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Apr 1 2014

Each Passover, I Celebrate The Miracle of My Growing Family

By at 12:02 pm

matza-balls

Every spring I remember; every Passover I celebrate.

I have mostly forgotten the Passover that fell right before my wedding. I don’t remember who led those seders. I don’t recall what was served for dinner. I was too busy thinking of the last minute wedding details (Did we need programs? When would the yarmulkes be ready? How did I go about changing my name?) And then I realized that I’d miss the whole holiday. I ceased thinking about my impending departure from the single world. I sipped my wine and tried to relax, and focused on what was important.

Two years later, I sat at my husband’s aunt’s table. We had been trying for a baby for a few months, without results. I wanted to take my mind off my disappointment, and enjoy the evening with my family. I poured a glass of wine in anticipation of the start of the seder. My husband’s little cousins were wrestling under the table. The older one hit his head, and the whole table shook like a California earthquake. My wine glass wobbled, tipped, and splashed all over me. The stain would stubbornly cling to my blouse after several washings. By the time I threw it out a week later, I didn’t mind. It wouldn’t have fit for long, anyway. I was pregnant. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 5 2013

And Suddenly He’s Four

By at 4:35 pm

sarah tuttle-singler spiderman son

My son turns 4 on Saturday.

He is suddenly long-legged and lean, leaping into the air. He makes up songs and chats on the phone. He crouches down in the grass and looks for snails with his flashlight.

He is Spiderman.

And suddenly, somehow, in between non-stop nursing and not sleeping, in between crying and cooing, my plucked-chicken newborn baby boy grew eyelashes and eyebrows.

Last night, in the late hours when moonlight fills the room and the jasmine green tea has kicked in, he joined me on the futon while I worked. Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 23 2013

One Day I’ll Miss the Chaos (But Not Today)

By at 2:14 pm

little bunny foo fooMy 4-year-old is absolutely obsessed with books. Mainly books about trucks–especially fire trucks. He wants me to read to him all day long. He also loves Little Bunny Foo Foo.

“Mom, can you just read it four more times before bed? Pullleeeaassse?

It does this mama’s heart proud to see her kids enjoy a book. Even if it is Little Bunny Foo Foo.

My eldest son also loves a good book, but now at 13 years old, the days where he crawls up into my lap and asks for me to read to him are long gone. I no longer pull his head close to me and breath his boyish smell of sweat and dirt and play dough. He doesn’t need my help brushing his teeth, getting dressed, or lacing up his shoes. He hates most of the clothes I pick out for him (even though I’m certain I have better taste than he does). He shrugs and feigns pulling away if I try to give him a hug, even though he has a smile on his face. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 13 2013

So Sad to Part With All This Baby Stuff

By at 3:44 pm
demolishing first cupcake

Jared devouring his first cupcake on his 1st birthday.

The other night I took my daughter’s pink Disney Princess booster seat off the kitchen chair to clean it. As it turns out, that was the last night she used it. She says she doesn’t need it anymore, her big eyes in her tiny head poking up above the table.

That’s how it always goes, my husband says. One day something is super important and the next you’re deciding whether to donate it or sell it on Craigslist.

We’re hypersensitive to the finality of even the most trivial things because our second and last baby just turned 1. As he starts to formulate his first words, we’re stuck trying to find our own, too–ones to describe the sadness and yet slight elation around knowing there will never be another infant we made in the house. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 23 2012

Shopping for My Daughter’s First Bra

By at 9:45 am

white cotton braAs I cradled my 7-hour old dark-haired beauty in my weary arms, I imagined this day. My pre-teen (the term “tween” had yet to be invented) and I would have a quiet lunch in a café, talk about the exciting changes that awaited her, and then head to Nordstrom for her very first bra-fitting. Like with so many parts of parenting, what I imagined bore scant resemblance to reality.  And not for one moment did I ever imagine that our outing would take place in her 10th summer. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 31 2012

One Day, You’ll Want to Remember

By at 11:48 am

black and white eyes closed womanClose your eyes. Relax. Focus on your breath. Be present. Be in the moment.

Those directions for meditation could well apply to parenthood.

It goes fast. It really, really goes fast.

Be present so that one day you’ll remember, and be glad.

I knew, even at the time, that the wonderful time I had raising small children was fleeting. Even during the very hard times, I somehow realized that this was the most important, joyful time of my life and I should treasure it. I tried very hard to be in the moment. To be conscious of the wonder.

I somehow knew that even though some days crawled by, the time would fly. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 23 2012

My Kids Were Away at Camp & I Didn’t Miss Them

By at 2:40 pm

pick-up day at summer campThe sign-off at the bottom of my letter was a familiar one:

Miss you! xxoo

Love, Mom

It was how I finished every bunk note I sent to my two sons, Noah, 14, and Chase, 12, at sleep away camp this summer. But when I went to press SEND on the last letter of the year, a nagging feeling came over me as I realized that this was just the fourth missive I had written to them in as many weeks. And it had been days since I had scoured the camp website to catch a photo of my precious punims. Suddenly the unthinkable reality was all too clear. I was lying. I did not, in fact, miss my children. At all.

What kind of Jewish mother am I??? Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 20 2012

Friday Night: Stepping Back

By at 4:16 pm

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 →

Feb 20 2012

This Too Shall Pass, Even If You Don’t Want it To

By at 10:12 am

this too shall pass hebrew necklaceWhen I was a new parent, celebrating a baby who was finally sleeping through the night or bemoaning the challenges of introducing solid foods, a more experienced parent would inevitably tell me that it was only a phase. This response irritated me to no end. Perhaps it was because I didn’t fully get what that meant, perhaps it was because I felt patronized, but for whatever reason, I didn’t want to hear it.

Over the past three and a half years, as I have watched my daughters grow from newborns to infants and then toddlers, and now that my older girl is a preschooler, I have come to see the wisdom of those words. Yet I prefer to think about it from a slightly different perspective, one that a fellow Jewish Mama reminded me of recently.

This too shall pass. Read the rest of this entry →

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