Let’s Unplug. Then get out of my face and go play video games or something.

It’s taken 2 days into the camping-venture to slowly detox, but they are now ready to let go of the devices and embrace lying in an Eno for recreation. Think of that word! Re- creation. What do you want to re-create , or reproduce? People shooting each other? Moving the thumbs a bit? 

Or the smell of pine needles and paddling a kayak? I’m occasionally going to go “x-box nazi” on my kids.  I’m going to limit their electronic time and give them guidelines.  But as much as I want to- I’m not going to  burn all of the electronics, because that’s not freedom. They have to decide WITH  all of the options. If you remove all of the options, it’s not a decision or choice, it’s just what you’re left with. 

And I have to accept that they are not always going to do what I WANT them to do with their time.  I have to be ok with that and let them make decisions.  I do not always agree with their decisions, and I sometimes pull the “mom card” and make a decision for them. But they need to make the wrong one sometimes to learn what everything feels like.  When they get it right- when they get it wrong.  When they wish they did something else…for next time.

I want them to have the freedom and options and STILL choose the good, better, best thing.  We’re  still trying to figure out how to do that.  There has to be a balance to living here and not being like everyone else, yet able to relate to anyone.  

It could be that it starts with not judging.  We do what we think will work- and you do what you think your people need, and we will respect each other’s decisions and give each other a break. And our kids can hang out and like some of the same things and learn how to be with people even when they aren’t the same.  And I won’t feel guilty about not allowing my kids on devices.  And I won’t feel guilty if you’re nixing them while I let mine have a fortnight marathon.  And you won’t feel guilty if you see us hiking. And WE all  won’t feel guilty because we are all doing what we are doing right now.  It could change tomorrow.

But occasionally we will go camping and choose not connect to WiFi and let them experience it so they know what they’re choosing, and so they can FEEL the difference for themselves. I can only hope that once they taste and smell and experience the contrast, that they will choose to unplug for themselves once in a while, and enjoy nature a bit.

And then I’ll let them relax in front of a screen, because -let’s face it- we start out like this…


But eventually, this happens.  When you’ve been sleeping in a tent and using a communal bathroom.  Get real.





My Country ‘Tis of Thee- Part 2

This hit me harder than I thought it would. I went upstairs to see The Sphere first, but when I heard the water from the pools behind me the lump appeared in my throat before I even laid eyes on the Memorial.  And when I turned and began to descend the steps, tears began streaming freely.  Maybe it’s because we had just walked over from looking at the Statue of Liberty, and for as long as I can remember- whenever I see even a picture of her, I swell with Patriotism for my beloved country.  I Remember seeing videos of her as a child and I can conjure the same feeling now. I can’t describe it, but it’s right here in my chest – where I want to be just like her.  Lady Liberty.  Welcoming those who are tired and hungry and homeless and craving freedom even more than sleep or food or shelter.

It’s been 17 years since the trauma of 9/11, and though I think of that day occasionally, as I’m sure we all do, it is no longer an event that I shudder to recall regularly.  I was a High School and Junior High teacher in 2001, and I’ll always remember my students running into my classroom screaming “ Mrs. Andrews!!!!  Planes are crashing into the World Trade Center!” Initially the faculty and staff thought they were doing some crazy adolescent prank to get out of assignments. But as we all filed down for a school assembly before parents came flooding in to take their children home, we were struck with this nightmare being real.

I don’t get the same tingling in my arms when I see video footage any more like I used to.  I did not lose a family member or dear friend in these atrocious attacks like the hundreds of firefighters as well as WTC employees, Port authority officials, NYPD cops, and those who called their cubicles and corner suites in the WTC and Pentagon, “the office.”  My heart was broken for a loss of another kind. It was a loss of something I never had in the first place- none of us did- but 9/11 only exposed this.  After a loss of 3,000 lives and hundreds of billions of dollars, the great loss felt by all was loss of security and control.  I’m so grateful that the Department of Homeland Security was created after 9/11 and for all of the security at the airport ( it really doesn’t bother me because I know why we need it).  I’m thankful that the NYPD were a strong presence at the Foo fighters Concert I just went to at Madison Square Garden.  I’m glad to walk through metal detectors to go to Basketball, Football and Soccer games.

