Nov 12 2012
Though our kids typically take the bus to school, not long ago I was one of the many 4th grade parents on the elementary school campus.
Parental chauffeuring was necessary in order to safely transport book projects from home to school. As I walked down the hallway, I was treated to an eyeful of lovely, highly-decorated, well-designed dioramas. Sophisticated and polished. Ones that looked NOTHING like the one Lilly had made. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 9 2012
The original costumes, pre-Fiddler on the Roof.
Up until 15 minutes before we left the house to go trick-or-treating this Halloween, my 5-year-old daughter was going dressed as a medieval princess. Her biggest brother not only made her a crown with matching veil, he also whipped up jester costumes for himself and his younger brother so they could accompany her as wandering minstrels. It was all set. Photos were taken and everything.
But then, my daughter changed her mind. She no longer wished to be a princess. Now she wanted to be Tzietel from “Fiddler on the Roof.”
Well. That’s quite a thematic change, isn’t it? Read the rest of this entry →
The night I realized that we had nobody to parent our children for a stretch of October, I cried.
My husband had a major conference in Reno, and I had a 10-day festival to run. That left us with no one.
For lots of folks, this kind of problem has an easy fix: Granny Nanny. But eight years ago my husband and I, childless and independent, moved to DC, leaving the closest grandparent five hours away. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 8 2012
Recently I sat down with forms for my daughter’s new day care, ready to answer endless questions about whether she uses bottles or sippy cups and how we get her to fall asleep.
I was not expecting to have to answer any questions about my pregnancy and delivery, which happened nearly 15 months ago. But in a section labeled “Part Four: Pre and Post Natal,” there were a few shocking questions including one that made me stop in my tracks: “Did you have any anesthesia or medication during delivery?”
Really?!? What does a day care need with that information? Here, I thought I was moving past my birth experience, enjoying my daughter walking, talking, and climbing, and day care was throwing it back in my face, effectively saying: you may have damaged your child with an epidural.
Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 7 2012
When Miles was little, we were very careful not to overschedule him. He was and actually still is a child that didn’t transition well from one activity to the next, especially since he has ADHD.
We have tried to follow one simple rule–only one sport per season. Up until last year, when multiple activity options presented themselves and Miles expressed interest in participating, we were pretty successful at abiding by this self-imposed restriction. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 6 2012
Donate clothes your children have outgrown or just don't wear
As part of our month-long series dedicated to Women, Work & Money, Alina Adams shares her strategy for donating time and skills instead of money.
When I wrote my earlier piece about how to save money by (primarily) not caring about what other people had, I stressed that it applied to those in your higher and comparable financial strata. Caring about people who have less than we do is a completely different issue.
However, when it comes to tzedekah, I have chosen to teach my children that there are ways to contribute other than monetarily. Not only because, as a teacher and a writer living in New York City with three kids in private school we don’t have a lot to spare, but also because I truly believe that giving means more when you actively do something to heal the world, rather than merely pay someone else to take care of what you perceive to be a problem. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 2 2012
Driving past towns and daylight and whining, we make our way to my husband’s home town.
I note the sun setting in slices against open fields. Miles of blues and oranges blending together above corn and cows and red tinted barns as Friday makes its way into Saturday.
The kids are immersed in their movie, and we’re just a titch beyond pointing out the animals, the fields, the memories that make this road trip something different.
We haven’t been here for years. But today we drive into town, and tomorrow we’ll visit my husband’s sick grandfather. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 1 2012
Last month, Kveller announced an initiative in conjunction with PJ Library to give $5,000 to one non-profit organization, as chosen by you, the readers of Kveller. The generous donation is coming from Harold Grinspoon, founder of PJ Library.
We received nearly 300 nominations for some truly amazing organizations out there, and we’ve now narrowed the list down to 10. The rest is up to you: voting has officially started today to choose the winner of our tzedakah extravaganza. You can vote once a day until November 30th by visiting our voting page here.
Help be a part of this wonderful opportunity by voting for the non-profit organization that you think deserves it. And remember, vote early and vote often!
Remember, if you live in the New York metro area, you can sign up for PJ Library through Kveller and receive amazing Jewish books and CDs in the mail every month.
“I’d rather shove a fork in my eye.”
That was my response when my husband said his parents called and asked if we’d like to come spend the last Shabbat of Sukkot with them in the ultra-Orthodox community my husband, children and I recently moved out of. It wasn’t any one thing in particular that gave me the knee-jerk, panic-stricken reaction to shout, “NO!”
In part, it was the fact that my relationship with my in-laws has been cordial but not particularly warm. It was the idea of spending 24 hours in a place where I’d never felt like myself. And much more basic than that, I hate packing my boys and all their belongings up and taking them somewhere unfamiliar to spend the night. They don’t ever sleep well, which means I don’t sleep well and that translates into one miserable weekend for everyone. My husband said, “Think about it and we’ll let them know tomorrow.” Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 31 2012
When I became observant I gave up half of my favorite foods and TV and shopping on Saturday. I don’t miss those things one bit.
What I really miss about my old life is Halloween.
Read the rest of this entry →