Archives for posts with tag: teens


A little over a year ago, my then 13 year old daughter had to go to the doctor for her yearly checkup. She was dreading it, because she knew she was chubby, and that the doctor would lecture her on losing weight, just like she did every year.

Old doc didn’t disappoint. My little girl left the office depressed and sulky with a wounded pride and a prescription for her acne.

Over the next few days she moped around the house, barely eating. When I’d fix her breakfast or dinner, she would bring her plate back up having eaten little. This went on for a few weeks, and I finally had to give her a talk about how if she wanted to lose weight, not eating wasn’t going to get her anywhere in the long run.

We shopped for sensible snacks, and cut out soda all together. She started walking on the treadmill we have in the garage for 30-45 minutes most days. I begged her to let me weigh her, but she refused. I think she was scared that the scale was going to reflect the same old fat number she’d had at the doctor’s office.

One morning I told her that she was going on the scale – that we had to see if what she was doing was working. If it wasn’t, we’d find another solution, but we had to know.

My girl had lost over 10 pounds in less than a month. And this was why I wanted her on that scale – that number motivated her to keep going.

All through the year she watched what she ate, but didn’t deprive herself of the occasional cupcake or egg roll, and kept up her exercise. I knew the weight was coming off because pants I’d bought her just a few months back didn’t fit her anymore, and the XL T-shirts I’d bought her for Christmas hung on her like nightgowns.

Fall rolled back around and it was time to head back to the doctor for another check up – but she was looking forward to this one. The nurse took her blood pressure, checked her vision and her height, and put her on the scale.

A few minutes later, she came back into the office to double check the number on the scale. She said the doctor had seen the difference in weight, and wanted her to double check that she hadn’t made a mistake.

My husband, daughter and I chuckled at this.

When the doctor came in, she was amazed at the change. My child, with hard work and determination, had lost almost 40 pounds over the course of the year. The doctor asked her how she did it, and congratulated her on good choices. She apologized for sending the nurse back in to double-check the scale, but explained that so few children actually lose the weight once they are told they need to, that she’d assumed it was an error.

Doc looked at her and said, “you really made my day.”

And doc made her day too. She was floating on air the rest of the afternoon, even though she had to endure a flu shot and her final HPV shot. She’s still watching her portion size and getting on that treadmill.

And I’m still buying her new clothes…size small.



When I was growing up in northern New Jersey our town’s Rec Center used to hold ski trips. The kids would meet in front of the Rec Center, board a bus and head up to Vernon Valley for an afternoon of skiing. There were times where my mom and I, while running errands in town, would pass the Rec Center and I’d watch all the kids lined up with their bags and their skis waiting for the chartered bus to pick them up.

And I was so envious of them.

I grew up in a pretty wealthy town. We were not wealthy. We weren’t on skid row or anything, but there was no extra money to be spent on nonsense like lift tickets and ski rentals. So, Rec Center ski trips were out of the question for me. I acted like I didn’t care – like those kids were all assholes.

Some of them were. But a lot of them weren’t. They were kids I ate lunch with, or might walk part of the way home with. But they could afford to go on the Rec Center ski trips, and I couldn’t. So like any brooding teenager is apt to do, you viewed them with a cool loathing rather than blatant envy.

I did eventually ski though. While I might not have been able to go on the Rec Center trips, my Junior year in high school I became friends with this guy Paul whose parents had a house by Hunter Mountain. Ah Hunter… One of Upstate New York’s finest ski lodges.

For the next 6 years or so, Paul would call me on a random Thursday night and say, “We’re heading up to Hunter tomorrow…wanna come?” It wasn’t always winter either. Sometimes we went up in the summer and attended a festival at Hunter Mountain. Sometimes we just went up for some R & R. But if it was winter? We went skiing.

I was never a great skier, but I learned how to hold my own on the intermediate slopes. I only rode an actual ski lift a few times and dreaded/planned my departure from the chair the entire way up. My trip down would take my about 25 minutes as I would slowly shoosh my way down making a very wide, very horizontal path.

Susie Chapstick I was not.

I remember one weekend a whole bunch of us went up to Paul’s house. It had snowed gangbusters the night before so conditions were going to be phenomenal. The day turned out being a real keeper – temps hit the mid 50s; folks were skiing without coats. We went back to the house, put beach chairs in the snow and drank a case of beer.

