I loved the new "Spiderman" movie that opened this past June, and I am equally as excited for the new "Bourne Legacy" flick that will close out my summer. However, it was another film that I saw mid-summer, “The Queen of Versailles”, that will stick in my memory for a long, long time, as the frequently unlikeable real-life stars act out in ways that are a little too familiar for comfort.
Every time I come home from a business trip or vacation, there’s one bag that never gets unpacked: my emergency supply kit. Unlike my regular toiletry bag filled with daily essentials such as contact lens solution, my toothbrush, and Chapstick, this is my “worse-case scenario” gear – for when the you-know-what figuratively or literally threatens to hit the fan.
I am writing this at 5 a.m. from my hotel room in the Haidian District of Beijing, steps from the West Gate of China’s most famed institution of higher learning, Peking University (“The Harvard of China”) —and I am completely exhausted. It’s not from jet lag — as this is my fourth trip in as many years, I’ve figured out how to adapt to the new a new schedule quickly.
This spring, I was not just a soccer mom: I was also a basketball mom and a hockey mom. (What can I say? Some seasons are busier than others.) And as one parent on the bench or bleachers among a gaggle of other moms and dad, I observed adult behavior that was, I hate to say, mostly detestable. I witnessed parents shouting at the refs for making what were, in their subjective opinions, bad calls that favored the other team. I heard adults making derogatory comments about players' skills and appearances. I saw countless parents who clearly believed that the coach needed their help.
At the recent Special Person’s Day at my twins’ Solomon Schechter school, my mother-in-law and aunt sat down with the kids to work with them on the project of the morning: drafting the “10 Commandments” of our family. Based on their understanding that the 10 Commandments provided a rule book – a behavioral code of conduct – 11 year old Jacob and Sophie got to work: