On Friday afternoon, while I was alone with my infant daughter for amoment, there was a knock at the door of our hospital room. A short, pudgy woman–who just begged to be called Bubbe–pushed her reading glasses up on her nose and looked down at her clipboard, “Are you the Rosen-Prinz family?”
“Yes,” I replied quietly as the baby lay asleep in my arms. I had become accustomed to the constant daily interruptions after many days in the pediatric intensive care unit where doctors worked tirelessly to diagnose my baby with what we would come to learn is a very rare illness.
How much social media exposure is harmful to children? Is it wrong to exploit the extreme cuteness of our offspring for vain social media interests? How about for money?
For Nick Confalone, the 6-second Vine videos seemed harmless at first–a creative outlet for a bored stay-at-home dad. But, as he describes in Slate, the road to social media fame is a slippery one, paved with Klondike bar deals.
First came the Ellen interviews, then there was the mass reassurance from followers that he was, in fact, a “good dad,” and soon endorsement deals from Gap and Klondike started trickling in. Read more →
This week, a dear old friend came to visit. We haven’t seen each other for a long time, but we seem to be on the same mama schedule–we both have 2-year-olds and are pregnant again.
We sat outside drinking iced tea, talking about birth and motherhood and the 15 years since we met. We talked about how confident, driven, and maybe a little entitled we both were in our early 20s. How much has changed since then. And how much of what we’ve learned, we’ve learned from our kids.
Both committed to a natural birth, we ended up with C-sections. Both committed to exclusively breastfeeding our babies, we ended up with serious nursing problems that made that goal physically impossible. And we’d both carved out wonderful and unusual careers that grew out of our passion for our work, involving tons of travel, and have turned out to require some major re-adjustment–especially as we head into two-young-kids territory. Read more →
I’m a Jew-by-choice. But my conversion to Judaism wasn’t voluntary. When I was about 4 or 5, my Catholic parents converted and took me and my siblings along with them.
I don’t have a great recollection of the process. I vaguely remember the mikveh, which just seemed like a trip to the pool. I remember standing in front of the congregation as our conversion was announced. But that’s about it.
But while I don’t really remember the conversion itself, my experiences growing up as a converted Jew were instructive. Indeed, considering every adult should be free to choose his or her own religious path, choosing to alter your child’s path requires additional consideration. Here are some things to consider before converting your children.Read more →
You won’t know whether to laugh or cry over this devastating mashup. Who would do this to Princess Elsa?
Basically, the “Frozen” princess (reimagined as Piper Chapman from “Orange is the New Black”) finds herself doing time with hardened Disney princesses like Tiana of “The Princess and the Frog,” Merida of “Brave,” and Belle of “The Beauty and the Beast.” Things get ugly.
Check it out. But you might want to spare the children.
The turquoise Mediterranean glittered in the late afternoon sun. Smoky barbecue drifted toward me as I helped my daughter and her cousin build sandcastles. No English for one and no Hebrew for the other, they built a beautiful, sandy city together with nods and smiles, gestures and touches. Up ahead three horses carried their riders toward the dunes. The sun sank lower.
The boys played Frisbee. The girls built their castles. The grown-ups drank beer and sparkling red wine, and the dog lay in the cooling sand, watching and sleeping.
They were photo-perfect moments happening every second, and my cousin ran from group to group and captured each one. “Chayim babu’ah,” she said. Life in a bubble. Read more →
This Monday, for the first time, my eldest son and I saw eye to eye.
I do not mean in the metaphorical sense.
After I’d driven the other children to camp, Aryeh joined me on the sidewalk outside our apartment building so we could take our morning walk. Glancing over my left shoulder to ask him which direction we should walk in, I discovered that I no longer had to look down to catch his eye. Our gazes were exactly level. My son–my baby!–was now as tall as me. Read more →
In two weeks, I am scheduled to visit Israel with my family, including my two young daughters. We have been talking about this trip with them for weeks, excitedly planning each detail. My 4-year-old has learned a great deal about Israel in her preschool this year. She knows about the shuk (market) and the beaches. She knows the signs we will see with Hebrew letters and the food we might taste. She knows the Passover story and about how the Jewish people fled slavery in Egypt and came to Israel. But most important, she has told us about the notes to God she plans to put into the Kotel (Western Wall).
While I have a strong desire to show my children Israeli culture and Jewish holy sites, a major impetus for this trip was also to visit my 93-year-old grandmother, who recently lost her younger brother. I also want to see my aunts, uncles, cousins, and my wife’s cousins along with all their young children–all people who I love and miss.
In those halcyon days when I knew everything about parenting (i.e. before I had children), I worked as a television researcher for figure skating. Because figure skating is a sport where potential Olympic contenders have to start intensive instruction at a relatively young age, a good percentage of the athletes I worked with were forced to move away from home in order to work with a championship coach at an elite training center. Some did it while of high school-age, while others were as young as 12 or even 10. Most ended up either living in dormitories or with local host families.
As a childless parenting expert, I knew exactly what I would have done in their mothers’ places. If I ever had a kid who I sincerely believed would benefit from living away from home, whether in the name of athletics or academics or what have you, then, without a doubt, I would relocate with them. (Which is exactly what 1994 Olympic Champion Tara Lipinski’s mother did, leaving her husband behind in their home in Texas, while she and Tara lived in Delaware and Detroit.)
As of this writing, I do not have a future Olympic champion on my hands. Nor do I have one of those kids who enrolls at Harvard or MIT at age 12. Read more →
CNN reporter Fredricka Whitfieldlearned that real quick when her interrogative line of questioning prompted Joan Rivers, who was trying to promote her new book “Diary of Mad Diva,” to angrily storm off the set.
But not before the Jewish comedienne delivered this epic monologue: “I’m going. All you’ve done is negative. I’ve made people laugh for 50 years, I am put on earth to make people laugh! My book is funny! I wear fur that was killed 15 years ago! I work for animal rights! Stop it with this ‘And you do this, and you’re mean, and you do that.’ You are not the person to interview a person who does humor!” Read more →