It was AWESOME. I left Hunter in February with a sunburn.

My best ski trip ever though, was when I was in Austria. When I took my semester abroad, our school sent us on a ski trip to Semmering. Having not skied in a while, I decided to use the free ski instruction the lodge provided. Our teacher’s name was Norbert, which I found humorous…were his parents undecided between Norman and Burton?

Nobert? He turned out to be a real perv. While doing snowplow turns down the bunny slope, he would shoosh up behind me, wedge his skis between mine and push his pelvis against my ass in very firm, very suggestive manner. It wasn’t just me… he did it to all the girls. He got very drunk at the lodge party later that night and tried very hard to grind us a wee bit more on the dance floor.

But during that day, as I made my way down the slopes an hour south of Vienna, I thought about those kids that used to go on the Rec Center’s ski trips. I could never go, but here I was in Austria. AUSTRIA. On skis. Me.

Beats the hell out of Vernon Valley.


During the summer between 7th and 8th grade, I experienced a rite of passage that almost every living, breathing human being undergoes…their first kiss. And as is so typical of Tracy, it was not your average kiss. No, mine did not happen at the end of a first date, or in the dim lights of the school gym during the Miss LHS dance. No, mine was not so sweet as that.

I spent a lot of weekends with my Aunt Carol growing up. My Aunt is a blog post or two in itself – I loved her dearly and her apartment was home sweet home for me at least one weekend out of every month. She lived in a complex that took up an entire block…a rather large block. There must have been 40 to 50 apartment buildings housed on that one block. There was a group of younger boys I played with that lived in the building right next to Aunt Carols, so I usually stayed right in her little courtyard.


However, kids will be kids and at times we got bored. That’s when we would stray. We never left the block, but we would wander along the pathways that led to other courtyards, and other kids. I didn’t know any of them because I lived in another town, but my friends knew them, and they usually didn’t get along with them. There would be taunting and chasing, and we’d eventually wind up back where we belonged – usually after some wise words from me. I’m not a big fan of confrontations.

One day during that summer between 7th and 8th grade, there was a boy I’d never seen before. We’d been walking through the complex and he was out hitting wiffle balls, sporting a NY Mets cap. My friends, being Yankees fans, began breaking his chops about the Mets. This is a totally normal NY/NJ occurrence…Mets fans get picked on. It’s almost like a food chain thing.

His name was Tony, and I was a tad smitten. I was around 14 at the time, and he must have been 16. He was cute…dark hair, cut off jean shorts and a halfway decent physique. When we began teasing him, he started to chase us around. I liked it. I especially liked getting caught.

It was getting late and moms began to call their kids home for dinner. I told my friends to tell my Aunt I’d be right there. I was having fun playing “tag” with this very cute guy who was more my age than the boys I usually played with when I stayed with Aunt Carol. It was warm and the sun was going down, and I was having too good of a time to go home.

We kept chasing each other for a few more minutes and I remember I plopped on the ground to catch my breath. He grabbed me and said “Gotcha!” I was saying stuff like “The Mets still suck!” and he was tickling me. The next thing I knew, he had pinned me down with the plastic wiffle ball bat. He hung over me for a second or two and that’s when he did it.

I knew he was going to kiss me, I just didn’t realize it was going to be a KISS kiss. Rather than a soft, innocent kiss, he mashed his lips against mine and before I knew it his tongue was in my mouth.

His breath was really bad. I thought, “Is this what kissing is like?” I was not enjoying this.

In fact, I found it utterly repulsive.

I got up and ran home. A few minutes later there was a knock at my Aunt’s door. There was Tony through the peephole! I begged my Aunt to tell him I was in the shower…anything to avoid talking to him. I was both embarrassed and disgusted – I’d reacted like a child, but I couldn’t help myself. It was so gross!

The next day I saw him again, and he apologized. I told him I just wasn’t used to kissing that way and that he’d caught me off guard. It was so uncomfortable talking to him. I was sure he thought I was a total baby for running away. After that when I went to visit Aunt Carol I steered clear of his section of the complex.

Now it’s just another story I tell my girls during boring drives home from town. My introduction to boys and romance was balls to the wall. There was no dipping my toe in the pool to see how it felt – I got pushed in the deep end instead.