alas, t'was not meant to be.

Post root canal day one  - throbbing pain.
Post root canal day two  - throbbing pain.
Post root canal day three, four, five, six, seven.....you guessed it, throbbing pain.

Back to the dentist, who poked and prodded, changed my medication and sent me on my way.

Fast forward one week.

Once again, stuck in the dreaded "chair", Dr. Dentist assured me that the insertion of the permanent crown would leave me good as new and pain free.

My dentist lies.

Fast forward another week.

I found myself stuck in the dreaded "chair" of a dental specialist called an endodontist who examined my xrays with the deepest of frowns and threw his hands in the air in resignation.

Watching a specialists use this type of body language did not induce confidence in the quaking, quivering patient.....me!

"You have a fractured root," he said with a tone of seriousness that led me to believe I might not survive long enough to even call Bob and tell him what was going on.  "The tooth has to come out."

"So, what are my options," I tentatively asked.

"I could pull the tooth right now, but because it's Friday, I couldn't refer you to someone to make a temporary crown until Monday. You'd have to go the weekend without a tooth."


I weighed my options:

1. Go to my company's holiday party sans my front tooth.  My company's fancy holiday party, with cocktail dresses, dinner, and dancing!
2. Raid every drug store within a 10 mile radius for enough Motrin to get me through 'till tooth-pullin' day.

Fast forward yet another week.

I chased down my bowl of cereal with two valium and floated to the car on the arm of my "oh so patient" hubby.  Upon arrival at yet another dental specialist, this one called a periodontist (the tooth-pullin' dude), the friendly office manager explained to Bob and me about insurance coverage and payment plans for my dental implant.

Insurance coverage - 0 percent
Responsible by patient - Everything

Through the fog of the drug-induced haze that had set up residence in my brain, I dutifully signed on the dotted lines, giving away my first-born giving Dr. Tooth-Pullin' Dude permission to charge my credit card the $1,975,262 it would take to restore my smile, leave me good as new, and pain free.

While Bob went home to look for hidden treasure to cover the cost of my procedure, I floated to yet another dreaded "chair", where I readily accepted the offer of nitrous oxide, allowing me to observe the drilling, pulling, grinding, and sawing from some distant, far away planet.

Two hours later (or several days, I really couldn't tell) Bob picked me up and took me to my original dentist, who inserted a temporary crown to cover the grand canyon size hole in my smile.  Then Bob took me home, made sure I took all of my meds and put me to bed, where I stayed for several hours (or several days, I really couldn't tell).

Since that fateful day, my sweet Bob has catered to my every whim, wanting nothing more than to rid me of my post-op pain.  And how do I respond to this wonderful man? I yell at him for buying too much pudding.  I felt so badly, he didn't deserve my anger.

Bob, thank you for putting up with me. I am so lucky to have you in my life, and I love you more than anything.

I'm feeling a bit better now, and even a little bit hungry.

I think I'll have some pudding!

Bob and me at my company holiday party at the Camden Aquarium in Camden, NJ You'll see my teeth are still intact!
If you like my stories, please tell me in the comments section below.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Missing iPhone

(I originally posted this blog nearly three years ago under the title "The Kindness of Strangers". I am happy to share it again, with some minor edits)

They say that opposites attract, and when it comes to my husband Bob, that old adage certainly rings true.  He loves to watch zombie movies, while I choose romantic comedies.  He enjoys the independence of working from home, while I thrive on human interaction.  His first stop in the book store is the History or Biography section, while I’m content to read Harry Potter for the millionth time.  He is a horrible driver, while I am….well, let’s just say I think my skills behind the wheel are perfectly fine.  

My husband begs to differ.

Bob considers himself a “good”, bad driver, while referring to me as a “bad”, good driver.  I follow the rules at all times.  He decides when and where rules might apply.  I think he’s too aggressive, he things I’m too cautious.  It doesn’t matter if we are driving to the corner store or across several state lines, Bob refuses to sit in the passenger seat when I am behind the wheel unless he is bleeding from every orifice or has slipped into a coma.  That’s why I found it incredibly surprising when, on the way home from a family visit in upstate New York, Bob pulled over and actually asked me to drive.

