Jackie is the mommy of almost-3-year-old twins living on Long Island and is an active member of the Nassau County Mothers of Twins Club. In her other life, she works as a scientist doing cancer research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and teaching at local colleges.
“You shall observe my commandments and live by them.” This biblical phrase is often used in conjunction with the Jewish idea of pikuach nefesh (saving a life) — namely, that Jewish law can be…set aside to protect a person’s health or safety. I’ve long been familiar with the verse — but it has taken me nearly two decades to truly understand what this means. Let’s go back to Yom Kippur 2000. I was in college, and in treatment for anorexia nervosa. I had been hospitalized and released, but I… >> Read More
This Mothers’ Day I want to acknowledge that each of us has at least two parts, and both parts are worth celebrating–the part that’s “Mommy,” and the part that’s not.
The day my…children were born, my world turned upside down (in the most wonderful way). People had warned me that my life would change forever, and I expected the physical aspects of it (the lack of sleep, the diapers, the physical presence of two small humans in my house)–but I had no idea how strong the emotional… >> Read More
On Monday my hometown JCC was evacuated due to a bomb threat. On Thursday, my community gathered at the JCC for an interfaith candlelight vigil against hate. In between, I spent Wednesday night at…shul, rehearsing a theatrical piece for our Purim Spiel. I’m having a blast revisiting my previous life as a theater kid while we re-enact the story of Purim through parodies of popular Broadway shows. Last year I was “Esther Doolittle” in our parody of “My Fair Lady.” I found the experience surprisingly conflicting, as standing in… >> Read More
“Enjoy every moment.”
My neighbors recently became grandparents, and their daughter was visiting with her baby. When they saw me outside, they called me over to show off their little…princess—she was just as adorable as you can imagine. After ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the new baby, they asked how my twins were doing. They couldn’t believe it when I said they were 5 years old and in kindergarten. (Heck, I can barely believe they’re 5 years old and in kindergarten!) My neighbor turned to… >> Read More
Call me paranoid, but I’m scared.
Maybe I’ve watched too much “Law & Order SVU,” but my twins were born four years ago, and I’ve worried about pedophiles and sexual predators ever…since. Recent events in the news have made this fear even more pronounced. A group of teenagers sexually assaulted a local girl who was out for a walk WITH HER FATHER. Amber alerts are constantly coming over my Facebook feed. I hear news reports about certain teachers and professors having inappropriate sexual relationships with students.… >> Read More
Milestones. I really hate that word.
I know you’re not supposed to compare your children with others, but it’s really hard. When you’re sitting in Tot Shabbat with your 12-month-old who…can’t sit unsupported yet, watching 10-month-olds walking (or even running) around, how can you not compare? We were worried about our twins, but my pediatrician kept reassuring me, telling me “don’t worry, they’ll catch up.” But when my daughter was 9 months old and not yet able to roll over, he humored me and helped… >> Read More
Our first family vacation was both a huge success and a total failure.
Our twins are almost 4 years old, and our destination was Pennsylvania. We planned to visit Dutch Wonderland and the Please…Touch museum—both destinations were highly recommended by friends whose kids are also almost 4 years old. We arrived at our hotel in Lancaster at about 2:30 Sunday afternoon. We were thrilled to see that our hotel was literally ACROSS THE STREET from Dutch Wonderland. Perfect! Our tickets allowed us to enter Dutch Wonderland after 5:30… >> Read More
I sympathize with the recent article “10 Absurd Reasons My Toddler is Freaking Out.” To my 35-year-old brain, wearing the white Minnie Mouse shirt instead of the grey Minnie Mouse shirt doesn’t…seem like that big of a deal--but to my 3-year-old, it’s a major crisis worthy of a complete meltdown. While I may not see it as important, it’s clearly important to her. >> Read More
I am not going to fast on Yom Kippur.
There, I’ve said it publicly and that means I have to do it.
I want to fast, however I haven’t been allowed to fast since 1998 when I was hospitalized…for anorexia nervosa. That year I remember eagerly awaiting Yom Kippur, because I knew I would be able to not eat anything for 24 hours and for once no one would give me a hard time about it. However, a few days before Yom Kippur, my friends helped me realize I had a problem with… >> Read More
I’m a relatively fit person. I’m far from an Olympic athlete, but I do the best I can to stay healthy and in shape. I’m also the working mother of almost 3-year-old twins, so when I’m not…at work I want to be with my children (not at the gym). My friends often ask me how I manage to stay in shape. My answer? I turn playtime into exercise time. When my twins were babies, I’d lay them on their backs and get into a plank position with my face above theirs… >> Read More
“Why didn’t anyone DO SOMETHING?!”
I remember sitting in Hebrew School learning about the Holocaust for the first time. While I was in shock at what humans were capable of doing to other…humans, I was almost more angry at my grandparents and other Americans--how could they just sit at home and let this happen for years before entering the war? Now 25 years later, I am in my grandparents’ shoes. I see 200 schoolgirls get kidnapped in Nigeria. I see unimaginable violence in Iraq and Syria. And… >> Read More
I love my body.
I still am amazed that I can write those words and mean them.
Like many of us, I worried about my weight. However, my normal worry slowly turned into an unhealthy obsession. When I…went to college, my goal didn’t involve doing well in my classes or making friends--my goal was to not gain the “Freshman 15.” I was proud if I could get through the day eating less than I did the day before. I felt a huge sense of accomplishment when I was able to resist the… >> Read More