Feb 22 2013
Jordana recently posted on Facebook about an article she’d seen on wsj.com. The title of the article, “Small Acts, Big Love,” pretty much sums it up.
Basically, a recent study shows that people who find small ways to show their partners that they care are happier in their marriages. Not surprisingly, when you’re compassionate, loving, just plain nice, you make your partner happier, and you feel happier, too. The research is focused on the small things–like warming up your husband’s side of the bed or peeling your wife’s orange or bringing home his favorite dessert. Apparently, the little things add up.
I read the article and it got me thinking about hot seat, a game my family would play on Friday nights growing up. Each week another family member was chosen to be in the “hot seat” and everyone at the table was required to say something nice about the person. Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 8 2013
That is how my daughter says, “Bim Bam.” As in, “Bim, bam, bim bim bim bam, bim bim bim bim bim bam.” Sing it with me if you will. I know this song inside and out. In fact, I am kind of an expert. I sing this little ditty approximately 4,000 times a day. Baby G is 18 months old, and Bim Bam is rocking her world. Baby G does not want to sing it herself, of course. In fact, she doesn’t actually want to sing it at all. She prefers to have it performed for her. By me. And who could blame her? I am the Lady Gaga of Bim Bam.
Little kids love repetition. You know that thing inside us adults that finds about 99% of things in the world annoying if we have to hear them more than twice? Yeah, little kids don’t have that. In fact, it’s just the opposite. When little kids find something they like, they like the hell out of it. As in, “Let’s make that thing I like aural and visual wallpaper for every waking second of my life–and then, when I wake up from my nap, we’re going to do it ALL OVER AGAIN! YEAH!” Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 1 2013
Tamara’s experience of Friday night, erev Shabbos, is very different than my own. To me, as a young child, Friday night was extra special precisely because my father was always there.
When I was a kid, my father traveled for business. He would leave on Sunday night, my mother, siblings, and I tearfully waving him off as he waited for the elevator. He would return Friday morning or late Thursday night. Every single week for as long as I can remember. Read the rest of this entry →
Jan 25 2013
Lately, I have been desperately seeking Shabbat.
At least I think I am and then I wonder if I’m just wishing the week away. Wishing away another seven days of snow and cold; tantrums and snotty noses. During the week, dinner is a mad dash to bedtime. My toddler gets more on the floor than he does in his mouth, the dishes seem like an impossible task plagued by the absence of a garbage disposal, and don’t even get me started on bath and bedtime. Times two.
The end of the day is hard and I’m rarely coherent enough to be mindful or graceful in my execution of motherhood. 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 →
Right now we have two adults and one picky toddler eating solid foods in our house and on Friday night, we always have lots of left over challah.
One of our family traditions is to make challah French toast on Saturday morning. Literally, the first thing my son says when he opens his eyes on Saturday morning is, “Challah French toast day!” (God forbid I attempt to serve him cereal.) Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 10 2012
Five years ago my husband and I completely ignored Shabbat for the last time. Eager to arrive at our friend’s 30th birthday party, we kissed our (then) 3-year-old son and baby girl goodnight, gave the sitter cash for pizza, and made for the door. By then we were hosting traditional Shabbat dinners most weeks. I liked the idea of a weekly ritual that brought our family together, but I didn’t want to feel shackled to it either.
As we walked away our son yelled after us, “But what about my Shabbos dinner?”
The poor kid sobbed. He didn’t want pizza or a babysitter. He wanted chicken, kugel, challah, candles–the whole nine yards. Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 20 2012
It happened again.
A suicide bomber blew up a bus full of Israeli tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria on Wednesday, killing six people and injuring over 30.
These people were on vacation. They went to a resort city to relax and to get away for a bit, as we all do every now and again. They chose a destination that was different and interesting from their normal environs, yet noted for a comparative absence of anti-Semitism.
And yet, Jewish blood was deliberately shed. Again.
Note I said Jewish blood, not Israeli blood. The person or people who committed this unspeakable act murdered my people. I may be American and not Israeli, but it doesn’t matter: these people were murdered because they were Jewish. Just like the rabbi and children in Toulouse, France earlier this year. Just like the bombing at the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina 18 years ago. Just like the brutal murders at the Munich Olympics 40 years ago–murders which the world still refuses to honor with even one minute of silence. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 27 2012
Last Friday, exhausted and still jet lagged from our Passover travels to Canada, I found myself up at the crack of dawn, elbow-deep in challah dough and determined to make a challah–in the shape of a giant key! Apparently there is a custom before the first Shabbat after Passover to bake challah with a house key stuck inside of it and/or in the shape of a key. Known as “Shlissel Challah,” (shlissel means key in Yiddish), this custom is supposed to be asegulah, or good luck for sustentance or financial success for the coming year. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 20 2012
The story of parenting is one of stepping back and stepping away.
The baby leaves your womb, then your breast, and eventually your bed.
Instead of running into your arms, your daughter runs into the world.
Instead of babbling constantly to you, she prefers chatting with her friends.
Going off to school, first she cries and clings, then walks slowly away with a quick turn to wave, and later–a “goodbye, Mommy” and a sprint to the kids at the other end of the schoolyard. Read the rest of this entry →