Imagine driving your kids to drop them off for a month of sleep-away camp. Imagine that the energy in the car is a combination of anxiety and excitement, anticipation and celebration. These are the times that normal parents bring up benign conversational topics to pass the time, such as “do you think you’ll be in the same bunk as Sammy again?” or “Remember to stay out of the poison oak on the overnight.” Nothing deep. Just idle chatter.
My ten-year old daughter Sophie paid homage to my recent birthday with the best-worst birthday toast I could imagine: “Happy Birthday to the world’s greatest mom – and to the world’s best grandma one day!”
When it comes to country music, I am parve. You won't catch me downloading any Willie Nelson, Carrie Underwood or "Country" Hootie songs on iTunes, but I also didn't roll my eyes when my husband Michael happily happened upon our new minivan's XM radio station playing all C&W, all the time. Yes, when it comes to country music, y'all could say I'm parve.
When I'm not pouring over my Chumash or studying the Talmud, you might find me, upon occasion, flipping through an issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine for alternative inspiration. Truth be told, EW wins out over the big books 99.9% of the time, as it is significantly less cumbersome sitting on the magazine rack of my treadmill.
I am writing this while lying face-down on a table at the elegant Green Massage Spa in Shanghai's World Financial Center. There is a fuchsia flower floating in a black lacquered bowl on the floor as a retreat for my eyes, and a petite lady with deceptively aggressive elbows is digging into the kinks in my upper back. Since the staff frowned upon me bringing my laptop in for the Signature Thai-Style Massage, I am writing this in my head. And as my dainty, deft masseuse finds all the right knots in all the usual spots - THAT'S IT! - she announces, "You very bad."