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Joys and Challenges

My Daughter Has Celiac Disease
Just because I may not have an anaphylactic reaction doesn’t mean that I am not allergic to certain things. My daughter’s celiac finally helped me recognize that something can be extremely dangerous (even deadly) to us, and there may not be any obvious symptoms to show for it...
A Letter to My Adult Children
Know that I am proud of each of you. Of your accomplishments and achievements, but more importantly, of who you have become in life. Not what you do, but who you are . . .
Always Asking for More
Are my children so wrong to ask? Maybe it’s me who is wrong by becoming angry that they ask so much? Am I teaching my child that’s it’s not okay to want, that’s it’s not acceptable to ask? Is that the message that I want to give to them?
More Than Words
I was still in the same pose, clueless to his disappointment. And that’s when it hit me. I had been clueless all along . . .
Recognizing All I Do
Being a Mommy
It’s eight o’clock in the morning. My husband leaves to take the kids to school. I am sitting on the couch nursing our three-week-old baby. Four hours later he returns and finds me in the same spot, doing the same thing. I have barely moved; I have not accomplished anything that I planned to do....
My Son’s Badge of Honor
Wearing his kipah in public
There is no mistaking a kipah, especially to a fellow Jew. Whether real or not, I imagined our parents thinking, “Now they’re forcing their newly religious, fanatical ways on their innocent children, having them show their Judaism in public.”
Two Pictures
Trying to Understand My Child
It would be so easy to frame his smiling self, and pretend that this single shining moment defines him. Perhaps others would choose to dismiss this moment as an anomaly, and embrace the other photo, the one that captures his otherness. Yet these photos are the two sides of my son, and I struggle to embrace both of them, despite their extremes . . .
Baby Me
She’s quirky, but yourself you call strange, weird. You say that she is strong-willed and independent. Yourself you call stubborn. Her creativity you praise, but yours you say gets in the way of getting things done. Honey, you are judging by a double standard . . .
Out of Bounds
Raising Children to be Inviduals
I tell the psychiatrist that in our family we are all a bit weird. She seems taken aback by my openness. Perhaps she does not remember as clearly as I do what it means to be a child...
Regaining the Throne
Life without my Nanny
The days before Mariam leaves are an emotional rollercoaster. "What am I going to tell the kids? They're so attached to her," I think, lying in bed and staring at the moon. "And what about me? I can't handle my family and run my business without her. And yet, in the midst of my panic, I become aware of a part of me that's rejoicing because Mariam is leaving...
2/3 of a Mommy
Dealing with the Loss of a Child
Sometimes I look at my living family and feel so filled with love that I could radiate with it, overwhelmed with joy to the point of spilling incoherent tears because these people are just so amazing. But even those heavenly moments of crazy-lady love are so augmented by the constant presence of grief that happiness is now a completely different emotion than it once was...
When My Son Turned Moonlight into Torah
I would reach out over the edge of the cliff to feel the spray of the waves and to see the moonlight reflected off my fingernails. I closed my palm to grasp the silver rays, but the light was far, far away; it belonged to another world. A world I could not yet reach...
Riding Out the Storm
Dealing with Temper Tantrums
I don’t give into these explosions of emotions. I’ve read the literature to ignore and contain the tantruming child which I’ve tried to follow dutifully. But to my shock, dismay and even guilt that I have not raised her well, they keep on coming...
Pulling Away to Draw Close
I wonder if she is comforted knowing that as our relationship evolves Mommy is still here for her. Even though it appears that I’m pushing her away...
On-Ramps, Off-Ramps, and Mommy Ramps
It seems like women return to the work force after years at home are altering the workplace, beginning with the advent of a whole new language...
Mommy's First Day of School
When the Separation Anxiety is Mine
As I picked a little space in the corner, there was a tug on my skirt. Moo's shining, little face was upturned, "Gimme a kiss!" How could I refuse? And then, "Ok, bye Mommy."
Living in Perpetual Mourning
Raising a Severely Brain-Injured Child
I am here with my son, Adin, now seventeen years old. When he was two and a half he choked on a grape, sustaining a severe brain injury as a result of that horrific accident. For twelve years he remained relatively stable, but that all changed two years ago...
Waking Up on the Right Side of Me
When everyone is somewhat quietly engrossed in their food, I return to my room to try to wake myself up, thinking all the while, "It is 5:30 in the morning and I am being treated like a waitress." The rest of the morning doesn't usually go any better...
From Illness to Faith
Living with My Son's Crohn's Disease
At the outset, he had an extremely positive outlook and oftentimes said, "However uncomfortable I am right now, it could always be much worse." These self-soothing words were a source of comfort, motivation and positive perspective, all of which served as a real anchor...
The Juggler
Appreciating the Challenges of Motherhood
the broken vase on the floor is just that, a broken vase—and the spilled milk is easily cleaned up. Women who watch me ask me how I have such patience. The patience comes with perspective...
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