I settled comfortably into the seat, readjusted the mirrors, and we continued happily down the New York State Thruway.  My daughter Melissa, 14 at the time, sat curled under a blanket in the back, her iPod placed securely on her lap, earphones blocking her parents' mindless chatter.  Bob watched the road for a few minutes, cautiously making sure that his decision to relinquish the wheel would not result in an untimely death for all three of us.   Eventually, he succumbed to exhaustion and drifted off to sleep.

Ahh…..serenity.

I would have gladly steered the car all the way through New York, onto the New Jersey turnpike and into our welcoming driveway, had my bladder not had other plans.  So after about two hours, I turned off the highway into a rest stop, found a place to park, and shut off the engine.

Bob’s snores began to cease as he sensed that the car had come to a stop.  He sat up and prepared to open the door when I noticed that the strap from my pocketbook, which I had carelessly tossed onto the passenger seat floor, had somehow wrapped itself around his ankle.

In the magic of movies, emotional, heart-stopping moments are played out in slow motion so the viewer understands the full dramatic impact of the unfolding scene. In this instance, movie magic special effects were not necessary while I watched, in mind numbing slow motion, as my husband, unaware of the strap that anchored him to the car, fell tragically to the ground.

Melissa, who had exited the car on the driver’s side, did not bear witness to the accident.  I called out to her, struggling to get my seat belt off so I could jump out and rescue my husband.  

“MELISSA, DADDY FELL!” I screamed, making no effort to hide my panic.

I imagined him lying broken on the ground, bleeding, crying out for help.  I imagined my family spending the rest of the day, and perhaps more, in the local emergency room.  I imagined the absolute, very, very worst…..and in the few seconds it took to break free from the seat belt and run around to the other side of the car, I imagined living the rest of my life without him.   

Devastation, panic, horror, and unbridled fear all gripped my heart as I realized just how much I loved this man. 

I rushed to the other side of the car, only to find that a stranger had reached my husband first, an older woman who had kindly extended her hand to help him to his feet.  He assured me all was well, no bumps, bruises, or broken bones.  Perhaps a bit of damage to his ego, but thankfully, nothing more.  He brushed himself off and together, the three of us walked into the rest stop, Melissa shaking her head in embarrassment, convinced that her parents overreacted at the stupidest things.

We took care of business and wearily made our way back to the car.  Suddenly, Bob reached for his shirt pocket, where he always keeps his iPhone.  

It had disappeared.

We deduced the iPhone must have escaped the confines of the shirt pocket when he fell, and a search of the grounds immediately ensued.  The three of us combed the parking lot on hands and knees to no avail.  The iPhone, the expensive iPhone, complete with internet access, email contacts, and a host of apps, could not be found.

Although disappointed, we took stock of the situation.  Bob had survived unscathed from a scary fall.  His health was all the mattered, the iPhone could be replaced.

As we got back in the car, I glanced at the vehicle parked behind us.  There, positioned in the center of the windshield, sat an iPhone, which, upon closer examination, proved indeed, to belong to Bob.  Seems that someone had discovered the missing iPhone and placed it on the windshield, assuming it had been returned to its owner.

We climbed back into the car.

Bob took his rightful spot behind his wheel.

The iPhone took its rightful spot in Bob's pocket.

And we continued on our way home.

My husband Bob and me! Thankfully, his scary fall only resulted in a bruised ego, nothing more!


If you like my stories, please leave a comment below!!! Thank you for visiting!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

My daughter Melissa (now 17) and I were reminiscing about this post, which first appeared in February, 2012. I am pleased to share it again!

Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk on Monday

Take a typical carton of orange juice and leave it alone for at least 24 hours and you know what happens?  Thanks to the laws of gravity, the pulp sinks down and settles at the bottom.  That’s why every time my 14-year old daughter Melissa picks up a container of orange juice, she shakes it before pouring.

A creature of habit, Melissa has taken to shaking containers before opening no matter what liquid may lurk inside… milk, iced tea, fruit juice, it doesn’t matter. 

So why I am sharing this seemingly mundane information about my daughter?  Well, Melissa’s “shaking” habit sets the stage for our story, which begins innocently enough on a Monday morning.

