Tag Archives: parenting

My first birthday without my dad

Today is my birthday. Normally, I’m bursting with excitement for a new year filled with challenge and adventure. This year is different. As always, I let everyone know what I expect: love notes from all the boys, a poster framed, the broken zippers replaced on my favorite winter boots. Things I never get around to, and dont feel like dealing with.

Today is my first birthday without my dad. READ MORE>

So, You Can’t Tape Your Child’s Mouth Shut

We moved recently, relocating from one of the most forward thinking places on the planet to a small town. No more highways. Very little crime. Good people. But this is no city!

Not long after we arrived, one of my boys called another “Homo!” And no, it wasn’t a “Dude, you’re so innovative — like homo-erectus. You, know, ‘homo’.” No. It was an angry put down at the expense of gay people.

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How tears can bring you and your boy closer.

I got an email the other day from an editor at the Huffington Post, asking if I would be willing to write up a short thank you note to my dad to contribute to a Father’s Day piece she was putting together. 150 words max. Seemed easy enough to write a thank you, but I totally failed on the 150 words. It seems they excerpted a soundbite and published it here.

Here’s what I really wrote (Note: THIS PIECE IS MUCH MORE INTERESTING.) 

As I was writing, one of my boys was looking over my shoulder. When I turned around to peek at his reaction, his eyes were glassy wet. I asked him how he liked it, and he said, “It almost made me cry.” “Oh,” I responded, with a sideways glance. “I guess I’ll have to keep working on it.” He smiled. This boy can hold feelings in, and needs a perfect setup to really let those healing tears flow. I asked if he had read the eulogy I’d written for my father’s funeral two months earlier, and he hadn’t. He asked me to pull it up, and I did.

We switched places. He sat in the chair holding my laptop, and I sat on the bed behind him, peering over his shoulder. I noticed the first tear drip down his cheek, and then the second. I didn’t say anything. Just set my hand on his back. It seemed forever until he finished reading, and then he closed the laptop and walked out of the room. I followed. And as he sat at the table, his head buried in his own two hands, I listened as he grieved. “It doesn’t seem like it’s really true. Maybe it isn’t? Is his wife still living in the house?” And then the sweet memories. This was good.

His behavior has been quite off-track since we got the sudden news of my father’s passing, and my husband and I left the boys with Grandma and flew to the States for three days. My son had needed me and I wasn’t there. I couldn’t be. And it’s been hard to find my way back to his heart. He’s been mad, rude, and often choosing his friends over us, his family. But since that cry he’s done an about face. He asked me to print out the eulogy for him to have. He’ll sit and listen as I read his little brother Harry Potter. Yesterday he laughed hysterically with that same brother as they told us joke after joke on a long car ride home. He even let me give him a hug.

I know his walk back towards me is far from over, but I’m about to print out that eulogy, and I’m preparing to stay by his side as he reads it again, let’s his guard down and his feelings out, and continues his walk back towards me. Sweet boy, my arms are open wide.

Happy Father’s Day – wherever you are…

Dear Dad,

It’s coming up on your birthday. And you’re not here to celebrate. First time in my life. Even in the years (most of them) when we were apart, I knew you were out there – somewhere on the globe, feet firmly planted on the ground. I had a dad. READ MORE>

Do you worry you’re not a good enough parent?

Sometimes this parenting thing gets tiresome. It feels like I’m giving giving giving, but not gettin’ any – if you know what I mean. READ MORE>

Reasoning with the Unreasonable

I felt like a little kid today in the library when I took a break from (home)work to have a snack, only to be scolded by the librarian.

“I’m sorry, but there’s no eating in the library.” READ MORE>

The Car Ride From Hell That Didn’t Really Bother Me

It’s been a long, hot summer here in our new home. We have gone from North America to Middle East, freezing ocean to warm sea, English to Hebrew (but I’ll keep my posts in the former), urban to rural, family dog to no dog, burritos to falafel, no cousins to tons of cousins, driving lanes as guides, to driving lanes as mere suggestions for placement of your vehicle (which most choose to ignore), many friends to many future friends…

Oh, and there was the month of chicken pox, baseball dreams that didn’t come true (more on that another time), broken down cars and a new dryer that didn’t work (not that we need it in this heat)… I could go on.

The point is, though, that while I’m ready to scream at the top of my lungs, “Yahoo! School starts tomorrow! We made it!” The reality is that each of the five of us is a well of emotions pounding the shore much more like the waves of the Pacific Ocean than the Mediterranean Sea. READ MORE>

Talking to Young Ones About Sex

Just tell the truth. READ MORE>

What We Want For Our Children

How not to confuse your own unfulfilled desires with theirs. READ MORE>

Finding the Sweet Spot

It’s that place where we can help our children dream big — and give them the tools to make those dreams come true. READ MORE>