If we’re not already Facebook friends, please come find me. You’ll get updated on what my son Jacob is baking for Shabbat, what sports victory my daughter Sophie is celebrating this week, and how patient my husband Michael is in managing all of our personalities and schedules without losing his sanity.
When it comes to Hebrew, I have mastered a single phrase, ani lo m’daberet ivrit, which means “I don’t speak Hebrew.” The problem is that, while my command of the Hebrew language is severely limited (read: previous sentence), my Israeli accent is pretty impressive, if I do say so myself. It leads to a significant amount of confusion on the part of the listener – that disconnect between what I am saying and how I am saying it. I see people look at me with confusion, wondering, “Does she really not speak Hebrew?
My 11 year old son Jacob has no problem asking for me for money. Whether it’s for a new Star Wars Legos set that is priced above rubies or for a new video game so that he can learn to snowboard like Shaun White (in the warmth of our basement), he easily and eagerly asks for cash to meet his ever-changing wants and needs. No embarrassment, no hesitation.
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:
A month after we met, my future husband Michael and I took our first camping vacation near New Hope, PA. The flower, the trees and yes, the romance, were all in full bloom. We walked the quaint town's shop-lined streets, hiked some local mountains (fine, hills) and told one another our dreams for the future.
That is, until suddenly and without warning, I became utterly uncommunicative.