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Evil lives.  We can’t control it.  We can’t completely avoid it. But we can overcome it.  This world contains evil.  The evil is crafty and deceitful and void of compassion.  It does not care for life.  But love triumphs over evil.  And somehow the willing sacrifice of life, like the first responders who chose to give it all to help- only results in resurrection. So although we can try our best to anticipate and avoid evil, the very best tools we have against it are love, and life- truth and goodness. Osama Bin Laden is gone.  He can’t see us running through the park, and making babies and drinking and laughing on boats in the lake. We can’t show him how we are still living free- despite his efforts to tank our freedom once and for all. But thanks to all of the courageous men and women who responded sacrificially to save others that day, and those who still work day and night to secure us inside of our land, we can daily chose to live, and love and to remember.

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Beauty from Ashes

KetoPaleoPelotonCrossfit, GEEZ Get YOUR muscles how YOU please.

It doesn’t matter how. Be strong, be healthy, and know yourself. You may not want to lift dumbbells. You may love benching barbells. You may thrive outside. You may prefer air conditioning (or heat in the winter!). Just as you can be friends with people you disagree with, you can respect how others attain results /health goals and not have to get yours the same way.

I’m a gym rat sometimes, but currently I am getting hardcore lats in my back yard with a chainsaw and shovel. And cardio is swimming in the pool and the lake.





There’s something for you. In a world filled with billions of humans there are billions of ways. There’s no eating plan that will make you live forever. Skinny does not equal happy, and conversely “fat and happy” is a lie because you won’t be happy for long with high blood pressure and diabetes. You could kill yourself dieting and still gain weight if your stress level has your cortisol skyrocketing. 

Let’s get real. Relax. 

There are no magic potions…or powders.  I put pea protein powder in my blender sometimes with spinach or kale and blueberries. It’s yummy. Sometimes I don’t.

But I’m not religious about it. Religion kills, man! I can tell when I need to add some protein because of how I feel. Know thyself.

Your ancestors may have been hunters, so go eat your buffalo, but the smell of meat cooking makes me want to throw up. This is possibly due to PTSD from church cookouts in Florida in 100 degree summer heat, but I prefer cold, fresh things. Except when it comes to coffee. Cold coffee is satanic mud water. I still love you if you worship satan and like iced coffee and of course we can be friends! Only give me a heads up and I’ll bring my French press. 

You may prefer boxed cereal and milk and some Lays with French onion dip. That may not work out very well because prepackaged food often has things in it that mess with your endocrine system. OR you could have genetics of steel and the only vegetable you ever get is canned green beans and you live to 103. You have to do you. But if it’s not working- try something else until you find your fit. You’re free to decide. You don’t have to believe everything you hear. And ***you have permission to change your mind! ***You can ALSO change your opinions on things if you want. Even if you’ve told these opinions to other people.

You can nosh on Ben and Jerry’s on vacation even if you generally avoid sugar. You may be sleepy the next day, but probably won’t die. Let’s ease up and give ourselves some room.

I heard a fitness expert tell a woman one time that eating a banana she may as well eat a Hershey’s bar. She was SO confused!  I encouraged her to use common sense.  ASK back.  “How much potassium does a Hershey’s bar have for my post workout recovery from dehydration?” Because it is NOT 422 milligrams (that’s how much a banana has)!!!! If a banana grows on a tree and a Hershey’s bar is concocted in a factory, how are they the same? Sure a banana has sugar- but it has fiber so you waste the sugar your body doesn’t use. Does a Hershey’s bar have fiber to help you waste the sugar it contains? People tout superior knowledge on Macronutrients/ Micronutrients, and it can be intimidating until you realize- you can get the SAME info on all of this for yourself. You can learn all of this and have every tool you need to make sound decisions. And the BEST deciding factor is how you feel in your own body after you eat, or exercise. Own you.

Try it- if it works -keep going- if it doesn’t, move on. There are lots of experts! But you’re the best expert on you.  Get out there and show them what you know.




