Author: Rene Syler


So Good Enough Mother is navigating the awkwardness of adolescence all over again. Not her own (which was sheer JOY) rather that of her two children. And one of the major rites of passage is the boy-girl party.

A while back, Cole went to his first boy-girl affair, the birthday/going away party for some friends. This party was a throw down! It was in a converted warehouse with great DJ’s, music, black lights, all the soda they could drink, picture-taking booth, you get the picture (no pun intended). So when I picked him up I mentioned, this place might be ideal for his own party. He was STOKED, I thought it would be easy and how much could it cost, realistically? Are you sitting down? 30 kids, DJ, black lights, music, a “party motivator” (uh, yeah) that would run a cool $6,800. Yes, that’s right. No, there is not an additional zero on the end by accident. Six thousand eight hundred dollars!

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Diddy, Diddy, did he? Why yes he did, GEMs! Back in January this year it was widely reported that Sean “P.Diddy” Combs bought his son a car for his 16th birthday – an event documented on MTV’s ‘My Super Sweet Sixteen’. But not just any car, a 360,000-dollar Maybach! His duly grateful son, Justin Dior Combs, said it was the best birthday of his life. Ya think?

Well now Diddy is coming under fire. In an interview on last week’s Nightline on ABC, Diddy defended his right to spend his money how he sees fit, including a car that costs more than the median home price in this country.

Come on now! Surely Good Enough Mother cannot be alone in thinking this is WAY over the top for a 16-year-old! Yes I know Diddy has a lot of money. Yes, I know he loves his son but is he doing a disservice to his kid?

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Do you think kids are dressing appropriately nowadays or a bit too provocatively?

An online group thinks they definitely need to cover up more and is taking aim at retailers who target them. Mumsnet makes a few good points in its “Let Girls Be Girls” campaign. They say, among other things, that short shorts and t-shirts with questionable wording introduce girls to a sexualized world too soon while we as parents are busy trying to teach them to resist the pressure to become sexually active at a young age.

Are they onto something? Take Suri Cruise, for example. Rarely does a day go by where the daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes is not photographed dressed to the nines in sundresses and glittery shoes with kitten heels. But come on now. Is Suri trying to be sexy? I doubt it. She’s three. It’s all about the pretty in her world.

When Good Enough Mother was a kid, one of my favorite memories was playing dress-up. My own good enough mother had a trick. She would go to yard sales and buy all the fancy dresses and shoes for like 5 bucks, and then store everything in a chest in the garage. On rainy days, we were dressed to the nines, with sequins, pointy-toed pumps, faux furs, you name it, we ran around in it. (Little known fact, when you wear the rubber heel off the bottom of the pump, if you run in the street, scraping said heel against the asphalt, sparks will fly up. Really. Double the excitement when the potential is there to trip on your too long dress or have a spark ignite it!) Like Suri, we just wanted to be pretty.

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Welcome to the end of the year GEMs, we almost made it (I am of course referring to the school year rather than the actual year. The former is a source of celebration, the latter rather more depressing – ‘how old am I?’)

Naturally, end of the year activities are in full swing and that includes picking up the overpriced school yearbooks.

Casey brought hers home yesterday and through all of the “HAGS (have a great summer) and SUNY (see you next year) signatures from her posse I saw this:

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He had enormous eyes that literally took up a third of his face. We knew then, not much would get by him. He had a will made of iron, strong and unyielding. We knew then, he would not be taken advantage of. He had a soft side and loved to cuddle. We knew then someday he would make someone a good spouse. He had a favorite teddy bear, Night-nite bear, with which he was most gentle. We knew then he would be a good father. (By the way, you can read more about Night-nite bear’s untimely demise in Good Enough Mother, the Perfectly Imperfect Book of Parenting. Suffice it to say, it was not pretty. If you are ever driving down a stretch of Orlando road keep an eye out for him.)

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Meet Rene

photo of rene syler



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