I wanted my newborn twins’ homecoming to be perfect. But four days after Jacob and Sophie were born, my husband Michael and I were permitted to bring our robust seven-pound son home while our daughter, a dainty four pounds, had to stay in the NICU for a few more days. With one baby in arms and one left behind, our return home was far from perfect. I would quickly learn, however, when perfection would be critical -- and when good enough was good enough.
If you actually pay attention at a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, you just might learn something new. Maybe you'll pick up a meaningful nugget of knowledge from the parsha that you've missed in the past. Perhaps you'll discover how you might get involved in the mitzvah project being discussed on the bima. Or possibly you'll get some insights (and eyesights) as to exactly how much shorter this year's hemlines are than last year's.
When I met my husband Michael thirteen years ago, we knew within the first two weeks that this was it. (I like to tease him that he knew within the first two weeks, and that I’m still thinking about it, but we both know that’s a load of stuffed derma.) So it didn’t feel like we were rushing things when he asked me to meet his parents after one month of dating.
When we think of the term “survivor’s guilt”, we typically picture those who somehow escaped a tragic car accident that claimed others’ lives, or who lived to rebuild their lives after natural disasters like the recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. Over the last two and a half years, however, a new and growing breed of American survivors has emerged, with guilt firmly intact: those who have kept their jobs despite endless rounds of layoffs, closures, and foreclosures.
When I received an email from the New Victory Theater announcing a family comedy show called "The Flaming Idiots", my trigger finger clicked to buy four tickets faster than I could stop it. Little did I know that, in between the crackerjack juggling and zany shenanigans, I would experience a dramatic illumination of my personal values.
"I'm glad I caught you. I wanted to tell you a story about your kids," began the principal of my third-grade twins' Solomon Schechter school. And despite her casual tone, I suddenly stood erect, sucked in my stomach (as if that would help), and readied myself to hear an account that would require "a little chat" at home.
"So, Jacob and Sophie were playing basketball at recess together," she began.