The FOOD One


My friend Ulunda is starting a new initiative with her family and asked me today about some ideas for snacks and other healthy eating tips for her kids this summer, so I snapped some pictures mid-prep and sent her ideas.  She told me I should make one of my blog posts about this… so here are some things I do with my kids to encourage healthy eating choices.  This is hard to do sometimes in the summer, when they’re in the kitchen scavenging for food NONSTOP. 

Most important- GET THEM INVOLVED :  I have a saying at my house “I ain’t raisin’ no free-loaders!” Grammatical errors aside- I intend to communicate that everyone is pitching in here.  One day they’ll need to understand that to eat, they need to prepare food-why not now?

IMG_6496IMG_6504We make homemade tortilla chips and bake them in the oven- no oil- no fryer.  Spray them with water and shake a little salt over them.  The water helps the salt to “stick.” We dip them in salsa which is- basically cut up vegetables!!! Win win.

IMG_6284IMG_6280A Staple of our summer is a chopped salad- I sprinkle Hemp seeds and nuts in for extra “crunch”- notice the ingredients in the almond topping – ALMONDS.  Thank you!!!IMG_6279IMG_6277IMG_6278IMG_6275We make our own dressing with oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt- sometimes I add lemon juice and other spices, and minced garlic.                         IMG_6276

IMG_6286IMG_6283Raw Cucumbers are more than edible when sprinkled with a little salt, balsamic vinegar, and sprouted seeds.  I love using pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

IMG_6293IMG_6294Easiest quiche EVER.  Put eggs, almond or coconut milk, cheese, and veggies in a jar and let the kids shake what their momma gave ’em! Pour into a pie shell and bake OR pour into a skillet and scramble !

I like to use the powdered peanut butter.  It’s easy to make- just mix with water- and spread it on a rice cake, apple, banana, Ezekiel bread. Save on a lot of excess fat and calories, as well as preservatives.  I also blend it with sugar free Almond milk in the blender for a PB shake!

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We all crave the fizz of a soda but know that water is ALWAYS better!  There are loads of sparkling water options  in many many brands and they are available at any grocery store.  But listen, when I go to the movies- I’m buying a Coke to have with my large popcorn. That’s just happening.  Incredibles 2 deserves my Coke and popcorn with peanut M&M’s.


These are all pictures we made for my friend while moving around our kitchen- because she asked for suggestions.  I am not an expert or dietician. This is a small glimpse into what we do day to day.  I’m trying to fuel my kids bodies to run well,  run strong, and run for a long long time.

‘Merica! My Country Tis of Thee

With all of the recent talk about immigration and contradicting views on the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, I can not keep thinking HOW LUCKY ARE WE – those of us that were born here!!!!  We recently took a trip to D.C. to show the kids the monuments, memorials, and give them a fresh infusion of patriotism. It was more meaningful than I ever could have hoped.

There was a stark contrast between the perceived giants of our land,fullsizeoutput_426c.jpeg

and the REAL giants…who MADE this land


I took the first picture of a motorcade parked outside of the hotel we stayed in, and told my friend “It’s like House of Cards out there!”  Elevators were cordoned off so that they could be secured while others were set aside for us to use.  I have to admit- I was a little starstruck! Who is HERE!!!??? What’s happening??  I’m sure people felt that way around Lincoln and Jefferson too, but when we visited these monuments it became clear.  They are the real Giants. They had a vision for all of mankind.   It was for FREEDOM.  It was for Advancement.  It was for people to be able to use their own minds to think and decide – and their own hearts to feel and understand what they wanted to value.  To quote Dr. Charles Fay, “A solidly free nation is one built upon the awareness that choices matter.” There are quotes etched into the walls of the Jefferson memorial that depict just such knowledge and insight  :



We worshipped a the National Cathedral, and then went out to eat Lebanese food with our friends from Jordan who were breaking their Ramadan fast.  We love them. They are free to worship how and who they want to, and so are we. And because we live HERE – we are free to love each other openly, and enjoy one another and celebrate our relationship.


