My husband and I sat in the front row nervously holding hands as the sanctuary filled with family and friends. In a few minutes, an emotional year of learning and planning would all come together as our eldest daughter chanted from the sacred scrolls to mark her bat mitzvah. Our two younger daughters, ages ten and four, were sitting with us. Well, the ten-year-old was sitting. The four-year-old was squirming around as she set up her miniature princess dolls. At least she wasn’t making too much noise—yet. Ten minutes into the service, however, she decided to crawl under the seats to look for the sparkly silver flats she’d immediately shucked when we came in.
“Here they are Mommy!” she yelped, flinging them excitedly in my lap.
“You have to sit down honey,” I whisper-yelled. “Your sister is about to start.” She gave me that classic you-can’t-make-me grin and took off up the main aisle. My husband and I looked at each other, exasperated, the decision made. I followed her out the double doors and took her down to childcare. She’d lasted all of 12 minutes.
I love my three girls and pretty much kids in general. That doesn’t mean I think they need to be included in every grown-up event. Children, especially little ones, can be distracting to both parents and hosts, whether it’s with boisterous laughter, a spontaneous game of chase or the request for a snack. It’s not fair of us to expect them to behave event-appropriately when they’re doing their best to simply behave age-appropriately. Plus, it’s stressful. So, I’m not offended when the host makes the “no kids” request. In fact, I’m kind of relieved.
You can read more on my perspective on why it’s okay not to invite kids to grown-up events — and the case for the other side by Debi Lewis of Swallow My Sunshine — on Brain, Child. Have an opinion? Leave a comment and join us on Twitter this Thursday, 11/5/15, at 1:00 EST for a discussion on this issue. Please remember to use the hashtag #braindebate.
A collection of what’s winged its way across my path and got me thinking, grinning and gearing up.
In Conversation: Chris Rock by Frank Rich: I’m still reeling over Ferguson, trying to sort through the ramifications of it for this country and myself. Reading Chris Rock’s smart, sometimes funny, very real thoughts on race, comedy, social media and politics helped.
The Velveteen Mother by Allison Slater Tate: It’s sentimental and mushy, but completely true and beautiful. Get out the tissues.
This week my essay To the Furious Mom in the Target Parking Lot was featured on the Brain, Child Magazine blog and boy, am I excited about it! I’ve been a big fan of Brain, Child for about 12 years — ever since Ella was born. As a new mom, the essays on those pages opened my eyes to the profound connections motherhood could foster among women, even women who don’t know each other in real life.
My essay is about witnessing a mom of four smack-dab in the middle of her anger and wanting her to know that she is not alone. She yelled, she shoved, she stomped, but instead of judgement, I found myself feeling compassion for this woman because I’ve been there — we all have. I hope you find something in the piece that resonates with you and if you do, please share it.
How Do I Know What’s Bullying and What’s Normal Conflict? by Carrie Goldman on Motherlode: As a parent, I find myself up against this question often. I tend to intervene quickly and emotionally with the goal of squashing anything that maybe even remotely seems like bullying. This article gave me the tools to determine whether a behavior really is bullying or simply conflict that my girls need to learn how to resolve on their own. Continue reading “Flutterby 4”→