A Birthday Cake Shaped Space

IMG_8356Love floats up from the sifted flour, clings to the raw sugar, pierces through the sharp scent of pure vanilla extract. Affection oozes out of every egg, dropping from cracked shells, wobbling and waiting. There is a deep abiding love in the softened butter, the kind that comes from grass fed cows grazing on verdant hills. It gleams in the quick whip and whir of the beaters, spinning fast and faster until the batter smoothes out. Love smears itself across their sweet faces, ranging from little girl to almost grown, tongues lapping molded plastic spatulas, fingers leaving tracks inside the scraped out bowl. Continue reading “A Birthday Cake Shaped Space”

When Distance Makes the Heart Grow

TAsunsetThe little one wakes up at the same time every morning, give or take 15 minutes. Never mind that it’s the weekend. I long to sleep in, but my internal clock has adjusted to hers, which means I’m groggy but awake when she comes padding into my room.

“I miss daddy,” she says, leaning her face into mine. I run my tongue around the inside of my dry, sleepy mouth.

“I know. Me too,” I say. “Let’s FaceTime him.”

I pick up my phone from the bedside and press “Josh in Israel.” A shrill ring starts up immediately and within seconds we see him on the screen. Thousands of miles away, he sits at a beachfront café, the sun setting over the Mediterranean, his face warm and glowing, grinning. Here at home we are just waking up. My bed-head splayed across the propped up pillows, the sleep still heavy in my eyes, my cheeks not yet rosy. The morning sun comes through the window, weak after a night’s rain, gray tinged clouds hanging in the bluing sky. Continue reading “When Distance Makes the Heart Grow”

Blind Spot

Ella Portrait 2009When my oldest daughter was around 14 months, she could “read” picture books. She’d hold the book out in front of her, turn the pages and recite the story word for word. So bright, we thought. By two and a half, she was extremely verbal and very smiley but didn’t seem able to hold eye contact for long. Typical for the age, we thought. At three she often came home from preschool with bumps and bruises. “She’s a little clumsy,” said the teacher. “Misses the chair when she goes to sit down.” Overly energetic, we thought.

Somewhere in the back of my brain, these little facts joined hands and circled up, but with a nine-month-old on my hip, I convinced myself there was really nothing much to worry about with my older one. I’d like to think that if it had been something more important, more drastic, I would have noticed it sooner. But I cannot guarantee that is the truth. Continue reading “Blind Spot”

What I Love About Right Now

I am not a fan of the end of the year. I find it hard to slog through these final five weeks or so of turkey and gratitude, of jolly and bright. So many expectations are crammed into such a short span: thanking, traveling, list making, list checking, to-doing, giving, receiving, helping, donating, bestowing, buying, returning, celebrating, assessing, resolving.

It’s pretty intense, stressful even, and when I’m stressed, I start to skim. Continue reading “What I Love About Right Now”

What I Know For Certain

Trio11-26-14I love my kids. They make me wonder what life would be like without them, but I love them anyway.

I have no interest in ever learning how to play Minecraft.

When you have a three-year-old, you absolutely believe in the Tooth Fairy, unicorns, talking snowmen, mermaids and ghosts. Continue reading “What I Know For Certain”

Photo Finish Friday: Lovely Lilah and the Freedom Tower

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Nothing says “screw you terrorists” like Lovely Lilah blowing bubbles on the sidewalk in Tribeca with the Freedom Tower in the background. Continue reading “Photo Finish Friday: Lovely Lilah and the Freedom Tower”