I love this country.  I love Freedom. Sweet Land of Liberty…land where our Fathers died…


The most unexpected honor and privilege was a visit to the Marine Barracks.  My cousin’s  family is stationed there now, and it was such highlight to be with them, and to be in the presence of more TRUE giants.  The ones who daily pledge their very lives to sacrifice all they have for others to be safe, and to continue to be free.  We honor you, freedom fighters.


And no trip to D.C. is complete without a trip to the ZOO or the Museum of Natural History !!! There are so many amazing FREE things to do in our Capital, and so much devoted to education! We are going to need another visit!




  After the recent Headlines involving high profile deaths by suicide, a profound troubling came over me. I wondered if it could be a deep darkness covering humanity. To be sure, when we feel sorrowful or overwhelmed, it’s not only us.  I believe we are deeply connected to all of humankind and our common spirit can feel the pain, and joy of others. I’ve experienced this at Football and Basketball games when the crowd is roaring encouragement, and on an even higher level at soccer games (because of the SINGING!!!).   In my opinion, there’s nothing like the human connection acquired through a song. A LIVE song.  

For instance, when we watch the Liverpool game at the pub and everyone’s singing “You’ll never Walk Alone” at the top of their lungs…its a feeling.  But when you are at a Liverpool game joining your voice with other humans in common passionate expression- it is- to quote Boston… “MORE Than a Feeling.”  This is a LIVE experience.  When you listen to Joe Bonamassa sing Mountain Climbing in your headphones while you vacuum, it’s a definite feeling.  Certainly motivational.  But when you are stageside with that giant black speaker booming in your face, I dare you not to experience emotion, not because you’re sad, but because it’s LIVE.

And as an artist who has been gifted with the opportunity to hold the mic and hear her own voice through that giant speaker- that feeling of joining with others that KNOW THE WORDS sung from your heart and sing along with you is heaven. LIVE.

Now, because of my personality -which lends me to being creative and artistic, I also know of the struggle to fight melancholy funk. It seems the most uncanny and unrelated circumstances can swiftly send me to the edge of the precipice.  I know the thoughts.  “Maybe if I just open the door and jump out right now…” And whenever I TELL my people who are designated to hear these thoughts when I have them-they usually say “Oh yeah- I’ve had that too…”  And just bringing the thought into the light is usually enough to push back the dark.  Opening further still, telling how I got there, and hearing that ALL OF US get there, slowly pulls us back. 

  One of my DL’s (Designated Lifeline) recently lost her one and only love of almost 40 years to a sudden heart attack. She sent me a SONG to listen to. She listens to it every morning to urge herself to move through another day. And if the Lyrics don’t say…”LIVE- Keep Going”…then I don’t know what does.  The song is Nexus, by Dan Fogelberg, and it urges Travelers to Journey to the end of the light. I’ve included the lyrics to the song at the end of this post.

         The only way to LIVE is to LIVE together.  We must tell each other to LIVE.  The Spirit of life WITHIN us is the only thing that will keep us. We have to keep compelling one another to SING, to play, to speak, to move, to care, to do what you do and keep doing it- to the end of the light.  Sometimes we have to get in there and sing together, talk together, work together. Open your mouth to another LIVE human and tell them.  Let their LIVE breath breathe for you, like emotional life support.  You are NOT the only one.  There IS another human who is feeling : alone, not enough, fearful, hated, abandoned, overwhelmed, ashamed, despondent, tired, anxious, frustrated, hopeless…insert negative feeling.  

You’re also not the only one who has experienced what you’re experiencing.  It may seem accurate in your mind at the time, to consider  the thought, “No one has ever been in this situation…”. That is pure lies.  There is nothing that is not common to mankind. THIS very eventuality HAS HAPPENED to someone else.  It’s not just the overcast temperament that struggles with this. THINGS HAPPEN.  Bad things.

