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Showing posts from 2017

I also still wear a pair of shorts that I purchased from the boys department of Howlands in 1986

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The "fifth" member of any of my family vacations turned 26 this week (that's 78 in hat years!) This occurred while we were away at the beach on a family vacation. As evidenced by the photos (only selfies of course since I am the only one who ever thinks to use a camera), she was with me. She is loyal, always up for an adventure, traveled to five out of seven continents and keeps me looking young both in comparison to her and because she protects me from getting too much sun. 

PS. I'm not really what one would call an aficionado, but Go Blue!

#antidisposableculture #reusereusereuse #debatableifitstimelessfashion





Why I send them to camp

Dear Alex,
I’m feeling a bit emotional writing you a “welcome to camp” note for this summer.  I think it’s because I am 100% sure that you don’t need one from me to reassure you that you will have an epic summer.  And also, because a tiny part of me worries that beyond not needing reassurance, you may not WANT to read any mushy declarations of love and encouragement from your mom (the horror!).  This is of course exactly what should be happening as you fully enter teenager phase.
But here it is anyway.  Welcome to camp – you are going to have another epic summer!  I’m sure of it.  Enjoy the friendships you already have.  Be open to new ones.  You never know with whom you might actually have lots in common.  Befriend a cute & smart girl.  Ask her to Bash/Bistro.
Take the time to work on the stuff you want to master (like basketball and lacrosse and guitar) when nobody is watching.  Also take the time to do absolutely nothing.  Let your brain rest from having to remember things like br…

Alex becomes bar mitzvah

Shabbat Shalom.  Thank you all for sharing with us today as we watched Alex become a bar mitzvah.  The thing that I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of parents talk about is how proud they are of their bar mitzvah child.  I wrote this speech before today and in advance I could already write, yes, I am so proud of this kid.  That is because I had all the behind the scenes understanding of what it takes to become a bar mitzvah in 2017.  It’s a lot.  It is way more than what he made look effortless today.  A little more than 75 years ago all you did was pop by the shul with a spongecake that your mom made, said a blessing and then went on to school.  That’s exactly how my grandfather - Alex’s great-grandfather - became a bar mitzvah.  As an aside, while my grandpa wasn’t feeling well enough to make the trip out from L.A. today, he got to see Alex read his Torah readings and haftarah on Skype and shared these feelings of pride.  

Okay, so let me explain this pride a little more.  As an observer, …

Silver lining

Dear Alex and Avery,

It's hard to find the silver lining in our household tonight because your dad is REALLY angry with Alex for both not doing/handing in a bunch of homework assignments and for lying to us about it. But even with all the tears this evening, I managed to find a tiny bright spot that I will hold with me forever. Following is a conversation that I overheard between Eric and Avery. 

Eric was yelling so loudly at Alex that Avery became scared and began to cry. I had escaped to my bedroom because while I support Eric in parenting to help Alex succeed in life, I too find Eric's loud screaming ways to be disconcerting. 

Heightened with emotion, Eric happened upon Avery crying and said (still loudly and still passionately), "You should save your tears for something important!"

Avery through her tears, but not afraid to stand up to her father, said "Alex IS important and you may not think so, but I do and I love him!"

May you two always share a bond this…

The girl who will change the world - Avery turns nine!

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Dear Avery,

It's 9:30 a.m. on your birthday.  You went to sleep late last night after hosting 16 (!) girls for your birthday party.  And still at 9:30, you have already opened 16 gifts, run a 5K and are happily playing away at a friend's house before you head out to your 1 p.m. lacrosse game.  Phew!  You are a force of nature!

It's funny how when I take the time to reflect about how you have evolved over the past year how much I realize that you are who you are and some parts of you will forever remain unchanged parts of your personality.  Things like your joie de vivre, your perseverance and your general "more the merrier" inclusiveness.

My goodness, do I love that inclusiveness part of your personality.  It manifests itself as pure kindness.  (It also means that you have extremely large birthday parties!)  Your kindness means that you are aware when someone is feeling a little bit left out or on the fringes.  I have watched quietly from the sidelines as you pull t…

Avery says....

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Dear Avery,
I just said to you, I like your hair when it's parted on the side. Your response to me in a rather sultry voice for an almost nine year old and with a toss of your hair over your shoulder, "I woke up like this."

