Lisa Manheim, from Connecticut, is a mom to a kindergarten son, stepmom to three teenagers, and English teacher to dozens of eighth graders in Westchester, New York. Beside these full-time gigs, Lisa is involved with scads of Jewish organizations so that she can interact with other adults, while doing her part to make the world a better, campier place.
My son is really good at video games.
Ouch! That hurt to say out loud.
And double ouch because I am an English teacher. I dedicate a good chunk of my time to reading and writing, and extolling…the virtues of reading and writing. Conversely, I have spent years denouncing time-sucking video games, arguing that a child’s finite time would be better spent doing almost anything else. And then I had a kid. And that kid, for the most part, lives here with no other kids. (My husband’s kids are teenagers and are with us… >> Read More
This past summer, I taught my child to fail.
This must defy some canon of parenthood, which compels us to equip our children with all the things they need to succeed.
But by summer’s end, my…husband and I had exhausted our bag of tricks (and our patience) trying to teach almost-6-year old Emmet to ride his two-wheel bike: the same bike from which he had begged us to remove the training wheels, after watching a younger neighbor zipping around on two wheels. At first, we tried balancing him on the… >> Read More
The most poignant lesson I learned about parenting happened seven years before I became a parent.
Unlike many friends of mine who married in their 20s, adulthood was not “delivered” to me in a…pink or blue receiving blanket, cooing and drooling. Instead, I became entrenched in the world of directing summer “teen tours,” which involved supervising a bus full of about 50 teenagers, as well as a group of recent college-grad counselors. In preparation for running this “camp on a bus,” counselors and directors participated in an intensive… >> Read More
Independence Day has come a bit early in our house.
As a mother of just one, all my maternal energy is focused on my single offspring. With no sibling living full-time in our house, Emmet gets all…my attention--undivided and unsolicited. I watch every tennis lesson, bring him to every birthday party, and beg him for all the minute details of his day: who he sat with on the bus, what games he played during recess, and exactly what he ate for lunch. While I am lucky to have three lovely teenage… >> Read More
This Passover, I’m in charge of the brisket.
In our family, briskets are served steaming with a large measure of pride and a pinch of vanity.
In my house growing up, holidays meant eating in…the dining room on the large chairs with rose velvet cushions, and using our fancy china with tiny pink flowers. And despite the fact that my father always bought my mother a gigantic bouquet of flowers on the eve of a holiday, the brisket was the real centerpiece of our dining room table. >> Read More
Growing up, my parents liked to take Sunday drives around the scenic parts of Connecticut: to watch changing leaves, visit aging relatives, drive over covered bridges. During one of these outings,…I fell asleep in the car and when I woke up, I asked my parents if we were in Texas. Their shock and horror likely prompted them to make the generous offer, some years later, to send me abroad my junior year of college: a last-ditch effort to provide me with some geographical context. I… >> Read More