Feb 13 2014
My sons love pop music. Despite literally raising them on Bob Dylan, Dan Bern and The International Jewish Banking Conspiracy, They Might Be Giants, Israeli extravaganza David Broza, and Peter, Paul, and Mary, my 5- and 8-year-olds like gyrating in their car seats to Pink, Katy Perry, Macklemore, Drake, and–yes–Miley Cyrus.
I didn’t used to play any music in the car for the first years of my older son’s life. I was that hippy who believed that my son’s interactions should be with voices and conversation only. It worked with #1, but once #2 came along, #1 was almost 3 and was already used to hearing music by then. Also, #2 screamed bloody murder in the car for literally two full years, and sometimes music helped drown out his screaming. Or at least provided some illusion of drowning it out. (Ugh, those years sucked big time.)
Anyway. I played CDs for my sons initially but at some point the radio became introduced (should I blame my ex? OK! Just kidding, Mike. Sort of.). And that was the end of the innocence. Pop music is like the best candy ever. It’s generally mindless. It has no nutritional value. But it tastes so good. Like really delicious. Yummy. So yeah, I get it. I like pop music, too.
The issue is that pop music is/has become, in some cases, kind of racy. I am generally admittedly a socially conservative fuddy-duddy even though I am a complete bleeding heart liberal politically. Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 29 2013
As a homeschooling family, our lives tend to be very flexible, and our “unschooling” tendencies mean our schooling style is also very flexible. Many families in our community have started signing their kids up for classes now that they are older; some classes are drop-off, some classes parents stay for.
Many families I know with daughters (homeschooling and not) sign them up for a lot of “arts” classes: dance, gymnastics, voice, etc. I took ballet, tap, jazz, and gymnastics in my youth and I love encouraging artistic expression for young girls.
However, I also think it’s as important for boys to take those kinds of classes as it is for girls to take LEGO Engineering (as my older son does), and intensive nature hikes and science classes, and I decided that I would teach my sons to tap dance this year so that they get a well-rounded education in the arts. I already teach them piano, but dance is another level of music I want them to start understanding. Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 31 2013
I went to a friend’s wedding this past weekend in Springfield, Missouri. It was a small wedding, about 60 people. It was a lovely Jewish ceremony with plenty of “universal” aspects as well. It was lovely. A little sheva brachot, a little glass-breaking, some chair-lifting, and then good old-fashioned partying.
As most of us know, a wedding is not just about the wedding, especially for the out-of-town guests. It’s about getting there, hanging out before, pre-wedding dinners, and post-wedding hanging out. Here are the highlights of my weekend.
1. I drove from Chicago with one of my closest friends to the wedding. That meant 10 hours of singing at the top of our lungs, catching up on our lives in person rather than by phone, and crappy roadside food of which there is not much of for vegans, but I figured it out. We were like teenagers on the best road trip ever. Illinois and Missouri are not terribly exciting to drive through, but we made it exciting with our laughing and story-telling and pontificating about the meaning of life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. And dating. We talked about dating a lot. Sigh. Read the rest of this entry →
May 20 2013
From the time of the end of Passover until Shavuot (which ended last Thursday night), many Jews place restrictions on their behavior which I have written about before during the period of counting the Omer (49 days from Passover to the giving of the 10 Commandments at Mt. Sinai).
Historically, this period was also one of a horrible plague that struck the students of the great Rabbi Akiva, and so certain mourning rituals were adopted during this period such as no weddings, no purchasing new clothing, and no listening to live music. Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 3 2012
As many of you know, I have had a several years-long obsession with the Yeshiva University Maccabeats. They are an all male a cappella group who released a Hanukkah video, “Candlelight” two Hanukkahs ago that went viral and sort of changed the face of Modern Orthodoxy and how gentiles and Jews view Orthodoxy. They sang for President Obama, they sell T-shirts (I own several and a hoodie), every Jewish kid knows who they are (and most of the kids’ moms too…). They’re wonderful and talented and sweet. Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 13 2012
No, I didn’t attend the Grammys. But that doesn’t stop me from having a Top 10 Grammy Moments list.
Also, you should know that this is the first year in maybe six years that I have known who anyone on the Grammys is. Why do I know who most of these singers are? Well, my 6-year-old is a fan of radio music in the car and my husband and I (who both have pretty good taste in a variety of eclectic and classic music) consider radio music a sort of musical education for our sons. Who knew that a 6-year-old raised on They Might Be Giants, Dan Bern and the International Jewish Banking Conspiracy, and Peter, Paul and Mary would love to sing along to, “We Found Love in a Hopeless Place”? But I digress. Read the rest of this entry →