Under the bright blue cloudless sky, waving American flags line the parking lot of the high school up the street. It’s a beautiful sunny morning and the flags are there to remind us that today is September 11, 2012, the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I also hear church bells ringing loudly, cars honking, birds chirping, children laughing, and airplanes roaring above as if my senses are on high alert. It’s an ordinary day, but it’s not.
Ten years ago, on the morning of September 11, my day started out ordinary. My husband Scott went to work; Jack, in first grade, was at school learning how to tell the time; and Sari, only 2 years old, dressed her dolls in beads and bows, oblivious to the national crisis that was about to explode before our very eyes. Continue reading
Excuse me while I digress for a moment. Is anyone else startled that the names Osama and Obama rhyme so obviously? What’s with the 70-degree weather in January? What am I supposed to do with all the leftover red satin yamulkes after my son’s bar mitzvah?
Thanks for letting me vent. Now I feel better. Continue reading
When it comes to the 10 plagues in the Passover story, I would rather suffer in real life through a hailstorm (I’ve got insurance) and darkness (I’ll carry a flashlight) than go through the anguish of lice again. These pesky little insects are a parent’s worst nightmare. Just ask me. I lived through lice three years ago when my daughter and several of her unlucky classmates that I know of got the itch to scratch while they were still in preschool.
I remember the day that lice turned my happy home upside down. Continue reading
Let’s face it—we live in a world of faceless communication. Answering machines and other wireless wizardry substitute real voices, not to mention impersonal emails take the place of handwritten letters. Think about it–phone tag is now considered a sport or human interaction, and I’m guilty of playing the game. As a matter of fact, if I dial someone’s number and a real person answers the phone, I’m disappointed because I’m not in the mood to make real conversation anymore. Continue reading
During the fun-filled, stressed-out 11 months that I’ve been writing “Mishegas of Motherhood,” I’ve developed a bond with my readers. Many of you have sent me supportive emails, and I encourage you to continue to give me all kinds of honest feedback via my new email: email@example.com.
I feel that I can share almost anything with you, including secrets about myself that I don’t talk about with my best girlfriends, not even my own mother. My husband doesn’t have a clue about these innermost feelings either. It’s time that you hear the truth from me before any gossip sneaks out and the facts get distorted. 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