I hope you always keep that confidence.
Love,
Mama

For posterity

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Dear Avery,
This is everything.

Love,
Mama

A teenager? That's so lit!

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Dear Alex,

Today you turn thirteen.  Thirteen!!!!  How and when did you become an official teenager!?!?!?  I know it's cliche, but it really does go by quickly...the days are long, the years are short, and all that.

As has become tradition when you have completed another year of life, I like to take some time to reflect on your personality, your accomplishments and yes, even your struggles over the past year.

In the truest notion of becoming a bar mitzvah, you seem more like a man than ever
At some point you stop changing so quickly.  When you were a baby we would see changes weekly, but now a whole year has gone by and your personality, your quirks are still Alex with all that is wonderful and all your imperfections (and I wouldn't have it any other way).  I think what has changed this year is how I react to you.  I will always be your mother and I will always "parent" you and raise you to be a decent human being.  However in the past year, it has become increasingly ea…

Epic Embarassment

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Dear Avery,

Last night you went to dinner at the Glen Rock Inn and were joined by me, Daddy, Alex and Auntie Dawn.  You are nearly nine years old (just to give some context to the story if you ever read this years from now).  It was Saturday, which meant that the bar was pretty crowded, but we ALWAYS sit at the bar because there is good energy and it is social and it is always an easy time waiting for a table since we tend to know a bunch of people there whenever we go.

So we waited and chatted with people and each other. And then we sat and ordered dinner and drinks and more people came in who we knew and we caught up with them as well.  The positive energy enveloped our table like a warm and cozy blanket.

At some point, you started to get tired (because you had been out since 8:30 a.m. when basketball started and hadn't had any time to just rest) and a wee bit cranky (because it's a bar and it's really loud and you were squished away in the corner of the table, oh yes, and …

Gen Z

Dear Alex,

Sometimes I don't even realize how the world has changed until you point it out to me in the most direct way.

It's snowing today and we are all in the house for a snow day.  Of course, your dad and I are working because in the modern world there are no snow days for adults who can easily VPN and conference call in from home - business as usual.  
In any case, you had signed up earlier this year to volunteer for the Shovel For Seniors program that our town has.  This is the first (and hopefully the last) time that it has snowed.  Since it is still coming down pretty heavily, I asked you to call the older couple to let them know that you would be over later today after it had slowed down.  So you call and then come into the kitchen with your phone on speaker and say, "There's this sound coming when I call them, mom".  It was a busy signal, a phone sound that you had never heard and had no idea what it was.  I had to tell you that means someone is on the pho…

And now for this brief interruption from living with pre-teenage angst...

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Dear Alex,

I am alternately angry with and proud of you at any given point during your seventh grade, 12, almost 13 years old year.

It is a tumultuous year filled with growth and change and there is an enormous amount of demands being put on you as you study to become a bar mitzvah in addition to all of the regular demands of school and sports and music and friends.

So yes, unavoidably, there is strife.  Particularly for you, my organizationally challenged first born.  Through it all, I love you fiercely.

And then there are spots as bright as the August sun, spots where you take what is amazing about you and share it with the world.  Like the project that you have chosen to achieve status as a bar mitzvah. More on that in a few sentences, but first a description of mitzvot chaveri. The rabbi taught us about two different types of mitzvot, those between you and G-d (praying, keeping kosher, keeping Shabbat) and those between you and man, also known as mitzvot chaveri (commandments between …

And the compliment as a compliment

Saturday we went to Bernie Wedeen's party to celebrate him becoming a bar mitzvah.  Katie and Andy are wonderful hosts and we had a fantastic time.  It started out well when I came downstairs from getting ready.  A dress, heels and makeup on my face.  

About me.  I never wear makeup.  Not even some natural looking makeup that looks like I'm not wearing makeup.  I just don't wear it.  So when I wear it for fancy events it is very noticeable.

So I walk downstairs and the lovely and sweet Avery says, "Wow! You look just like a Snapchat filter!"

#hashtaggeneration #GenZsaysfiltersGenXsaysrosecoloredglasses

Avery says...

Mommy, you aren't so good to snuggle with sometimes because your hips are too bony!

a.k.a. the exact opposite of a backhanded compliment (a fronthanded criticism?)