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Jun 20 2013

The One & Only Job of a Grandparent

By at 2:06 pm

I got the sandwich orders from my children for our Septimus family picnic. I substituted rainbow bagels for the plain bagels for the little kids. When I called my younger daughter to clarify something, she said, “Are you getting rainbow bagels because my siblings ordered them or because you’re giving the kids a treat?”

“It’s a treat,” I replied.

“You never would have gotten them for us [her and her siblings],” she said accusingly. “You would have told us they caused cancer.”

She was right. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 17 2013

Before You Know It, You’re Sending Your Grandkids Off to Camp

By at 9:54 am

boy jumping off dock sleepaway campFirst they leave your body, then they leave your breast, then your bed.

The next thing you know they’re on a bus to sleep-away camp.

Adina Soclof’s recent piece about sending her child off to camp resonated with me.

Only I will be sending my grandsons off to camp. Well, actually, their parents will be.

I just can’t believe it. I vividly remember standing at the bus stop sending their mom, my oldest child, off to camp. I didn’t feel teary but I felt disoriented, almost confused. Why weren’t I and my husband going off to camp? It really seemed like we should have been getting on that bus. We, who met at sleep-away camp when I was 16-years-old, he 17. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 25 2013

The Pros and Cons of Living With Your Parents (As a Parent)

By at 6:52 pm
grandmother and granddaughter baking

Charlotte and Bubbie.

The best part of multi-generational living is unlimited FREE babysitting. Sure, you have to give up things like personal space and privacy, but sharing a home with an extra two adults (who love my daughter as much as me and my husband) is priceless.

For the past six months, I have been cohabiting with my husband, baby, and parents. It’s like a follow up episode of 16 and Pregnant on MTV, except I am 35 and the father of my child is officially my husband and gainfully employed. Last spring when our lease was up in Brooklyn, we decided the time had come to say goodbye to the east coast and move to Seattle. Without definite job security, we took a leap of faith and moved in with my parents to their 2 bed 1.5 bath condo. More and more I know friends who are moving back in with their parents, even after getting married and having a baby, to save money and for the mutual support. Of course this is how much of the world already operates. If you have a good relationship with your parents, it can be a win-win situation in many ways. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 23 2013

On Tu Bishvat & Grieving for My Dad

By at 9:36 am

Tu Bishvat begins this Friday. For some, this holiday will only register because a child enrolled in Hebrew school (or Jewish Day School) will come home with a sandwich bag full of dried fruits and nuts or with a story about the Tu Bishvat Seder she participated in at school.

But for most of us, this admittedly minor Jewish holiday will pass without much (any?) fanfare. The concept is great: a New Year for the trees. The winter rains in Israel are on their way out; its time to welcome spring, to honor the earth in all of its life-sustaining glory, to get our fingernails dirty and plant something. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 24 2012

News Roundup: Lie-Detector Tests for Nannies, Bulletproof Backpacks for Kids

By at 4:01 pm

All the parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this week.

- Nanny Interviews Get More Aggressive. They now sometimes involve lie-detector tests and private investigators. [Insert nanny-state joke here.] (Wall Street Journal)

-The Ultimate Amenity: Grandparents. Some families are choosing to buy or rent apartments for their parents so that grandparents can be nearby. (NY Times)

-Since Newtown Shooting Sales of Kids’ Bulletproof Backpacks Soar. No surprise that lots of parents are snapping these up (they’re $200-$500). (Washington Post)

-Why Is My Kid Such A Picky Eater? Here are some ways to help get around your child’s aversion to leafy greens and anything that isn’t light brown. (Slate)

Dec 14 2012

Sharing Family Stories–The Time is Now

By at 9:56 am

A few months ago I asked my grandparents to tell me some of their old stories. I can’t say exactly what made me think to ask, though knowing them has always been important to me. I’ve never seemed to have the time.

There was always some good reason not to call my grandmother or something more important than asking my grandfather what he remembered of his grandfather. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 7 2012

What We Learned From Dr. Wendy Mogel

By at 11:09 am

Yesterday, as part of the Kveller Book Club, we had an awesome Twitter chat with Dr. Wendy Mogel, author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee and The Blessing of a B Minus, both parenting books that are well-loved among many in our community.

She had a lot of words of wisdom for us, and since we know not everyone was able to join us yesterday, we thought we’d provide a quick recap: Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 9 2012

We Don’t Live Anywhere Near Our Family

By at 9:49 am

The night I realized that we had nobody to parent our children for a stretch of October, I cried.

My husband had a major conference in Reno, and I had a 10-day festival to run. That left us with no one.

For lots of folks, this kind of problem has an easy fix: Granny Nanny. But eight years ago my husband and I, childless and independent, moved to DC, leaving the closest grandparent five hours away. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 8 2012

I’m Not Going to Make My Kids Weight Crazy

By at 5:35 pm

Last week my mother came to visit us for the first time in almost a year. Because my kids know my father and his wife (who I lovingly refer to as my second mom) so well, I was very excited for them to get to know my other mom, too.

She got off the plane, jumped in the car, and immediately began talking about her weight.

It didn’t take long for me to remember what I thought I’d forgotten. My life, for the first 18-20 years, had been consumed and terrorized by weight.

My mom never called me fat. She always said that I was “perfect.” She never criticized me at all.

She criticized herself endlessly. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 2 2012

Friday Night: Shabbat is a Feeling, Not a Routine

By at 1:41 pm

empty hotel roomDriving 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 →

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