Feb 21 2013
“Abba, what are those doors up there?”
“I’m not sure, I think it is some kind of a fence.”
“Can we go visit them?”
“No not tonight, sweetie, we are going home now.”
We are driving back from Tzur Hadassah, a suburb of Jerusalem within the Green Line (which separates Israel and the Palestinian territories). The quickest route back into Jerusalem (and into the beds of our two sleepy children) is past Betar Illit and kvish haminharot, the “tunnel road” which connects Jerusalem to the Gush Etzion bloc in the West Bank. Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 24 2012
Last week, the NRA responded to the unspeakable, horrific tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut with the proposal to have an armed guard in every school in America. Several NRA supporters went further: the phrase “arm the teachers!” frequented Facebook and my Twitter feed for days.
Guns have no place in schools. They have no place around children. They have no place in a learning environment wherein the most fundamental tenets are tolerance, respect, community, and peaceful conflict resolution. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 5 2012
Sunday afternoon a 2-year-old was killed at our zoo in Pittsburgh after falling into the Painted Dog exhibit.
The words “mauled to death” almost made me sick as tears welled up in my eyes. I take my kids to that zoo almost weekly. My 2-year-old just started walking on his own instead of seeing the animals from the safety of his stroller. I wear my infant and push the empty stroller, just in case he gets tired and wants to climb in for a ride. I am often preoccupied with the bulky stroller or fussy baby and he runs ahead a little. The other day I turned my head for a moment and lost him over near the Komodo dragon exhibit. A moment.
Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 21 2012
My baby's on the move.
My first boss in Washington was like an honorary big brother. In between directing our little staff about housing policy matters, he offered life lessons. “When you have a kid,” he assured me, “you’ll be ready to hurl yourself in front of a moving car just to make sure it doesn’t hit them.” I guffawed. Throw myself in front of a moving car? That sounded dangerous (and crazy).
And yet, he was right. He had the benefit of already being a parent and knowing about danger and fear from the other side. Read the rest of this entry →
Jun 14 2012
I’ve thought this, or its equivalent, approximately 980 times a day in the past few weeks. Why? Because my baby is on the move.
I’m not talking about the one comfortably ensconced in my uterus. Thankfully, she seems to be doing well in there. Occasionally, I feel her burp or hiccup or whatever the heck she does all the time. Since this is my fourth kid, we’re well past those idyllic days I remember with the first fetus–you know, where you lovingly put your hand over your belly and feel the movements, where you have your husband bend over and talk to and sing to the little tadpole. Yeah, that ship has sailed. Read the rest of this entry →
May 22 2012
My 3-year-old daughter likes to talk to strange men.
She approaches them without any trepidation, outside of her preschool, at the park, at the grocery store, at ballet class. She’s fairly savvy when it comes to social interactions, so she’ll often start with a question designed to engage the man-of-the-moment in a conversation before launching into her own monologue:
“Hi! Is that your motorcycle? I like it! I have a baby doll! Do you want to see her? She had a headband, but I left it at school. We’re going to get it tomorrow. My little sister has the same baby. Grandma Dede gave it to me.”
“Hi! Are you putting that cereal there? I’m going to ballet class. That’s why I’m wearing a pink leotard and pink tights. I don’t get to put on my tutu until we get to ballet school. We’re getting chocolate bunny crackers for a special treat because today is the last day of ballet.” Read the rest of this entry →
May 15 2012
Looking back, I am quite sure that my great-Uncle Sid was a sexual predator.
In those days no one seems to have known what that was, and certainly no one talked about it. But even when we were very young, we knew he was not the guy you wanted to be with, especially if you were alone. When I was little, he bent down to kiss me and my sister and would stroke our non-existent breasts. When we got older, my father would hold us away from him, but he was still allowed to kiss us. What were people thinking?!
My dad was a good, involved father and yet it would not have occurred to him to confront the situation. He just protected us from inappropriate touching. And that was considered enough. Read the rest of this entry →