This morning you come prancing into our bedroom like you always do at 7 a.m. We are on the east coast instead of our usual west, yet your little body has quickly adjusted to its typical circadian rhythm: no matter what time you go to bed – and there have been some late nights because we are with cousins, because we are on vacation and the steady light of summer doesn’t fade away at bedtime – you still wake at the same hour.
“It’s my birthday! I’m four!” you announce and I smile in my half sleep even though I’m tired tired tired because I went to bed late hoping against hope that maybe just maybe you’ll sleep in. Don’t four-year-olds sometimes sleep in? Nope, of course not, what was I thinking? You are only four – wow, I can’t believe you’re four! – and there is no stopping you in the morning. Continue reading →
There are points in time when my kids are my life. They are what I’m doing all the time. When they were babies and then little people, this was certainly the case and for the most part, I gave myself over to motherhood. I didn’t always like it, resented it some days, wanted to run and hide some days, but I was always there with them. Accessible.
Now, with my youngest turning four in a few weeks and my two older ones 10 and 13, I occasionally find myself with more than an arm’s length between me and them. I delight in it, that taste of wholeness and freedom and self-ness. Then, just like that, there’s one in my lap, one calling me from her room, one who wants to play gin rummy. I snuggle them, heed the call, say yes to the game because I know it won’t last forever. Still, I long for myself, even as I dive into motherhood for those minutes and hours, days and years.
I made my way across our backyard and walked over the imaginary line separating our house and the neighbor’s. We didn’t have fences or hedges between our houses, just flowerbeds and grass. I headed through their yard, past the metal swing set all the neighborhood kids clamored for a turn on and down the slight ditch to the next house over. The east coast summer sun glinted through the trees. It wouldn’t be dark for a few more hours.
I knocked timidly on the back door, my heart beating hard. This was my very first night as a babysitter and my first real job, as in being paid to do a task outside of my own house. I’d earned a few dollars here and there helping my dad garden or doing extra chores around the house for my mom, but this was me on my own earning “real” money. Continue reading →
With summer in full swing, I’ve found it more than a little challenging to carve out time to write. That said, I have a few blog posts being republished on sites which I love reading and am very excited to be a part of. Continue reading →
It’s a brilliant Sunday morning in September. We’re sitting side by side in my mom’s bronze, four-door Mazda 626 in the empty parking lot. The engine’s idling, the car is firmly in park with my foot is pressing hard on the brake pedal.
“Ready?” he asks
“Um, yeah. I think so,” I say. I shift the car into Drive and gingerly lift my foot from the brake.
“Give it a little gas,” he says. I do and the car lurches forward like an overly ambitious toddler taking his first steps. I quickly slam on the brakes and we both whip back in our seats, our seatbelts yanking tight.
“Rule number one,” says my dad. “Always wear a seatbelt. Okay, let’s try again.”
Growing up in St. Louis, Missouri in the mid-80s meant I was eligible for a full driver license at 16. A few months before my birthday, my dad and I embarked on a series of weekend driving lessons, commandeering empty lots and deserted side streets. As an overly eager teen, I figured a few quick tutorials was all I needed to hit the road. Turns out I had a lot to learn.
Today is the last day of our kids’ second year of preschool and it’s a little hard to believe it’s here. Even though I’ve been through the preschool years twice before and many years ago, it’s still a bit startling to come to the end of a school year and realize that time is, indeed, passing. The kids are all taller, their little faces have changed in subtle ways and their unique personalities are shining through even more.
This year wasn’t the easiest for me. Maybe you know this and maybe you don’t. Continue reading →
Today, my oldest child Ella turns 13. Just a few days ago on June 6 she became a bat mitzvah. In the Jewish tradition, this means she is now responsible for her actions, following Jewish law, ethics and values and is able to lead religious services. She is now an adult in the eyes of the community.
This past year has been one of tremendous growth for her in all the ways. She is becoming her own person and I am incredibly proud of her as she takes on challenges, expands her knowledge, learns from her mistakes, sifts through her emotions and greets the world with tolerance and humor. She is certainly merging into adulthood, but she will always be my little girl. This is the speech I gave in her honor at her bat mitzvah. Continue reading →