The members of my household certainly don't embrace Monday mornings with glee. However, we do feel a bit more energized after a relaxing weekend, and we’re ready to tackle the challenges the week has to bring.  (This positive attitude is usually shattered by Tuesday, mind you.)

On Sunday night, lunches are made, clothes are ironed, and bedtime comes a bit earlier.  In the morning following my alarm clock's prodding, I throw off the warm covers, walk down the hall, enter Melissa's bedroom, and convince her to get out of bed.  Some mornings are quite productive, while others find her still fussing with her hair as the school bus makes its steady approach to our house. 

On a recent Monday morning, my daughter, determined to be on time, had awakened without protest, spent a limited amount of effort on her hair, and went down stairs for breakfast a staggering 20 minutes before her scheduled departure.  Looking forward to eating a leisurely meal, she happily poured a bowl of cereal.

My morning also went according to plan.  I had showered and dressed, and now stood in the bathroom, blow dryer in hand, trying to coax a curl out of my poker straight hair. 

Suddenly, a spine chilling scream rent the air, followed by the sounds of teenage feet pounding up the stairs!

Melissa burst into the bathroom, covered from head to toe in a silky white substance.


This photo is not Melissa! Had I taken a picture of her at the time, I'm quite sure
my life would have come to an abrupt end!

“SOMEBODY FORGOT TO TIGHTEN THE LID ON THE MILK!”

As I stared at my milk-covered Melissa, I opted not to remind her that she is the only person in the house who drinks the organic milk.  No need to hire a private detective to determine who had committed the crime of forgetting to tighten the lid.  

Instead, I surveyed the situation, thinking about the best way to remove every drop of milk in the five minutes that remained before the bus arrived, and trying, trying oh so hard with every ounce of my being, not to laugh!

I knew that if my mouth twisted upwards to indicate even the slightest smile, I might lose all of my limbs.

Ok, I needed to focus. Drawing on my powers of deduction, I concluded that the incident had a horrible, tragic effect on:

1. Her hair
2. Her fake Ugg boots (I will not spend $150 on boots when the fakes work just as well)
3. Did I mention her hair?

Priorities! 

We tackled the hair first.  I grabbed the blow dryer while she maneuvered the brush, and together we rid each strand of milk.  Panicked, she yelled and whined and fretted and cursed.  By this point, I promised to drive her to school since the bus had come and gone.  

Next challenge - the boots.  

Despite my best efforts, my rigorous scrubbing was met with no success.

Melissa had to choose between covering her feet with milk-stained boots or (egads!) sneakers. Either choice resulted in a middle-school fashion paux pas.  (She chose the sneakers)

By the time we climbed into the car, the evidence of the breakfast fiasco had all been wiped clean, and the foul mood that now gripped my offspring remained the only remnant of our eventful morning. 

Later that day, as we busied ourselves with the choreography of dinner, I observed my now calm, happy child. 

“Melissa,” I said quite timidly as I set the forks and knives on the table, “you have to admit, the incident this morning really was funny.”

“I actually got a lot of compliments on my hair today,” she said, laughing at the irony.  

The remainder of the week passed by without incident, with the exception of the extra effort made on both our parts to get out of bed and ready on time, lest another shaken container ruin another pair of fake Ugg boots.

The story will become one for the record books, not so much because of the humor, although that reason does rank quite high.  It will forever stay in my memory because when a carton of milk decided to let loose on my child, she ran up the stairs to that one person in the world who would have the answers.

She ran to the one person who would stay calm

She ran to the one person who would clean her up.

She ran to the one person who would make things right.  

She ran up the stairs…. to me.

If you like my stories please tell me in the comments section below!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


My First Guest Post!
Menopause: Welcome to the Heated Years...Navigating Through "The Change"

I am thrilled to have a guest post on Be Prepared. Period. This is a wonderful website dedicated to the menstrual health of women and girls, covering everything from puberty to menopause.  Here's a sneak preview!

Menopause: Welcome to the Heated Years....
Navigating Through "The Change"

Each morning before leaving the house, I used to check the weather channel to find out if I should wear a coat.  But these days it truly doesn’t matter what the thermostat says….I won’t wear one anyway.

Why?

Because I am always hot.

The car thermostat could read 32 degrees and I’ll be turning the air conditioner full blast onto my sweltering face while my poor husband Bob, in the driver’s seat, quickly succumbs to hypothermia.

