For those of you who may not know Alamadre means both a toast to mothers and what the fuck!

Or how did I get here? A question I’m sure every mother asks herself at least once.

You’ve caught up with me as I’m navigating limbo–not the crazy back breaking dance or the misty place where unbaptized babies go–I’m raising teenage sons while in the grips of menopause, am peddling my memoir, Stretch Marks and visualizing, while I weed the garden, my NPR interview with María Hinojosa where we’ll talk about my husband and I adopting two toddler brothers while living in Ciudad Juárez, one of the most dangerous cities in North America.

It’s ironic that as I prepare to launch my book, I’m also nudging, with a crowbar, my oldest out into the world. It’s taking superhuman effort to do both and remain sane! I would sell my soul to fast forward four years from now when I can read on my hammock butt naked, if I want, and make love on the kitchen counter before going out to dinner.

My plan–Countdown 2 College–is to make home life for my sons uncomfortable enough to get them salivating at the thought of living on a college campus. Nothing else has worked to date. As my older son said two years ago, ‘free food and TV, why leave?’ Trust me and forego the notion of reason, the studies are in, they are brain damaged until 23-25 when the grey matter finally solidifies and all of the wiring is in place and sparking.

Here are a few ideas to get you going:

1. Stop frying anything in the morning, instead go out with your partner or friends to breakfast without them. It’s cheaper.

2. Cook dinner as little as possible. I have started Cereal Sunday, What’s for dinner, Guys? Monday, Leftover Wednesday, Forage Friday, and Take-out Saturday.

3. Hide the remotes to all electronic devices.

4. Stop allowance.

5. Find them jobs during the summer.

Stay tuned for more ideas on how to nudge your smart, witty, polite, and unmotivated children off the dole. I’d also appreciate hearing from you and welcome all ideas from other mothers in limbo.


Liz Raptis Picco