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Jul 22 2014

Kid, It’s Time You Got a Job

By at 2:03 pm

boy using saw at woodshop

Exactly two years ago, I wrote a post about how my kids would be doing nothing all summer long. Our laissez-faire experiment went so well in 2012, that I repeated the lack of structured activity in 2013. I’m a big believer in the notion that boredom is good for children. And if they dare whine about it, I tell them to clean the house.

However, 2014 is shaping up to be a horse of a different color. While my 7-year-old daughter continues to be footloose and fancy-free (though we are systematically working our way thorough the “Disney Princess Cookbook”), my almost 11-year-old son won a grant earlier in the year that allowed him to attend two weeks of computer camp and then a coding conference in England. I’ve already made it clear to him that this is a one-shot deal and he should enjoy every single moment of it.

But then, there is the issue of my oldest son. He just turned 15, finishing his freshman year of high school. Previously, my husband left the dispensation of our kids’ summer schedule to me. This year, he informed our older son that he expected him to get a job. Read the rest of this entry →

May 14 2014

Your Old Mom Is No Longer Available–Try This One

By at 2:50 pm

toilet

Sweet face. Naughty smile. Huge brown sparkling eyes that stared straight into mine. We’re not usually at eye-level. He’s only 5.

“Will you, Mom? Get me the sunscreen? Now? Will you get it for me now?”

We were having this conversation eye-to-eye because I was sitting on the toilet. I’d been in the bathroom 30 quiet seconds before he barreled in with all his bursting, small-boy energy. It was only 8:30 a.m.–he still had oodles of it. And he needed the sunscreen, right now, immediately, now, now, now. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 1 2014

My Husband and I Switched Sides of the Bed (and Our Marriage Survived!)

By at 2:49 pm

sleeping

When I told people that we were considering a change-up after almost a decade on our respective sides, they recoiled in horror.

“That would be grounds for divorce in our house!” they shouted. “We would move into separate rooms before we would swap! You will never sleep again!”

I have never been a middle-of-the-bed type of girl. In my unmarried years, I trended towards the side farthest from the door, probably with the subconscious thought that if someone nefarious broke in, they’d get to the first empty pillow and give up. When my husband moved in, there was no bed-side discussion; he simply filled the gap. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 28 2014

On the Other Side of Parental Boredom is Awe

By at 1:54 pm

toys

This post is part of our Torah commentary series. This Shabbat we read Parashat Pekudei. To read a summary of the portion and learn more, click here.

I have to say right away that my daughter is not boring. She’s a little strawberry-blond spitfire who cracks me up with her sense of humor, amazes me with her expanding grasp of language, keeps me on my toes, and regularly blows my mind.

But still. We’re not exactly peers; it’s hard to find activities to equally entertain a 22-month-old and a 37-year-old. Mommy and Me is cool, and we’re both into baking, but there are only so many sing-a-longs you can attend in a day, and if I bake chocolate chip cookies four times a week I’ll never fit into my clothes again. So on our longer days together, a certain amount of boredom inevitably ensues. Sylvie gets bored when I take too long in the grocery store bulk aisle. I get bored pushing her on the swings. She gets bored when I do dishes. I get bored singing “Old Macdonald Had a Farm” (again). And so on.

Boredom is generally considered a bad thing. And I can’t say it feels particularly good. But recently I have been experimenting with seeing it as a spiritual teacher rather than an enemy. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 8 2013

Being a Homeschooler, I’m Used to Snow Days

By at 12:00 pm

snow with house Here in Maryland we just experienced a nice little snowstorm, and while I can’t say exactly why work and school were cancelled for so people many over just a couple of inches of snow–snow that didn’t even stick to the roads, no less–I can’t say I’m disappointed. I enjoy snow days! Yet so many of my friends on Facebook are lamenting that they are so bored being trapped inside with the kids all day. Read the rest of this entry →

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