Today I got a troubling message from a mom friend whose son didn’t want the world to experience him live any longer. They were rushing him to the ER and called to see if my husband (an ER Doctor) was home or working, because they didn’t know what to do. This was after learning yesterday that my friend found a relative of his in a car filling with exhaust and had to pull him out. I know many  moms who are full of Grace and Optimism, and Love for their kids, who have in the past  – or are currently – taking them out of the home so they can get them the help they need. This is the hardest decision they’ve ever had to make. This is a fascinating time to be alive, but for some, it’s also a dismal time to be alive.  My friend’s son died of Neuroblastoma when he should have been going to 1st grade- while her marriage was simultaneously trying to fall apart.  Others have experienced waking up to find out that their years of marriage were all years of infidelity.  Parents have had to helplessly stand by and watch their babies on life support in the NICU while others observe their adult children (and not interfere) while they make STUpid @$$ decisions -and then witness everything crumble. 

Carrying heavy shit develops big muscles, so if you look closely you will recognize the bulging shoulders of others who have lifted loads the likes of yours. And when you do, ask them to tell their story, because it will bring healing to you both.  And if you have time, go listen to NEXUS, by Dan Fogelberg…lyrics are below.

Nexus, by Dan Fogelberg-

Across the vein of night

There cuts a path of searing light

Burning like a beacon

On the edges of our sight

At the point of total darkness

And the lights divine divide

A soul can let its shadow stretch

And land on either side —

Either side

And balanced on the precipice

The moment must reveal

Naked in the face of time

Our race within the wheel

As we hang beneath the heavens

And we hover over hell

Our hearts become the instruments

We learn to play so well

Wealthy the spirit 

That knows its own flight

Stealthy the hunter 

Who slays his own fright

Blessed the traveler 

Who journeys the length of the light

Outside the pull of gravity

Beyond the spectral veil

Within our careful reasoning

We search to no avail

For the constant in the chaos

For the fulcrum in the void

Following a destiny

Our steps cannot avoid

Across the vein of night

There cuts a path of searing light

Burning like a beacon

On the edges of our sight

At the point of total darkness

And the lights divine divide

A soul can let its shadow

Stretch and land on either side

Wealthy the spirit 

That knows its own flight

Stealthy the hunter 

Who slays his own fright

Blessed the traveler 

Who journeys the length of the light

In a spiral never-ending

Are we drawn towards the source

Spinning at the mercy 

Of an unrelenting force

So we stare into the emptiness

And fall beneath the weight

Circling the Nexus in a

Fevered dance with fate —

Wealthy the spirit 

That knows its own flight

Stealthy the hunter 

Who slays his own fright

Blessed the traveler 

Who journeys the length of the light

Boycott the Art CRITICS!

This is Becca. She is my bff.  We met in college, over 20 years ago, and became close, indeed, but besties is not a title we came to easily.  It took over a decade. She is stronger than anyone will know- because she is intensely private and there are things only some will ever know about her.  She has set aside bragging rights on goddess-like qualities in order to live honorably and humbly.

We are Best friends because we found ourselves in life circumstances so similar and so difficult that only someone that KNOWS can share.  We were forced into the foxhole at the same time and had to teach each other how to use our weapons and lay low. While we were there, we experienced something that is rare these days. And it is the reason why we are already planning our adjoining rooms in the spa-retirement home in Arizona, HOPEFULLY down the hall from John Mayer ( we will tell our husbands about their accommodations eventually). 

This is the reason :

Total acceptance and value with someone who DOESNT AGREE WITH YOU on everything, and doesn’t even BELIEVE the same things as you do about many things. Including faith and love and family and humanity and God and  even food, (she eats COWS, and drinks their milk…regularly…and even ordered steak across the table from me at dinner as I scraped the melted cheese off of my fried green tomatoes). There are many many things that we could get into heated arguments about if we wanted to. But we don’t.  We can’t afford to.  We need each other and we have to protect each other. We have chosen instead to give each other dignity and the right to use our brilliant minds to make decisions that we believe are best for us and our families.  We have to know that when we send the “SOS” text that there will be no judgement or shaming or trying to find what to blame. 

