Yesterday I packed
a PBJ and pretzels and two kinds of fruit

pink watermelon and red cherries, ripe and ready

I slipped in a note
telling you to have a good day
penned in purple marker
embellished with hearts and curlicues
like you drew
used to draw
for me

only I didn’t
want to risk it
so I didn’t

Today I packed
a ham sandwich
without the ham,
cheese and pickles and lettuce
for my fickle vegetarian

and only one napkin
because you aren’t the messy one

and pretzels yes again
(you ate all the popcorn with your friends)

sliced apples with a squirt of lemon
so they’ll keep and not go bad
keep for hours
maybe days
maybe more
if you left them in your locker

keep for years
and never change,
never turn

I slipped in a small surprise –
a mini Snickers bar
from the woman at work
who keeps candy in her office
who has a teenager, too
who shows me photos
of hugs and smiles and picnics and trips

who asks of you
just before I ask about that project
for that client

Tomorrow I will pack
another PBJ
and strawberries
and pride
and expectations
and worry
and hope

and pretzels yes again

©2015 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz



©2013 all rights reserved CEStankiewicz

I love my just-turned-16-year-old with all my heart.

But she’s a teenage girl. And I’m her mom. So right now, we’re about as compatible as Voldemort and Harry. Texas and OU. Seinfeld and Newman.

From all the books I’ve been reading, I’ve learned that it’s supposed to be that way.

It’s Perfectly Normal.

It. WIll. Be. Okay.

I know she’s just going through a phase. And she really does love me as much as I love her.

Yet…some days….hoo boy. It’s crazy. She’s just so….so….well, so sixteen.


It’s sullen and stubborn
and oh-so sarcastic,
silly and sassy
and sometimes just…spastic.

Storming and swearing,
occasionally savage,
snippy and sourpussed
(daily, on average).

Short-tempered, sharp-tongued,
and slanderous (maybe);
skeptical, sulky
and self-absorbed, baby!

Slovenly, sensitive,
slothful and surly;
sophomoric, sure –
and still-little-girl-y.

But above all: surprising —
those times when you meet,
and you have to admit that
sixteen can be…sweet.


©2013 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

A Limerick A Day – Day 19 – Buyer Beware



You’ve probably heard Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” playing endlessly on the radio, but have you seen the video? (WARNING: there’s one lyric that may be NSFW- depending on where you work.) My 15-year-old turned me on to it some months ago, and I just love it. Cracks me up every time.

My older teen discovered our local thrift shop scene about a year ago. I’d been dragging both daughters to Savers and Goodwill to buy the occasional one-wear-only school performance outfit and to find winter sports gear that they’d don only a few times before they grew out of it.

One day, the 15-year-old spotted a sweet Delia’s sweater for $1.99 and a brand new pair of Abercrombie jeans for $2.99. She was hooked.

On our recent Spring Break road trip through Texas, New Mexico and Colorado, we stopped at a few places to get our thrift shop on. She ended up with an entire “new” spring/summer wardrobe. I landed a baby blue Coach bag for $14.99.

Poppin’ tags, indeed.


Buyer Beware

Once you’ve scored at a thrift store, it’s funny
How that feeling is sweeter than honey
As you load shopping bags
So full from popping tags
That you’re sure to go broke saving money.


©2013 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz