Eleanor Roosevelt famously remarked, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Nobody, that is, except for my nine-year old daughter Sophie who sat next to me at the breakfast table gleefully mastering a week’s worth of New York Times math puzzles, while I thumbed through the Arts and Leisure section, looking for the latest gossip on my favorite TV show, GLEE.
“Mom. Mom. MOM!” Sophie interrupted my reading. “Can you help me with this one?”
If I were a doctor or a lawyer, I might not get asked this question as often as I do: “How did you get into this line of work?” Apparently, to some folks, there’s something quixotic, exotic, and perhaps idiotic about someone who does public speaking for a living.
On our end-of summer family vacation to San Francisco, my husband Michael and I were delighted to spend quality time with our adventurous West Coast cousins, we were enchanted by the snap-fresh organic produce at the Ferry Terminal Farmer's Market, and felt mesmerized by the gigantic Redwood trees at Muir Woods. It was an abundant blessing of family, food and forestry.
I’ve heard some great one-liners in my life that have driven me to the kind of laughter that makes my lungs ache. Brilliant observations by Chris Rock, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have made me burst into giggles that speed up, slow down, stop…and then pick right back up again, sometimes for days. But few lines made me giggle as long as the innocent observation made about me by a fellow Little League mom sitting next to me in the bleachers:
“With what you do for a living, I guess you never fight at home.”
When my husband Michael and I packed a bag to bring up to visiting day at the kids’ sleep-away camp, we threw in the super soaker Jacob had requested, the light-up yo-yo Sophie asked for, and a pair of nail clippers. What we really should have packed was a tub of sheep dip for boys, and our industrial strength tolerance for apathy.
There's a first for everything, and every first deserves something - but what?
Most New York Jews probably don't remember their first visit to South Florida, aka the "sixth borough". However, no matter how many times my family heads to South Florida to visit my parents, my twins Jacob and Sophie find some new "first" to delight in.