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Oct 1 2014

This Yom Kippur, I’m Becoming a New Kind of Overprotective Parent

By at 11:15 am


Every day that goes by, I wonder fervently if I am doing enough as a mother to protect my children from the world. This is tempered only by the worry that perhaps I am doing too much, and sheltering them in such a way that they will be unprepared as they slowly emerge into a life where Mama cannot provide justice.

Yom Kippur is most commonly translated as the “Day of Atonement.” This modern definition was derived from the Hebrew word, kofer, which refers to a “protective covering.” In the Torah, God said to Noah, “Make an ark out of gopher wood, and you shall coat it from within and from without with kofer—pitch–(a protective coating).” God knew that in order to withstand the harsh flood waters, Noah’s ark would need a protective covering to keep it and its precious inhabitants safe.

While I am protective of both my children, I will admit that my steel resolve turns to mush when it comes to my daughter. Besides being creative, adorable, and incredibly tenacious, she has special needs. Chava was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, on the autism spectrum, at age 6. We are blessed with small classrooms in our local Jewish day school, as well as a myriad of understanding teachers, administrators, and specialists. She receives help from a resource room teacher, occupational therapist, and speech therapist on a daily basis. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 4 2013

Torah MOMentary: Noah Wasn’t Perfect & Neither Are We

By at 10:02 am


This post is part of our new Torah commentary series. This week we read Parashat Noah. To read a summary of the portion and learn more, click here.

You know the dirty look you get at a café when you turn your back for a second and your toddler gets her sticky hands very close to the laptop of the guy working at the next table?

I used to feel terrible when I got that look. After all, not so long ago, I was that guy with the laptop. And so I know exactly what he’s thinking: “Can’t you control your child?”

To be clear: common courtesy is important. I don’t want my kid messing with my own laptop, much less anyone else’s. And if she’s making a ton of noise in a quiet place, I do my best to get her out of there as fast as I can.

But still, she’s a kid, and I’m a mother, and sometimes we’re on a walk and I woke up at 6 a.m. and I want a cup of coffee, and at those moments, we’re the obnoxious people in the hipster café. And in the past few months I’ve stopped feeling quite so bad about it. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 3 2013

At the Noah’s Ark Exhibit, a Different Kind of Flood

By at 9:49 am

noah's ark

A few weeks ago friends of mine, each with 15-month-old little girls, invited my daughter and I to the Skirball Center for their awesome interactive Noah’s Ark exhibit. It looked like so much fun. But while the gallery would be filled with pieces depicting the tale of the great flood, I was flooded with panic brought on by my great fears.

As I mentioned in my piece, “I’ve Got a Bad Case of Mommy Cabin Fever,” getting out of the house is a challenge for me. The longest distance I will drive to is my Mommy & Me class, 30 minutes away… and the museum was a bit farther. So the thought of taking the long drive to the museum with a hysterical baby in the back seat (resulting in a hysterical mommy) left me at a loss.

I do not want to stop living life. I do not want to deprive my daughter of fun, educational opportunities–but oh, the panic. I took a deep breath and accepted the invitation. I decided that since the museum was only 10 minutes farther than my Mommy & Me class, I could make a day of it all… how bad could it be?

My plan was to feed my daughter before class, enjoy class, and grab lunch with the other mommies after class while my little angel slept in her stroller. Then I would nurse her and we’d be on our merry way to the museum.

Well, that was my plan. My daughter’s plan was a tad bit different. Read the rest of this entry →


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