It’s a GIRL!


My daughter/sister/bestie is 17 today!

Anna left at the crack of dawn for the DMV, and returned with a huge smile on her face and a driver’s license in her wallet. Once I was done jumping up and down with her in the driveway, I found myself in a puddle of tears. And, the tears aren’t stopping.

I’m hoping that some time here on the computer will help me sort out why I’m finding today so overwhelming. If I can just find the words, I might be able to make some sense out of all these emotions.

I’m excited for Anna. 17 is huge and getting your license is a great achievement. I know that some kids these days aren’t too interested in driving, but our girl has been obsessed with cars since we let her drive up the driveway on Block Island when she was twelve years old. She organized a driving instructor and even talked us into giving her Dan’s car over a year ago (he took the train today – anyone selling a car?). When our girl gets her mind set on something, she’s all in. And, Dan and I have also been looking forward to this milestone. Not needing to worry about getting Anna to and from school and lacrosse practice – AND having her help with errands is going to be wonderful.

So, what’s with all these tears? Here’s what I’ve up with:

1.) There is always the “Jack Factor”. That punch in the gut when there’s a bold reminder of something that Jack will never experience. That was further highlighted today when I realized that the rest of my day included stocking up on his diapers at Target, dealing with Medicaid, and setting up some doctor’s appointments. That punch never goes away.

2.) The phone call to our insurance company adding Anna to our plan. Even with the “good student discount”, the increase to our policy was startling. Probably not enough to make me cry, but it certainly made me pause.

3.) As much as I love having a daughter/sister/bestie I can’t believe I no longer have a little girl. Wasn’t she just born?

I won’t go into all the details of the day Anna arrived, but I will share that it wasn’t quite as beautiful as I had imagined the birth would be. I had begged my doctor to allow me to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section). Jack had been breech and 10 pounds – a scheduled c-section. I’d felt cheated from having a typical “birth story”, and thought that this was a great idea. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as fun as I expected. I had signed up for a VBAC, not for a natural delivery, but by the time Anna arrived, any bit of pain medication was gone. GONE.

Needless to say, I was in agony. The only thing that kept me from continuing my four-letter-word rant, was when I heard the doctor say, “It’s a girl!”

I stopped screaming to ask, “Are you sure?”

Dan and I didn’t know the gender of either Jack or Anna before they arrived. We loved the idea of the “ultimate surprise”, but truthfully I wasn’t ever expecting to have a daughter. Dan’s sister, April, is the only girl of her generation on the Torrey side. And, Pop Pop (Dan’s father) is one of four boys. When Dan and I started our family, I really pictured myself as a mom of a couple of boys. “It’s a girl” was a complete surprise. We had no name prepared and nothing pink waiting for her arrival. I just stared at this little peanut as she was placed on my chest, wondering what it was going to be like to have a daughter.

It’s been amazing, but how did the time go so quickly? How is that little girl with no name or pink blankets driving a car to pick up her boyfriend and go out to lunch?

Okay – I got it. I’m hysterical because my job as Anna’s mom is reaching the end. Thank goodness MyMom is on her way for a visit. I need some love. Hey, wait a minute . . .


Love, Jess

Happy Birthday Banana! You can come home now. I’m done crying for now;)




Never easy.

Jack turned 17 this summer. 17 is the magic age in New Jersey when you’re granted the ultimate symbol of independence – a driver’s license. His birthday had come and gone without much thought of what he was missing, but lately I find myself driving down the streets of Maplewood, horrified as I see familiar faces behind the wheel of large SUVs. Faces of children who’s diapers I changed.

Not only does it seem dangerous to trust these kids with cars, but it’s another reminder that Jack is no longer moving at the same pace as his “typical” peers. He will never drive. He can’t even sit in the front seat of our car (that’s not a safely thing – it’s that he changes the radio station and loves playing with the heat warmers).

So, I’ve been feeling a little melancholy with this added reminder of Jack’s lack of independence, and then on Friday I got hit with the other side of things.

Further proof that I live between two worlds — Anna has just completed Driver’s Ed. She walked in from school on Friday and announced that she “passed the test”. I tried my darndest to sound happy for her, and I am. I’m looking forward to a day not filled with pick-ups and drop-offs. I’m also excited for her to gain the freedom that a license can provide. But, when I think about handing the keys of our car to our perfect little girl. I start to panic.

Life is never easy. I’m both sad for my son NOT to get his license and I’m freaking out that my daughter WILL.

Luckily, we still have some time before Anna can get her license. Even after passing the test, she can’t even get her permit until June – thank goodness we live in New Jersey. I need a little time to prepare for this next stage of worry for this mama raising kids in two separate worlds.

Love, Jess