Not only this- but we look out for each other’s interests. Like- she goes out of her way to accommodate me on things we DON’T agree on. If I’m coming over to her house, she has non-dairy creamer for coffee. And there are topics of conversation I’d love to explore over that coffee but I will not suggest them- she needs to feel safe with me.  I can text her with a problem I’m having as a result of acting like a 6th grader.  But she won’t say, “What are you in the 6th grade!!!??”  She will say “Yep-that wasn’t the best decision…” and then HELP me. And she can tell me all the crap that’s driving her nuts and know that it won’t affect my opinion about anyone one bit.  

There is another aspect of this, I believe. It is creativity, or artistry. Becca is a gifted artist, and I think this could be why she possesses a rare quality that only a creator can…a love of creation so INCLUSIVE, and so forgiving, that she sees the Beauty in everything.

Is this possible on a broader scale?  Can we love people who we disagree with?  Can we listen to their thoughts and opinions without thinking about how to talk them out of it or convince them of something?  Can we value people who don’t align with our stance?  Are they still WORTH our time?  Yes.  Because they reflect beauty that mirrors all of creation.  Humanity, the crown of creative expression, is something to be prized and treasured more than any other art. There is nothing we can create, design, dream, invent, or form that will ever be as unique as a human. So let’s appreciate the human art that is all around us.  Let’s not be “art critics,” – assessing and evaluating other art like a Raoul Dufy painting facing off at a Picasso. 

Ding Dong Ditch


Last week, during an evening of bonding with my teen through the ritual of driving practice, she had an ingenious idea!!! More on that soon…

In our state, a prospective driver must be in possession of a learner’s permit, and must also have logged 60 hours of driving before attaining a driver’s license. This driving must be under the supervision of an adult 18 years or older, who also has a driver’s license.  This means parents. Unless you have some benevolent grandparents, other relatives, or a friend that is bound to you by blood covenant. Why else would you get in the car with an inexperienced motorist that is more concerned with finding the right song on the radio than STAYING INSIDE THE WHITE LINE ???!!!
As parents, from the very moment we see their slime covered red faces, we take for granted that we are willing to risk our lives for our wee cherubs. But as a friend or even a blood relation outside of immediate parental units, a passenger/instructor to a student driver is just willingly subjecting themselves to mental anguish for the sake of another teen loosed on the roads. OR they are getting paid a hefty sum as a driving instructor. This hefty sum allots for a large triangular display that is mounted on the hood of the vehicle to WARN inform other surrounding drivers. For this reason, it’s usually the parent you will find in the passenger seat perpetually swatting their teen’s shoulder. This whacking- which usually coincides with cussing- becomes second nature like a form of Tourette’s each time the car in front of you puts on their brakes. Maybe I am the only one that exhibits this hand to shoulder contact throughout our entire time in the car, but I venture to guess there are others.

There’s another way that I recently experienced the opportunity to carry my cross in the passenger seat, with the added challenge of the capacity to sacrifice my reputation in our community. The inherent Payoff was something parents of teens are not often presented with. None other than …BEING ACTUAL COOL – albeit for 5-7 minutes, or until you change the radio station because you can feel Metallica burning your soul.

We were practicing 3-point turns and parallel parking in a local neighborhood when my little darling says… “Hey mom! Watch this. It’s SO fun.” She promptly abandoned the car with me inside and jumped out, leaving the drivers side door ajar, and ran up to the front door of an arbitrary home. I then realized I was an unwitting accomplice to a live-action ding dong ditch.

As if the evening wasn’t eventful enough, (for me anyways), she wanted to replicate this procedure, to which I vehemently objected. We had to exit the neighborhood, and fast, before we got nabbed by the neighborhood watch dog. You KNOW there is ALWAYS is at least one. That person which takes guarding themselves and their neighbors very seriously.  In an upper middle- class subdivision this may entail enforcing edged laws. In a more urban environment, this crusader is oft seen glaring through their mini blinds when thug activity is afoot. These are the informants who can identify height, weight, hair color, and adornment or accessories of any kind worn by perpetrators. They are also keenly informed on all breed of dog, so as to accurately identify any lawn poop that has not been immediately picked up and bagged. This self-imposed position crosses all socio-economic divides and stands to defend and protect the territory surrounding their dwelling.

