Thursday, February 16, 2017

I'm feeling mom growing pains

Last night I watched my 12-year-old son break a board with a forceful spinning reverse side spin kick. The board broke in half as two adult male classmates held it tight against the force of my son’s menacing foot. Conor is in the midst of midterm-testing to achieve his second degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do. He is also in the midst of a growth spurt and now towers over me by several inches in height. And I am in the midst of getting used to the idea that my little boy has transformed into someone different through the passing of time and early adolescence.

It’s strange to realize that I now have a new tenant under my roof. Same kid, yet different. This one is more independent than the previous free-loading child who always needed help finding everything and constantly requested that I watch cartoons with him. He’d beg that I partner with him in defeating the Mario Brothers villains on the WII console. We’d sit side by side in the family room trying to defeat Bowser, Dimentio and Kaos. I was the better player then. That little boy found no fault in me. I was cool and beautiful and was greatly needed. I was his source for all matters in life.

My new tenant is also more self-sufficient. He has a deeper voice, and has his own sense of style. He now claims a gaming room in the basement of the house where he slays all types of villains and foes on a wide screen using a neon-lit keyboard. I am now a mere guest in that room. His partners now are adolescent voices that come through on headset speakers while he pilots them all through combat war zones. These are also now the voices he listens to on matters of life. His information council is made up of same-age kids who’s view of the world does not go beyond 13 years of life experience.

Although I know my son still loves me with all his heart, I am now just a “mom.” I have no more magic powers. I am asked not to try to use terms that I consider “cool” and he considers terms older than the era I was actually born in.  

This transformation did not happen overnight. It was gradual. While I was pining for more independence from the needs of my kid, he was creating slack on the line that kept us tied together. I felt it one Halloween night when he was about to turn eight-years old.  He insisted I escort him and his friends as they trick-or-treated through our neighborhood like I we’ve done every year since he was two years old. This time, I was asked to wait in the darkness of the street while he and his costumed buddies knocked on doors. As the night went on, I found myself being left farther and farther behind the group of kids I was supposed to be escorting. They ran toward the houses not looking back for the security of my presence. Soon, I was walking back home alone while in the near distance I could hear their laughter in the darkness of night.

We all breathe a sigh of relief when our kids hit a certain milestone in age. In our haste to help them grow up, we fail to record the moment when we last stopped holding their hand as they crossed the street or the last time we are asked to read them a bedtime story. I couldn’t wait to get rid of that darn car seat in the back of my car. Didn’t record the moment I chucked that monster either, but I know I was happy when I did.

I also fail to record the moment when suddenly there is this new person, bigger and older, now sitting in the front passenger seat of my car. He resembles the kid that used to sit in that car seat I chucked. He messes with the radio dial settings like he belongs there.  I look back and notice the empty spot in the back seat. For a mere second, my heart feels like that Tae Kwan Do board split in half. When did this happen! It’s a bittersweet moment until I’m brought back to reality by my son’s voice. “Mom? Mom? Mom? Can we go get some fries?”

Monday, November 28, 2016

Friday, September 9, 2016

On A Sunny Day   
in commemoration of 9/11

By: Edie Vaughan

On a sunny day the sky turned black
Our very own land was under attack

Just when we thought we were safe
The enemy crawled out of his cave
Hijacking our passenger planes
Aiming them like hating flames  

For a moment or two, 
We thought of the end
We sought out our loved ones,
We looked for our friends

The world witnessed in horror
Feeling our sorrow

So many lives shattered so many lives crushed
 Iconic Twin Towers dissolving to dust

The smoke from their hate tainted our skies
But soon waved away by our stars and our stripes

The enemy thought they'd make us humble,
The enemy thought they’d see us crumble
Their fire only made us stronger

The innocent and the brave have not died in vain
It should always remain
The world will never forget
This moment in time forever now set

Where the aggressor carved two gaping holes
Pools and waterfall sounds now calm our souls
Two thousand nine hundred and eighty three
The victims inscribed now in memory

Our own Ground Zero
A place for our heroes
Beauty instead of tragedy
Reminder of our destiny

We are the land of the brave and the land of the free
Neither terrorist nor traitor will ever bend our knee                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Monday, March 2, 2015