Yes, I have entered into the stage of life called ..... 

Click to continue reading



If you like my stories please tell me in the comments section below.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

"How is Your Girlfriend"

My daughter Melissa, 17, sits cross-legged on the living room floor, guitar in her lap, notebook in hand, music and lyrics pouring from her heart.

Born of love, anger, sorrow, and joy, the words provide a mirror into her soul...a brief glimpse into the life of a teen who tells her tales through song.

Her first foray into the world of music came in the 5th grade when she answered the call to join her elementary school band and dutifully learning to play the flute.  Two years later when my husband Bob dusted off his old guitar and placed it in her talented hands, she knew she had found her passion....and never looked back.

Guitar lessons followed, along with acceptance into her high school audition chorus and the prestigious All South Jersey Chorus made up of the best and brightest teens representing 10 counties in the state.

Today, as a high school junior, she has carved out her niche as a singer/song writer who uses life experiences to produce powerful tunes that truly resonate with young and old alike.

Some have likened her to Colbie Caillat, others have described her as the next Taylor Swift.  As her mother, I admit my bias, so I will let you decide for yourself. I invite you to listen to what will hopefully be the first of many professionally produced songs to come.

Here is is: How is Your Girlfriend!
https://soundcloud.com/melissa-weinstein-1/how-is-your-girlfriend

If you would like to download the song to your iPad, iPod, or iPhone - you can purchase the song for .99 from iTunes at  https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/how-is-your-girlfriend-single/id934164256



Melissa is on vocals and guitar, her friend Emily McNally is on piano.

Melissa at a Beatles convention in NYC. Photo take by her friend Erica Till.
Tell me what you think of Melissa's song in the comments section below!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The B. A.T. Invasion

(In honor of the Halloween season, I thought this might be a good time to revisit one of my favorite posts, updated a bit from the original version!)





The early evening air gathered thick outside, the kind of heavy, humid-filled air that forces people behind closed doors where they mercifully position themselves in front of their air conditioners.

While my husband Bob and my then six-year old daughter Melissa, now 17, quietly watched cartoons, I crept up to my room in our modest town home,  turned on the ceiling fan and placed my head gently on the pillow, hoping to close my eyes for a few minutes before Melissa's night time bath routine brought me out of my slumber.

In the distance I heard a low rumble, alerting me to the inevitable approach of summer storm.  

I had barely had time to drift into REM sleep when I heard Bob call my name, caution in his voice.  Bleary eyed, I sat on the edge of the bed, trying to comprehend his cryptic message.

"Lisa, there's a B. A. T. in the house," he spelled with forced calm, hoping Melissa wouldn't catch on.

As I walked into the hallway and watched a scene of horror unfold before my eyes, I quickly deduced that Bob had not been talking about bats of the baseball kind.  

A black creature with a wing span of 4,000 feet flew up the stairs, his goal to attack and turn me into a vampire! With my cat following close behind (although I've never been quite sure what the fearless feline would have done if he had caught the darn thing) Mr. B. A. T. flew into Melissa's bedroom.  Thinking fast, I raced to close her bedroom door and trap him in there.  Her sleeping quarters not being an issue at the moment, I naturally assumed she'd just bunk in my bed for the rest of her life.

Unfortunately, Mr. B. A. T. had other plans.  No sooner did he enter Melissa's room did he fly back out again, straight for my face!  So, in an effort to stay calm so as not to upset my daughter, I did what all mature, grown up, rational adults do in moments like this.  

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

In my effort to escape my impending death, I turned, tripped over my cat, nearly fell down the stairs (breaking my toe in the process) and ran into the living room where Bob still tried to convince Melissa that our friendly neighborhood B. A. T., still in hot pursuit, was, in reality, just a bird.

Bob opened the sliding glass doors that led to our small back yard and hurried Melissa and me outside.  Still screaming, I ran into our yard, then around to the front of the house where our next door neighbors Angelica, Louie, and their two young sons Chris and Brandon had come outside to find out why the normally quiet Weinstein family had seemingly lost their minds.

As the thunder rumbled a bit louder in the distance, and the westward sky darkened, we caught our breath and, together with our neighbors, tried to develop a B. A. T. coping  strategy more effective than "spending the rest of our lives in a hotel."

