One day I’m an ordinary stay-at-home mom trying to plan an extraordinary bar mitzvah and the next week I’m a star-struck writer mingling with celebs and watching one of my stories come to life as part of a hilarious webisode series filmed in Hollywood. Hey, that’s showbiz. Continue reading
As the expiration date on the gallon milk jug gets closer to the day of Jack’s bar mitzvah, the reality of this major lifecycle event hits me like a ton of bricks. I’m not old enough to have a teenage son, especially one dressed in a designer suit, silk tie, and a mezuzah necklace. As Jack polishes his prayers everyday, I frantically run in circles and make changes to the guest list, menu, party favors, music, programs, decorations, entertainment, speeches, biographical slide show, and, of course, my outfits. Every chance I get, I rearrange the seating chart like I’m playing musical chairs.
Obviously, I’m in bar mitzvah mode full force right now. Nothing can distract me from my list of things to do. Not even the flu. Then suddenly, without any warning, my party planning comes to a screeching halt. That’s when I find out that I’m going to Hollywood, California, for the trip of a lifetime. Continue reading
It was the longest night of our lives when my family tried to survive our first sleepover camping trip inside a tent and in the middle of the woods. Even my eyeballs were cold, if that’s possible, and we all were tired, dirty, grumpy, and miserable as we laid on top of a deflated air mattress that covered the rocky dirt like a cheap tablecloth. I guess it was about 5 a.m. because the birds started to chirp, and the sun was still half-asleep when I realized that my family was not cut out for camping after all.
My realization was confirmed when my daughter Sari told me that she felt sick and started to cough. Instinctively, I grabbed the nearest plastic grocery bag and held it in front of her. Only then did I realize how many s’mores she actually devoured the night before. Continue reading
As if the Jews didn’t suffer enough for the last several thousand years, I volunteered my family for our first real camping trip through my son’s Boy Scout program at school. My intentions were, in part, a well-meaning attempt to dispel the old adage that Jewish girls don’t camp.
Despite protests from my husband Scott, who is more comfortable with a computer than a compass, and ridicule from my mother, who hassled me, “What, are you crazy?” I was determined to take advantage of this perfect opportunity to bond with my children in the great outdoors.
Since many aspects of Judaism intertwine the importance of being one with Mother Nature— Tu B’Shevat, the celebration of trees, for example—I wanted to make this camping adventure a religious experience. So did Scott, who prayed everyday that I would change my mind. I convinced myself that we all could benefit from a change of scenery, and surely we could survive 24 hours in the woods. After all, we were surrounded by a pack of den leaders, and every one of them knew how to utilize those mysterious gadgets hidden inside a pocketknife. As a devoted scout mom, I figured the least I could do was sacrifice the comforts of home for one day so that my son could earn more arrow points.
Little did I know that our outdoor overnight would make Camp Sabra seem more like Club Med. Continue reading