Search Results

Touching Down by Sharon O’Donnell

Yes, I know that parenthood is all about raising your children so that they are independent and can fly off on their own, ready to face the world and be successful. And of course, I want that for my kids.  Any parent would. I’ve been lucky that my two oldest sons have succeeded while also staying close to home; they went to college 15 minutes away, and my oldest son’s first job was here in the same town that they grew up in, and the middle one has accepted a job here also to begin next year after he finishes his Master’s program. Although my nest was emptying, with only my 16-year-old still left a home, they weren’t flying very far away. We could still meet for lunch or dinner, and holidays were always easy to plan due to the lack of travel.

Recently, though, my oldest son, Bill, has decided to move six hours away to Washington, D.C.  in July. Not that far away from Raleigh, but still — it is AWAY.  He is the first one to leave this town we have all thought of as ‘home’.  He went to a Master’s program at the University of Virginia … Continue reading..

Go to Touching Down by Sharon O’Donnell

No More Baseball Games by Sharon O’Donnell

Since 2006, one of three boys has played middle or high school basketball and/or baseball — not to mention recreation teams in city leagues. Throughout those years, my husband and I definitely saw the good, the bad, and yes, sometimes unfortunately, the ugly. The sports took a huge time commitment from our sons and also from us. Alas, those years are now officially over. I’m both disappointed and relieved.

My youngest played on the high school JV baseball team last year, even though he sat on the bench a lot. It was a stressful season followed by a summer baseball season that was also stressful, so this year I actually suggested to my son that he not try out this year and instead enjoy more free time and more time to study.  However, my son decided he wanted to try out anyway — but he didn’t make the team. I still feel that my son could have contributed to the team as well as some of the others that were chosen, and I hate that feeling a parent has when your child is being treated unfairly. But I have to admit that a big part of me was relieved that … Continue reading..

Go to No More Baseball Games by Sharon O’Donnell

One Foot in Front of the Other by Sharon O’Donnell

It’s been a long time since I have blogged, but I thank Robin for keeping me around so that I can still express things here.

Growing up in Raleigh, NC  in the 1960s and ‘70s, I have many memories of hot summer days at the outdoor Pullen Park pool, feeding peanuts to the pigeons at Capitol Square, checking out books downtown at the Olivia Raney library, and going to Kurt Russell Disney movies at the Cardinal Theater in North Hills. But no memory equates with that of going to the Christmas parade in downtown Raleigh at nighttime where the lights and the pageantry were magical to me.  I always went with my best friend, Tina, and both of us always loved the reverberation of the bass drums of the marching bands signaled the impending arrival of the band. It was the epitome of excitement for two seven-year-old girls.

Back then, presents and Santa Claus were of course, a big part of Christmas, but that wasn’t what I remember most.  What I remember most vividly about being a child at Christmas was the way I felt.  It was the atmosphere around me complete with candles, Christmas trees, and good things on … Continue reading..

Go to One Foot in Front of the Other by Sharon O’Donnell

Drivers’ Ed Again by Sharon O’Donnell

My youngest son, Jason, just completed the classroom portion of Driver’s Education, that iconic rite of passage for teens and a major step on their road to independence.  As the mom of two older sons who have long ago traversed the week-long daily classes from 8:00 to 2:30, this is my third time around — not to mention my own DE class that was held in the very same high school class that my three sons took it. But with each one comes that sense of dread — of wanting my sons to be safe and to impart my years of driving wisdom to them.  In looking for Driver’s Ed material among my documents, I came across the following bit I wrote in a blog seven years ago when my middle son, now 22, was about to get his license.  I think it still applies today:


  Driving is very much in the news in my own home since my 15-year-old son, David, recently received his learner’s permit. My oldest son, who is 18, didn’t have quite the same Driver’s Ed course as David did.  The questions on David’s on-line quizzes covered much more information than the basics I remember Continue reading..

Go to Drivers’ Ed Again by Sharon O’Donnell

One More Game by Sharon O’Donnell

My middle son played high school basketball and baseball throughout his entire four years. He could have played college baseball, but the anxiety that he struggled with in high school made him lose his drive and passion for baseball — not his skill — he still made all-tourney teams and played well.  In college, he no longer played a competitive sport, and all that practice time went into studying. He is now a senior and will graduate in December with a degree in accounting from North Carolina State University with a 3.5 GPA or higher.

But I’ve missed watching him play baseball and basketball. He had been a terrific player on the JV high school basketball team, sometimes scoring 20 plus points a game, and I loved to see the intensity with which he played the game. As a junior, he was basically a player who was inserted into the lineup when the team needed a three pointer, and he usually delivered – – but playing time was mostly for the seniors, which we understood. When he was a senior, he started out the first game (as pro player John Wall watched) with five of his teams first ten points … Continue reading..