Just then, another neighbor pulled up in his car, a young single guy named Don who seemed to think we should just go into our house and trap the B. A. T. in a paper shopping bag, bring the bag outside and release the creature back into the wild, if you can call a New Jersey suburb "the wild".

Hmmmm, should we  choose Holiday Inn, Hilton, Sheraton, or Marriott?

Fortunately, Don offered to play the "catch the bat in the bag"  game for us.  

Angelica volunteered a paper shopping bag, handed it to Don, and wished him luck as he entered the B. A. T. lair of doom.  A few minutes passed with no word from Don.  The thunder grew a bit louder and flashes of lightening were now visible on the horizon.     

Still, in the still air we waited, and waited, and waited.

Finally, Don emerged with "bat in bag" and, as Melissa, Chris, Brandon, Bob, Louie, Angelica, and I all let out blood curdling streams loud enough to rival the approaching thunderstorm, Don released the B. A. T. from the bag of captivity.

End of story.  

Or so we thought.

Fast forward to "B.A.T. Invasion - Day Two".  

The next night, with Melissa bathed and tucked snugly into bed, I noticed the cat staring intently at our air conditioning vent.  Knowing full well that cat ears hear things that human ears can't decipher, I became concerned.  

THEN THE UNIMAGINABLE HAPPENED!

Bob and I watched in horror as claws appeared gripped onto the inside of our living room air vent, looking for an escape route.  

Not wanting to wake Melissa, I kept my screams to a minimum and instead, frantically dialed the local animal control office who informed us that bats eat pesky insects like mosquitoes and are therefore a protected species.  Their hands were tied.  The B. A. T. would have to stay.  Quite frankly, I didn't care if bats ate mosquitoes, grass hoppers, locusts, dogs, cats, pigs, bears, or killer sharks.   I WANTED THE CREATURE OUT OF MY HOUSE!

Willing to risk any punishment animal control forced upon me, I took a can of RAID flying insect killer and sprayed it into every single air vent.  Then, drawing on super human strength that only appears when confronted with creatures of the dark, I positioned heavy furniture so that it covered nearly every air vent.  Just let that B. A. T. even try to attempt escape!  Not on my watch.

The next day, we had a guy from a pest control service check out our home.  He quickly determined that Mr. B. A. T. had either died, escaped or evaporated, either way, no sign of the winged wonder existed in our air events, or anywhere else in the house, for that matter.

We had survived our terrifying encounter unscathed. But sometimes, during that brief time of day when daylight transforms into the grey skies of dusk, I see bats flying about in the distance and I wonder, do they know I probably killed their cousin?

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

If you like my stories please tell me in the comments section below!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Melissa Gets Her License!

Last summer my daughter Melissa, 16 at the time, took on a volunteer job at our local library. Although only a short bike ride from home, my cherub insisted on taking the safe mode of transportation to the library, namely, the "mom chauffeur".

What did she think would happen to her while pedaling the streets of our small suburban New Jersey neighborhood?  I don't know.  However I suppose all of those years of her overprotective mommy warning of stranger danger had taken its toll.

Finally, Bob and I convinced our naive girl to pull her bike out from the depths of the garage and pedal the short distance to the library.  When her shift ended, we stood outside in antipation watching her bike down the street towards home, the huge smile across her face beaming from blocks away!

"I did it!" she exclaimed.  "I felt so independent!"

Fast forward 13 months.

Once again, I stood outside in anticipation, waiting to celebrate another solo journey......this time in a (gulp).....car.

As a licensed driver for a mere three days, she had asked permission to take her friend John the short distance to his home.

I hesitated before granting her request.

John would be in the car with her on the first part of the trip, but then she would  have to come back all alone.  Nobody to tell her when to brake, when to turn, when to yield, when to signal, when to slow down, when to switch lanes, when to stop, when to go.

Would she survive the two mile journey?

Would I survive the wait during the two mile journey?

Sigh.

The road to becoming a legal driver in the State of New Jersey did not come without its challenges for Melissa.

She had passed Driver's Education in school, then completed the mandatory six hours of lessons with a certified driving school, which enabled her to get a permit.  Now she could get behind the wheel with two of the greatest driving instructors who ever lived......her PARENTS!!

