Showing posts from June, 2011

Coming to America...Part 2

For purple mountain majesties,
Above the fruited plain,
But now wait a minute, I'm talking about
America, sweet America,
You know, God done shed his grace on thee,....Ray Charle
s I arrived at JFK after many, many hours...pigtails in tact, suit slightly rumpled, papers in small bag, anxious off the plane and the family that had so graciously helped me along and I were separated.  They lived in Chicago and were moved along to try and find a connecting flight considering how long we were delayed.  I never saw them again...I have thought of them periodically since.  I looked around and was moved to a kiosk....back then if you were coming as a minor to parents with a Greencard you got one too, at the airport! So I answered my usual "hello my name is Juliana Badescu"...smiled at the first black man I ever saw in person and touched his skin and then pointed to mine.  I remember bits of him, he was large and he smiled and patted my hand.  Now some of you may wonder why…

Coming to America...Part 1

Since the Fourth of July is this week I started to think about my own arrival in the States and what it means to me to live in the US. I was slightly over 5 when my parents, after waiting and bribing and filling out lots of paperwork, finally got approval to take a vacation outside of Romania.  In Communist Romania, like all other Communist nations, you did not get to choose where you went on vacation outside the country without the goverment's approval.  I am not talking about just getting a visa. Instead imagine being prohibited from that trip to Cancun or whatever your destination of choice is (not due to an embargo for one specific nation) but due to the fact that the goverment controlled your every movement.  My parents applied for a trip throughout a few of the Eastern bloc nations, not easy to get approval for but not impossible, with a last stop in Austria before their return, almost impossible to get to a non-Eastern bloc country.  They got this permission with the caveat…

It's not the Orient Express..

I totally have one of those faces...yes the one that seems to attract strangers to cross Grand Central through the throngs of people to stop and ask me for directions.  I am the one who on a subway, a New York City subway where people are known for avoiding eye contact as if the laser beams would melt the other person, who people not only sat next to but would ask (multiple occurrences) what I was listening to on my Walkman then iPod, would read the short stories I was writing and add "helpful" comments and even discuss whatever reading material I had.  Yes I have that kind of face.

I defined myself as a commuter, though I always took the "train" aka subway or bus to work I never really thought of myself as a commuter, when I moved to the 'burbs and had to get on an actual train with a schedule, a clearer PA system (no more Stan Clea Clos Do), and an expensive monthly ticket.  Have to say I laugh when these folks from up here complain that they have to sit 3 in …

Different but not Less

I finally had a chance to watch the movie "Temple Grandin" which was quite an extraoridnary story for anyone who has seen it or is familiar with the topic.  Temple is an autistic woman who has gone on to be a very famous thought leader in the animal husbandry industry, her studies and designs have led to a much more humane way to treat livestock.  The movie is well acted and the story is really remarkable because it shows  a mother's determination to make sure her child achieves as much as their potential can even when there are huge obstacles.

The topic of a child who is different is very personal to me.  I have a son with a non-diagnosed spectrum disorder.  That term is as confusing as it sounds.  When my elder son was about 2 I noticed he flapped his hands a lot, I mean a lot, he sometimes walked on his toes and he seemed to be fascinated with fans.  As a mother who watched every milestone and as a psych major these things worried me.  He was a loving child but he had…

Father's Day

I'm gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So you'll always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father
Who loved his daughter more than I love you...Paul Simon "Father and Daughter"

It is so easy to become a father.  There is no pregnancy, no birthing, no thought to anything but a moment of release right?  Yes, but it takes so much more to be a Papa.  In today's world there are so many combos of families that I am not sure I can list them all - this blog is dedicated to all the Dads. 

My own Dad was a flawed man and a parent who could have really used some parenting skills. Now that I have had many years of therapy and a lot more maturity he has become the Dad I have come to love and appreciate.  My Dad was of a different generation and so I have learned to no longer measure him by today's standards.  I have learned to forgive the errors he probably never knew he made.  My Dad was not a Hallmark/made for TV Dad but h…


Friday night I got off from my train and the parking lot was full, I mean past capacity, with cars blocking in those of us who were hurrying to get out.  The commuter lot where I park my car is right on the Hudson River.  The waterfront was full of parents with cameras (and tissues) taking pictures of the high school seniors going to prom.  I wanted to be a little annoyed about my car being blocked in, after all my non-senior children were waiting for me to get them from day care and take them to a party that night, but I could not be.  I looked at the high schoolers, man they seem so young - did we look that young ?, in their gorgeous dresses, perfect hair and makeup, heels that must already be hurting, boys with tuxedos and slicked back hair and smiled.  I smiled for the moment and also for the past and future.  I waited patiently, honked lightly, to which a very nice father (assume) holding a camera came and moved the car blocking me in.  He wiped his eyes getting into the car and …

Living in the 50s

Oh-oh, yes I'm the great pretender Adrift in a world of my own..."Great Pretender" THE PLATTERS
Occasionally, after some above average stress in my day, I wish for a moment to travel back in time. Not to a time I actually knew, or a time when I was single and just enjoyed my time and paid a few bills, not to a time when I myself was a child, but to a time that really only lives in my imagination.

I periodically want to go live in the Fifties.  I know it is a product of media brainwashing and yet I cannot help myself.  Since I live in an age where daily news tidbits include things like raging wars (globally), a downward spiraling economy, horror stories of things done to children, boring but ever present sexual exploits of politicians and basic doom and gloom I sometimes long for those images from the days where people just seemed happy.  I want to wear those torpedo bras, the cute little dresses, the cat eye glasses and I want to be amazed listening to 45s of that new fang…

So you think you can teach....

I have tremendous respect for teachers. I say this not because I have friends who chose this profession, though I do admire them, but because as a mother I have to come appreciate the importance of having a good teacher for my children. My children are at the very beginning of their, hopefully long, academic journey being in first grade and pre-kindergarten only.  Yet, they already have had a series of teachers in their young lives.  Today's children are incredibly well taught, or so my experience with my children's peers leads me to believe, from library programs for the infants who could barely hold up their heads, to nursery schools, pre-schools and of course a host of in home lessons from the minute they are born.  I remember my own mother looking at me indulgently, if not convinced, as I read to my week old sons.  She saw this as a nice thing, something that she and her friends would not have even thought to do with their own infants, but it took my children's excelle…

Volunteer work .....

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." --Margaret Mead
Considering that the media mostly concerns itself with publishing negative news items only I try and write most blogs about things that for a moment will hopefully counteract the terrible stories out there and make the reader smile.  I hesitated in writing this blog but then I remembered my own disdain for censorship so am not going to censor myself. 

In the past few weeks a rash of stories have permeated the media about men (financially powerful so think that is part of the story for the media) sexually attacking or abusing women, 2 extremely powerful men who both decided that a woman who was in a housekeeping position in a hotel was there to provide any service that they deemed appropriate, regardless of what these women may have said or done to disavow that notion.  I  believe the women and hope justice is served.  The other inc…