Wouldn’t you know, that this very individual’s home is the VERY one that my brilliant, Harvard bound, statistically informed offspring arbitrarily chose. I found myself curbside in front of the abode of the neighborhood superintendent. The chieftain. The Shepherd of the neighborhood flock.

Meanwhile, the rush of post “ring and run” adrenaline produced in baby driver a 5-second 100 -meter sprint back to the drivers seat, where the car was immediately shifted to DRIVE and off we went into the … cul-de-sac.
Oh man. That was a lack of foresight. And failure to the notice the word “Court” behind the street name displayed as we frenetically ran through the stop sign. Now we were faced with no choice but to turn around and attempt to pass back by the home unsuspected.
At this time, a wave of revelation came over me, and I was able to offer this sage advice to my young grasshopper : “Stay cool, stay cool. Just follow the speed limit, use your blinkers when turning, and keep driving.” Now, before you say it…I KNOW! I know- How did I have the presence of mind to utter such a pearl of wisdom? I’ve been meditating regularly. Maybe that’s the trick.

This tactic-which is also useful following a five-O spot- was working SWELL. Until we rounded a corner and an oncoming SUV (with some extremely bright headlights, I might add), drove directly up to our vehicle, blocking our way out of the neighborhood. Then the vehicle blocking our path stopped. In front of our car. Headlights to headlights. Like a Disney Pixar Cars face-off. Now, why would a car drive over into the wrong lane and park itself in front of another vehicle driving in the opposite direction? Probably because they were just settling in for an episode of The Bachelor, with popcorn and Pino Grigio when their doorbell rang.  They were forced to drop their remote to answer the front door, but no one was there.

My eldest and I looked at each other with a knowing glance. We had to stop the car. there is no ramming into an oncoming vehicle and then quickly making a get away in a suburban neighborhood like they do on TV. She stopped the car. The driver of the other car exited their vehicle and yet LEFT THEIR GLARING HEADLIGHTS ON to shine in our faces. Surely this was an interrogation technique, meant to illuminate the truth out of us. As the petite blonde neighborhood FBI representative approached our car, I do not think she expected a fellow mother to occupy the passenger seat. She appeared to briefly consider turning around, but with stalwart determination made her way to the driver’s window where she addressed my trepidatious teen. “Are you ding-dong ditching?” She wasted no time getting to the question. No pleasantries, no polite banter or small talk. Mission minded.

Instead of answering the inquisition, sweet baby driver turned and looked directly at me. I immediately knew what had to be done. I must lie. What kind of person leaves behind their evening’s entertainment and abandons the safety and comfort of their couch at 10 pm to run down and apprehend a ring and run suspect? The kind of person that will stop at nothing until justice is served. Not only would this potentially delay my daughter’s reception of her license – which we NEED her to have so she can run to the store and other errands for us without our accompaniment – but as the supervising adult of a driver with a restricted license I saw my vehicular freedom pass before my eyes.

It’s disturbing how quickly our deceptive cahoots kicked in. “No. She is not.” I responded. “We are looking for her friends’ house.” Now that taking the lying approach was established, baby driver wasted no time. “Sorry about that! I had the wrong house! My friend lives in this neighborhood and I realized as soon as I rang the doorbell that it was the wrong address.” The covert agent, with a knowing, yet suspicious look asked, “Oh, who is it that you’re looking for? Maybe I can help you find the right house.” We both knew she was SO onto us, but thinking fast, baby driver said. “Her name is Jenny.” And I immediately followed that with a convincing, “Do you know the Finchers?” Our victim didn’t indeed know the Finchers. Probably because they don’t exist. At least they do not live in her neighborhood … to her knowledge. It was likely my adult verification of the lie caused her to believe that we were indeed searching for Jenny Fincher and simply mistaken about the location of her home. I mean, what 40-year-old mom participates willingly in a prank and then lies to another adult about it??? We do not know anyone named Jenny Fincher, much less an entire Fincher family. We made that up. We are horrible liars and we don’t want to lose our driving privileges. We will never ding-dong ditch again. I suppose I can not speak for baby driver. I will never again be party to a ring and run.

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