Dec 17 2014
“Why are people constantly telling me to chill?” my 15-year-old dramatically demands of me. “Who says I’m not chill? I am very chill. I am the epitome of chill-ness!”
Then he heads off to the most selective public school in NYC, where he is a sophomore taking eight classes, including AP History, and participates in Model UN, sews costumes for the play, draws cartoons for the newspaper, and fills out paperwork for college grants. When he’s not volunteering at the Jewish Museum. Or constructing balloon art. Read the rest of this entry →
May 13 2014
A lot of the time that I read Jezebel, the preeminent feminist blog of our time, I find myself nodding along in agreement with its stances of equality, feminism, and personal choice, as well as its clever takes on pop culture (even if it’s a tad too snarky at times for my own taste). Jezebel generally offers commentary that I both recognize and learn from.
And then sometimes, I read something and feel so extraordinarily distant from the prevalent sentiment being shared that it’s difficult for me to wrap my head around this alternate world. In honor of Mother’s Day, the website posted an article on the moms who express remorse over having children on the social network Whisper, a clearinghouse of anonymous confessions that range from the hilarious to the horrible. Some of these “momfessions” are understandable, if tinged with a little sadness: “I’m a mom, but I obsess over my old life. I just miss it so much”; “My daughter ruined my body;” and “I truly love my kids, but I’m starting to regret having them so young.” Others bordered on humorous: “I read my daughter’s tweets, she doesn’t know. She seems like a real asshole.” But some were just plain appalling, like this one: “I hate my son. I didn’t want a boy. I wanted a girl.”
But what really struck me was the comments section, at last count nearing 1,500, and which did vary but mostly stuck to one theme: “Honestly, most parents I know IRL, say this stuff to me all the time. That they love their kids, but if they could take it back….When we tell them we don’t want kids, they say, ‘Good… DON’T DO IT!’” and, “I didn’t want kids when I got married 32 years ago. Now, I’m really happy to say I didn’t give in to the societal pressures that still existed then. So many of my friends whispered ‘You were right’ after their kids were born.’” And this: “I rarely hear anyone say anything positive about parenting.” Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 3 2012
Naming a Jewish child comes with much responsibility
Naming another human being is a tremendous obligation.
It is the first of many duties of a parent and the name you choose will grace your child from the moment they are born. It is how you as parents will come to know your baby and how his friends will eventually call to him on the playground.
Naming a Jewish child comes with added responsibility. A boy’s Hebrew name will be spoken by his parents during prayer and blessing. It is the name by which he will be called by the Rabbi to the bimah on his Bar Mitzvah and the one his wife will lovingly commit to under the chuppah. And, God wiling, after a long, fruitful life, that same name will be whispered in Yahrzeit by his children and grandchildren.
One of the main sources of inspiration we use when naming our children, for both their Hebrew and English (secular) names, is a family tree. My husband and I both come from diverse backgrounds and we feel compelled to give our children meaningful names that reflect what we have passed on both historically and genetically. Read the rest of this entry →