Holding back the aging process: It takes a village by:Edie Vaughan

Holding back the aging process: It takes a village

Image result for beauty salon spa

The road is slick from the light snow that has been falling all morning. Temperatures are below freezing and visibility could be better. It’s a 15-mile hike to my destination. All weekend the forecasters have been talking about an incoming snowstorm that could paralyze the East Coast. I can’t be snowed in. I must ride! The background music in my head is the Wizard of Oz tune that plays as Ms. Gulch is riding her bike to go mess with Dorothy. I must get to my stylist appointment before I’m snowed in and my hair roots betray me!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The worst job on the 2012 list is the best job I've ever had

I recently came across the 2012 list of the best and worst jobs.  It’s no surprise that being a software engineer is the new “it” job. The job rankings were based on the amount of physical labor involved, stress level and income of the job.

Being a lumberjack was rated the worst job. I can understand that. In an environmentally-conscience world, no one likes a guy who chops down trees.

For the first time ever, two media jobs made the Worst Jobs list. Newspaper reporter, and Broadcaster.  

Matt Lauer may not think so. He just renewed his contract on the Today show, for reportedly, $26 million a year.

But I know a few friends who have had to redirect their journalism careers because their job in newspapers and TV news are being replaced by digital media on demand. 

I worked in news broadcast  as a TV producer and reporter for 20-years. The job is definitely not a 9 to 5 gig. My job security was only as good as my last story. The stress level is high and, yes, the income fluctuates like a playground sea-saw. 

The physical labor includes, running, standing for long periods of time in different weather conditions. Sitting for long periods of time, and lots of deadline hyperventilating. 

For the bravest of journalists, dodging bullets and running toward danger is also part of the job description. 

My job now, as an online blogger/journalist, is less stressful.
I get to write about topics I like and, my deadlines are not do-or-die events. The only stress I have now is on my eyes and my shoulders, due to countless hours of reading and being hunched over my laptop. 

Gone are my broadcast TV days of running through endless marbled floor corridors on Capitol Hill in search of sound bites from lawmakers and newsmakers.

Gone are the days of standing around for hours, under a hot sun, damp rain, or cold subzero temperatures waiting for that news-breaking press conference or that “must have” five-second-shot of a famous someone, running from a building, to a waiting car.

I no longer have to hyperventilate, in calm despair, as my video editor works his magic to put together the last visual images of a story that is, literally, seconds from going on air.

I no longer have to fake looking self-composed during a live shot, when only minutes before, I was near vomiting, from the stress of nearly missing my cue. The door to our news van completely slid off, into the middle of the street as I tried to shut it, running back from a “must have” interview, at the State Department.  

Me: Go!
Driver/camera man: Get the door!
Me: Go! We’re not gonna make it!!
Driver/camera man: I gotta get the door!!!
Me: Get the door!!!!!

A Journalism career is not for the faint-hearted. It is a 24/7/365 job.  You have to know what's going on in the world. You have to “get” the interview, become an expert on the spot, and have a lot of, “hurry-up-and wait,” patience. There are no scheduled lunch breaks. An ill-planned bathroom break can mean, no story.

On the more serious side, being a journalist can be life threatening. Those who cover wars, and conflicts, have my deepest admiration. Journalists have lost their lives in their quest to inform the world, They are our silent heroes. On May 4 2012, four journalist were brutally killed in Mexico, for trying to pull the covers off the drug trade that has taken over that country.  
Being a journalist can be a heart-wrenching job that makes you witness to tragedy. It brings you face to face with victims who allow you into their private lives in hopes that you may help them find their missing child or the killer of their son. They allow you to broadcast their loss and grief after a horrific event like 9/11. 

The rewards are also priceless. You get to meet people from all walks of life and find yourself in the middle of history-making moments like; the impeachment of a president, the visit of a pope, and a president’s speech in the Rose Garden of the White House.    

The most meaningful rewards come from knowing that my coverage of a story helped find that missing child.  Or, that it gave a voice to factory workers who were being discriminated against because of their ethnicity.

For me, the rewards are also, the camaraderie, and crazy moments I shared with the people I worked with, while chasing the story. It’s the second family I generated from spending more time in the newsroom than I did at home.

Being a journalist is definitely not one of the easiest jobs to have. But, it's not the worst job either. It’s actually, job number one, on my list.   

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Drunk History - The Assassination of Julius Caesar by the Coward

I just got back from a trip to Rome. But I did not get this drunk version of Julius Caesar's assassination offered by Drunk History, which I think really helps make it simple.