Go to One More Game by Sharon O’Donnell

Size Evidently Does Matter by Sharon O’Donnell

I’ve had a Facebook page for years and have had a Twitter account for several years too, although I don’t know how to use all the Twitter or my I Phone’s features. One of my nephews recently showed me how to take a photo of a screen shot of a text. Earlier this week while waiting in my car in a parking lot, I decided to take a screen shot of a text and then sent it via Twitter to the  Twitter account of a local sports talk show on the radio.  My middle son had texted me something the previous night regarding a basketball game between NC State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He texted that the key match-up in the game would be that of Justin Jackson for UNC and Maverick Rowan for NC State because Rowan could not possibly guard Jackson, who is much quicker. My son sent this before the game even began.  NC State came out and took a 13 point lead and was really hot, until yes — Justin Jackson went on a 12 point scoring tear midway through the first half, helping the UNC Tar Heels catch up … Continue reading..

Go to Size Evidently Does Matter by Sharon O’Donnell

It’s Not About the Decorating by Sharon O’Donnell

This was a very hectic time this year right before the holidays with some family sicknesses, the death of a family friend, the birth of a great niece, and some traveling. My youngest son was also wrapping up his first semester of high school, a very demanding feat. Before I knew it, it was the week before Christmas, and I still didn’t have any decorations up or candy or cookies made. I’d done a lot of shopping, but none were wrapped — and some I’d have to go into closets and try to find.

My oldest son who has always been sentimental about Christmas has his own apartment now, so he wasn’t around to prompt me to decorate early or to help with the effort. And our two-story house does require some effort. The electric candles in the windows have always been a staple of our decorations, but they are always such a pain to put up; first, you have to move furniture to get to the blinds, and then you have to get the candle behind the blinds and find somewhere within reach of the cord to plug them into. At least, for the past two years, I got … Continue reading..

Go to It’s Not About the Decorating by Sharon O’Donnell

Mom of Men by Sharon O’Donnell


When my oldest son moved into his first ‘real’ apartment two months ago, I wondered how long it would take before he started calling there ‘home’ instead of the house he grew up in and lived in for most of his 24 years.  I have to admit that I cringed when I heard it slip out over Thanksgiving for the first time. Up until then, he was still calling our house ‘home’, but my husband and I overheard him telling a relative that he was going to watch the Panthers football game that afternoon. “Where are you going to watch it?” the relative asked. Our son paused and he nodded his head toward my husband and me, as he replied, “Over at their house.”   THEIR house???  My husband was quick to respond, “You mean OUR house.”  But the damage was done.  The transition had been made — the time had arrived.

I’m pleased that our son is obviously enjoying living in his new single apartment complete with the independence that comes with it, but we do miss him. Same goes for our senior in college who also has another “home” away from our house — although it is an old … Continue reading..

Go to Mom of Men by Sharon O’Donnell

Aunt Mary Stewart by Sharon O’Donnell

My Aunt Mary Stewart died last week at the grand age of 100 years old. She was the epitome of the Southern lady, full of goodness, hospitality, faith, and words of wisdom.  Back in March, our whole family got together to celebrate her 100th birthday, and this photo was taken then of her and her great-grandchildren.



She loved her family dearly — her three sons and daughter, her grandchildren, and these great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and her two younger brothers — the only two siblings left of the 12 children her parents brought into the world. My father, 91, is one of those brothers, along with the baby of the family, my Uncle Ben, who is in his 80s.  My sister and I had the honor of driving these two men to the funeral services for their beloved older sister, and I have to say it broke my heart to see the two of them sitting there in the church — once part of such a huge family that has now dwindled down to two of the original 12.  I like to envision my Aunt Mary Stewart arriving in heaven into the arms of her late husband, Mack, her 9 … Continue reading..

Go to Aunt Mary Stewart by Sharon O’Donnell

Furniture Shopping with My Oldest Son by Sharon O’Donnell

So my oldest son is done with grad school, passed most of his CPA exams, and is preparing to start his first ‘real’ full-time job with a major accounting firm in a few weeks. He just officially moved into his first apartment — a one bedroom apartment with a 2nd floor pool view and right in the middle of lots of restaurants and shops.  And his closet is bigger than the walk-in closet my husband and I share.  Actually, ours is  more of a -step into — not a walk into.

My son, Billy,  still doesn’t have all the furniture he needs since he was starting from scratch.  The main thing on his priority list was a TV stand. Still no sofa or chair in his living area, but hey, that’s okay. I have to admit, I have really enjoyed the time I’ve spent looking at apartments and furniture with him. I relish it. Of course, shopping for anything is not his thing at all — so it’s not like we exchange ideas about style or decor; basically, he is simply looking for something inexpensive and a reclining sofa with cup holders. I knew we would be looking for just … Continue reading..

Go to Furniture Shopping with My Oldest Son by Sharon O’Donnell