Indeed, each session with Bob usually ended with Melissa near tears because her father had dared to use his "strict" voice.

Sessions with me were not much better since my incessant pounding on the "imaginary" passenger side brake truly rattled her nerves.

All to soon (or not soon enough depending on your perspective) the day of the driver's test had arrived.  I took off of work so I could personally escort my "baby" on the road to adulthood.

Upon pulling into the testing center, we were greeted by an instructor whose look and demeanor were reminsicent of a boot camp drill sergeant.  With trepidation, I got out of the car and let Melissa take her place behind the wheel.....next to Sergeant Scary in the passenger seat.

I watched them go forward a few feet, then stop.

Something did not seem right.

After several minutes, Sergeant Scary exited the vehicle and beckoned me over.

I dared not disobey.

Seems our car lacked an important feature, an emergency hand brake located between the driver and passenger seat.  According to the State of New Jersey, the car had to have this feature in order to be used during the test.

Sergeant Scary commanded us to leave, get a different car, and reschedule the test.

I dared not disobey.

One month later, armed with a 22-year old car gifted to Melissa by my mother, we drove to the testing center through a downpour of biblical porportions in our second attempt to earn the title of "licensed driver".

The "rigorous"  test seeks to determine if new drivers can handle gruelling road conditions by forcing them to demonstrate two essential skills:

1. Turning the key in the ignition
2. Parallel parking

Having practiced parallel parking for most of her waking hours, my daughter tackled the test with ease.

Next stop, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) where we were officially introduced to the 3,974 Identification point system!

You see, when you present yourself at the registration desk at the DMV, they do not, can not, will not believe that you are you.  Therefore, you must prove that you are you by presenting 362 pieces of identification, each valued at a certain number of points.  Some pieces of identification can be combined to add up to even more points.

Allow me to illustrate the DMV's Identification point sytem.

Passport - 2,314 points
Birth certificate - 1,684 points
Driver's permit signed by Seargant Scary - 562 points
Bank statement with proof of address - 331 points
Social security card - 1,347 points
School ID - 457 points
School report card - 357 points
School ID + School report card - 765 points
First book report - 624 points
First baby tooth - 791 points
First baby tooth + letter of authenticity from the tooth fairy - 1,652 points
Umbilical cord - 2,970 points

Unfortunately, Melissa and I "only" had her passport plus the signed driver's permit, thus proving that the 17-year old girl standing next to me whose smiling picture lit up the inside of her passport was obviously an imposter.

We were told in no uncertain terms to go home and get more proof!

Since we live a mere five minutes from the DMV, this slight delay was met with much happiness and patience from my sweet new driver. (Note to readers who do not have teenagers - I AM BEING SARCASTIC.)

With "el grumpo" next to me in the passenger seat, we drove home, retrieved her social security card and her birth certificate and traipsed back to that joyful, wonderful place...the DMV!

"You need proof of address," admonished the eldery gentleman at the reception desk.

"But we were just here ten minutes ago and they didn't tell us that!" I protested, seriously thinking that I could change the rules of this archaic institution.

"Are you her mother?"

"Yes."

"Does she live with you?"

"Yes."

"Do you have the same last name?"

"Yes."

"Ok, you can use your driver's license as proof of address."  (794 points)

A half an hour later, a DMV employee handed my daughter that small, coveted piece of plastic proclaiming her a legal licensed driver!

I made her swear that for the first 30 years few months, she would text me before getting behind the wheel, and upon arrival at her destination.  She agreed to my terms and reluctantly, I let her drive John home.

True to her word, her text alerted me to her departure from John's.

Now came the moment of truth. Her first solo stint as a licensed driver.

I watched her drive down our street with care, stop in front of our house, put on the turn signal, and proceed into the driveway, a huge smile on her face!

"Mom, it was great!" she exclaimed.  "I felt so independent."

All too soon, the "mom chauffeur" will retire, as Melissa drives off to a college campus, and then to her own apartment...her own life.

And I know, despite my worry, despite my fear, despite my stubborn unwillingness to let her go....my baby will do just fine!

Melissa shows off her new driver's license!


If you like my stories please tell me in the comments section below!