Saturday, January 31, 2009

What Not to Wear - Toddler Edition

Asher, like many toddlers,

is beginning to develop his own distinctive style.
He'll scream at me until I dress him in, what seems to me,
the most ridiculous collection of pieces.

(If dressing like this is wrong,
he doesn't want to be right.)

Sunday, January 25, 2009


The first fall of snow is a magical event.

You go to bed in one kind of a world
and wake up in another quite different,
and if this is not enchantment
then where is it to be found?
~J. B. Priestley

Amazing auntie

"Help one another"

is part of
the religion of sisterhood.
~Louisa May Alcott

(after all this, my dear sister says,
"Thanks for having me.")

Monday, January 19, 2009

Simple Gifts

Dear Asher,

Thank you so much for your thoughtful gift.
How did you know I really wanted
my best white pillowcase
to be confetti-colored?

It was ingenious of you to throw
those crayon pieces into the dryer
to achieve the perfect effect.

It just goes to show that even a little boy with no cash
can make something beautiful for his Ima
if he puts his mind to it.

I don't know how I ever muddled through with solid-colored sheets.
(i.e., before you came along.)

Thank you, my sweet boy.


Friday, January 16, 2009

מודה אני לפניך
מלך חי וקים
שהחזרת בי נשמתי בחמלה
רבה אמונתך
"Modah Ani..."
I give thanks to You,
living and enduring King,
for having compassionately returned my soul to me.
Your faithfulness is so great.
~morning prayer

"Good morning, Asher. Did you say Modeh Ani?"
(My Name is Asher Lev, by Chaim Potok.)


This is the first prayer one says as one wakes up in the morning.
I used to take waking up for granted
and therefore never took this prayer seriously.
Then, I became an Ima.
(And I began to feel very thankful every morning when my boys woke up.)

For the past few nights, Rami has decided only to sleep when I'm holding him.
So, at 5:30 AM, I wake up on the couch, Rami in my arms, to this:

The other morning, I took 10 minutes, saying my "Modeh," and other variations on unspeakable gratitude,
for my beautiful boys,
for a beautiful life,
and for my soul, which is miraculously returned to me,
morning after morning,
to take it all in.

Which was nice.
Because then I had to

get myself dressed.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Artist in Residence

Who among us cannot remember

the unadulterated joy that comes with coloring on the walls?
In our house, there's always a big sheet of white paper taped right up there so that Ashi can do just that.
Isn't he a fabulous artist?
(He only had the slightest bit of help from Ima.)

(hard at work)


(last week's masterpiece)

Sunday, January 4, 2009


shidduch (n. SHID-uhkh)

an arranged marriage; a "match"

shadchan (n. SHOHD-chuhn)
anyone who brings together, introduces, or otherwise maneuvers a couple into a meeting that results in a wedding.
God is considered the supreme shadchan...So every shadchan considers himself charged with a quasi-divine mission, and almost every Jew is an amateur but permanent shadchan.*
Since we started this whole child-rearing endeavor, we have known that someday, God willing, our children will get married. The only thing this is sure to bring us is holidays spent with in-laws, which has the potential to miserable or delightful. We decided to get a jump on making it as delightful as possible
(because, seriously, Passover seder is a L-O-N-G meal to spend with folks you really don't like.)

Meet Nevoh. We are great friends with her parents. We love them dearly. We would like nothing better than to eat brisket with them every Rosh HaShanah. She is first in line to pick whichever of the boys she wants.
Isn't she lovely?

Why do we expect the boys (and, for that matter, Nevoh) to listen to us and get married to the person of our choice?***
1. I (and Nevoh's Ima) gave them life.
(that's pretty much the best reason anyone could have, so I'll leave it at that.)
* Rosten's The Joys of Yiddish. (Old school version.)
*** Of course, we'll love them no matter who they marry. But really, is it so much to ask?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Like Weeds

The boys are growing like weeds:
they spring up almost before your eyes;

they take over your space before you know what's hit you;
and, like the infamous dandelion,
they're so beautiful that it almost doesn't bother you at all.

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