Showing posts from March, 2014

Double Digit Defiance - The Ugly Side of Raising a Confident Kid

Dear Alex,

Sometimes these blog posts write themselves if you wait long enough.  There was one recent event that I had hoped to relay to you in your ten year old birthday letter from me - and I will get to it here - but in the meantime, several other events nearly identical in what they say about you as a ten year old have emerged.

If one of your dad's nicknames is Easily Excitable Eric, I think one of yours should be Overly Opinionated Alex (Absolutely Arrogant Alex has better alliteration, but is a bit too strong).  As you reach your pre-teen years, you have taken an approach in letting people know exactly where you stand, regardless of their position in life, regardless of whether that opinion might hurt someone's feelings.  You just have an opinion and come hell or high water, you are going to let everyone know.

Of course, my (typical) response to this type of behavior is to try and prove your opinion wrong.  To change what you think because it bothers me that you believe the…

Making me proud

When I think about what idyllic children should be, this is one of the images that floats into my head.

Alex reading to a clean, freshly showered and pajama-clad Avery before bed last night.

Simply heartwarming.

Korean Mikvah

I've been procrastinating writing this post. It has been mulling around in my head for the past two and half months, but still I have been struggling to put the proverbial pen to paper.  Maybe because there is an element of sacrilege to it.

I guess I'll start with the basics.  What is a mikvah?  If you want to learn a lot about it, you can check out this website: 
or you can just go to to read it described as a ritual bath to which Orthodox Jews are traditionally required to go on certain occassions, as before the sabbath and after each menstrual period, to cleanse and purify themselves.

Basically a deep pool like this one:

I think most modern Americans associate water and purity ceremonies with baptism, not Judaism, but here it is, the most observant among us go not once to 'join the club', but rather WEEKLY, before EVERY Shabbat to ensure purity of mind, body and soul.

Sure, I could have the time to do that myself, but t…