The stache that launched 1,000 words
Someday my kids will ask me how I knew their dad was the one. Maybe they’ll read a fairy tale and wonder about perfect love and Prince Charming; Maybe they’ll watch a movie and begin to visualize their own first kiss or first date or first crush; Or maybe they will be standing at the threshold of adulthood, standing side-by-side with a person of interest, questioning when and how and if they will make the commitment of a lifetime.
I will answer my kids honestly, as I do, and I will tailor my answer to their time of life and readiness for real talk, as I do, and I will hopefully inspire them to have faith in something that is really easy to doubt. This I will do in spite of the fact that doubt was a huge part of my early relationship with my husband, a function of my own less than stellar dating history moreso than his trustworthiness, of course. I recall in our first months as a couple when he handed me a gift with all of my favorite rom-coms, information piecemealed from many conversations we had, to appeal to the romantic in me, and in exchange I handed him a piece of my black and jaded heart, explaining to him that I did love him, but not unconditionally, and then went ahead and listed for him all of the conditions under which I would most likely cease to love him. At dinner. Over candlelight. On Valentine’s Day. Continue reading
One of my favorite, and only, pictures of me and my mom
Technically, I am a millennial. I was born in 1980 so by definition, you can group me into that generation. I don’t feel millennial. A very honest man I know, upon hearing this fact, said, “Well, then you are the world’s oldest millennial.” And that is a label that probably rings truer for me than the former. I didn’t have a cell phone until well into college. I didn’t get on Facebook until it was no longer cool. I do take enough selfies to be a milennial though. With my friends and with my kids and with my husband. I have a very full album of selfies on my iPhone.
Ok, so the party favors are from NYE 2016. But no judgment.
I am a judgmental bitch.
I wasn’t always this way. There was a long time where I was consciously open-minded. I made efforts to always assume a person was doing the best they could with what they had at any given moment. As a teacher and an administrator, I gave parents the benefit of the doubt as I believed that they loved their child and were trying to be the best kind of parent they knew how. I worked at this practice. I worked at being empathic and compassionate and I felt good about those things.
When I became a mom however, that changed. Continue reading
I have always loved politics, and not just for the good reasons, e.g. the way our elections shape our laws, our society and our future, but also for the sport of it. I like watching people. I like learning how they work, what makes them tick, and following politics is essentially a pseudo intellectual version of mall people-watching . You see how people want themselves to be seen, and then you see the basest version of those same people as mud gets slung and punches get hurled. (So maybe more like the mall at Christmas time.) It is fascinating and gory and entertaining all at once.
This election has been different. I thought this election would be different because historically and personally, it is incredibly exciting to watch a woman run for President. And in that aspect I am excited and hopeful. But all in all, this election hasn’t been much fun. It has felt sad and toxic and scary. And maybe that’s because I am a parent now and maybe it’s because there are so many important issues that hang in the balance of this election. It is probably both of those. But also, it is because of Donald Trump. Continue reading
7 am: I’m going to make a great dinner for my family tonight. My hubby’s been working so hard and the boys have been so hungry at the end of the day; I’m going to really make them something great. Healthy, but so delicious the kids will love it anyway and everyone will push their chair away from the table at dinner’s end and just FEEL the love I poured onto their plates.
9 am: So many great recipes in these cookbooks! I should use a good old-fashioned book more. Forget the internet. The turn of a page. That’s what it’s about. Hmm…why is this sticky? Is that ketchup? Gross. I don’t think that’s ketchup. What IS that? I’ll google it. And I’ll google a chicken recipe.
12 pm: Shoot. I forgot to defrost the chicken. Better get to the market. Continue reading
My kids are pretty well-traveled. Maybe it’s because we are generous and adventurous parents but probably it’s because we are selfish and like to travel so they have to come. Because of our experience, many friends have asked me for tips on how to travel with their own kids before their maiden voyage. There are little tidbits I could offer here and there but mainly I advise this: Be sure you want to go and be sure you want to go with kids. But how can you know what to expect until you’ve done it? Well, friends, here is a little field guide; some activities you can do right in your own home to make sure you’re ready to face the world at large with your precious angels in tow.
1. Rent the movie “Snakes on a Plane” and note the fear and horror on the faces of the passengers on said plane. Picture those faces as you board a plane but this time, the snakes are your children and you are not Samuel L. Jackson. Continue reading
I was one of the last great believers in Santa Claus, simply because my parents said it was true and I didn’t have the desire to disprove them. Fat old man in red suit brings us the presents you’ve been “hiding” in your room in plain sight, mom? To a half Jewish, half Buddhist family? Great! If I leave my dirty tooth under my pillow, I’ll find money from a full-grown adult fairy who collects them? Fantastic! Those mean kids are “just jealous” and it’s not because I still play with my Barbies in 7th grade and sleep in my mom’s bed? Makes perfect sense!
With this in mind then, you’ll surely understand that when I asked my mom my very favorite question to ask her, and she gave me her very reasonable and fair answer, I absolutely believed her:
“Mommy, who is your favorite?”
“Honey, I don’t have a favorite. I love you all equally!”
Roses and sunshine ensue. Beautifully put, mom! Even though my brother is your only son and your firstborn, and my sister is the baby of the family by nearly 8 years and the one we always called your “miracle”, you are such a dedicated mom that you see that my worth as a middle child is exactly equal to that of my siblings. Huzzah!
I would probably have still believed this 30 years later, and happily so. I bought it after I had my first child, no easy baby by any means, but heaven help the brave and stupid individual who called him anything less than an angel. Continue reading