Let me start by telling you a little about my childhood. My mother was, amongst other things, a writer. I would spend hours poring over her scrapbook with clippings of all the pieces she’d written for various magazines, voraciously lapping up her success and revelling in it. I’d stare at her byline under the picture of The Most Beautiful Woman In The Whole World and I couldn’t believe that this talented writer - who was published – was my mother.
As I grew up, I watched as my mother tore up rule books and wrote two books and a slew of TV series. Never mind that she was an ex-school teacher who was now a stay at home mom. I couldn’t have kept count of the times I heard her say “Where is the rule book that says I can’t do (insert giant, insane feat here)?” and then watch the world stare, open-mouthed, as she succeeded wildly in her crazy ventures.
You see, my mother was an adventurer. She didn’t ask the world for permission to be fabulous. She went out and granted her own permission slips with wild abandon. She dived head first into her passions and often landed spread-eagled, face-first, skirt over head. Did she cry? No, sirree. My mom laughed. Read the rest of this entry
It was a regular day at the local shopping centre. Being December, the centre was decorated with tinsel and holly and all things Christmas. Carols were creating jolly white noise and the atmosphere was festive as we went about our business.
My kids know about Christmas and we give presents to our Christian friends (we’ve also been known to sneak next door to help decorate our neighbours’ tree) but, as practicing Jews, we don’t celebrate Christmas. We don’t have a tree. We don’t receive presents. We don’t do Santa. (I do sing Christmas carols, though, can’t help myself. Really, who doesn’t love a red-nosed reindeer?) Chanukah happens to coincide with Christmas, as calendars go, but there’s really no competition – lighting a candle and spinning a dreidel don’t have a hope of matching up to the excitement that Christmas brings.
We were talking about Christmas and what it means to our friends when we walked past Santa Claus. This red-tracksuited, red-faced (no doubt, from boiling in that red tracksuit in an Australian heatwave) man grinned at my kids and cheerily declared, “Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!” They shyly smiled back and we carried on, leaving Santa scratching his head and wondering about these weird kids, not enthralled by him.
We needed to go to the supermarket to pick up a few odds and ends and while we were in there, the kids huddled together and had a “private chat”. I was not allowed to listen but I could see, from their expressions, that whatever it was they were discussing was S E R I O U S. Read the rest of this entry
To my daughter’s Kindy teacher,
How do I begin to thank you for what you’ve done for Baby G this year?
You welcomed my little girl into your classroom in the beginning of the year with your arms wide open. No booboo wasn’t worth a cuddle and a band-aid and, likewise, no achievement wasn’t worth a mighty celebration. It didn’t matter that the achievement was ‘not crying’ when it was goodbye Mummy time – you recognised the gravity of each and every moment in her year and respected her right to be little for as long as she needed to be. As a result, Baby G dances into your classroom, runs to you for cuddles and declares you to be the prettiest of all fairy princesses. How do I thank you for that?
You start every morning with a song and dance Read the rest of this entry
The Ugly Beautifuls
On a recent family trip away to breathtakingly beautiful Kalbarri, a small coastal town on the West Australian coast, we spent a lot of time walking the seemingly endless length of the untouched beaches and collecting shells. In the evenings, we’d lay them all out and sort through the treasures we’d found.
Kids love to sort and categorise and this was especially true for Baby G. Long after the bigger kids had gone off to do what big kids do, she could be found inspecting each and every shell and carefully considering where it belonged.
She had very specific piles. She explained that The Curlies were the shells that she could hold to her ear and listen to the sea. They had curly insides and that was the part that she thought was special. Eyes glinting, she proudly showed me The Pretties, named because they were pearlescent and lovely. Seriously, she held up one of the group that looked like mini volcanoes and declared that they were called, logically, The Volcanoes. Next to these were The Interestings, named so because they couldn’t be categorised but were cool and needed to be picked up and kept, nonetheless. Finally, with a solemn face, she showed me the last of her groups and, with reverence, she declared them to be The Ugly Beautifuls.
I looked down at this group of shells and inwardly giggled. They really weren’t beautiful, but she sure was accurate when it came to the “Ugly” descriptor. They looked like little brains… small whitish blobs of shell, shaped like pieces of brain.
I asked her, “Baby G, why do you call these The Ugly Beautifuls?” Read the rest of this entry
This morning, as I battled to tame her deliciously curly brown hair for school, Baby G very sadly uttered,
“Mama, I wish I had long, straight yellow hair and blue eyes.”
That one sentence halted my world, Matrix like. In the microseconds that followed, I was forced to swallow the bitter pill that was her first yearning to be something other than herself. That one sentence had the potential to become the first brick in the foundation of the hateful self-doubt jail that so many of us women have built and locked ourselves in. That one sentence needed to be faced, head on.
I responded, faking nonchalance, “Tell me, why do you want long, straight, yellow hair and blue eyes?”
She replied (somewhat condescendingly), “Because EVERYONE knows that yellow hair and blue eyes are the prettiest kind.”
As I mentally beat Barbie to smithereens with a meat mallet and cursed Disney for Cinderella and Rapunzel, I dug deep for the right words to say to her.
In case you’re new here, and aren’t familiar with the MOMfessional, I’ll explain. We all have secrets, don’t we? I certainly do – in fact I have so much dirty laundry, I have no choice but to air it. As bloggers, we hang it all out, every day and most of us have a strong network of friends and family who support us incredibly. This comes at a price – there are just some things that we don’t necessarily want to share with our nearest and dearest, plus the school mums, plus our work colleagues… you get the drift.
Out of this situation, the MOMfessional was lovingly born to proud parents, Chris from Life Your Way and I. Without any further waffling on, welcome to the MOMfessional - a space where other parenting bloggers can let it all hang out.
Some advice: Get comfortable.
Today, Molley Mills from the hilarious blog, A Mother Life, is in the MOMfessional, talking about something that will (most likely) ruffle a few feathers. You see, Molley was ‘the other woman’. Read the rest of this entry
As an adult ADHD sufferer with severe organizational and time management issues (and by severe, I mean crippling, suffocating, chaos-causing issues), I have found myself becoming increasingly overwhelmed by the volume of housework, kids’ school organizing and personal to-dos in the past few months. In true ADHD style, I find myself dealing with a zillion unrelated to-dos by running around in circles, flapping my arms and yelling at everyone. Here’s a heads up: this method does not work. Read the rest of this entry
(How a doll from 1984 taught me a lesson last week.)
I walked along the aisle, staring intently at box after box. Peeking at me through each cellophane window was a hopeful face that quietly implored, “Me! Me! Choose me!”
I was as stressed out as an eight year old could be, torn between the one with blue eyes and blonde pigtails and the one with brown hair, dimples and green eyes. I could not believe this day had come. I was going to become a Mommy!
It was 1984 and to celebrate my eighth birthday, I was adopting a Cabbage Patch Kid.
This was serious business. Cabbage Patch Kids were not simply dolls, you know. They were orphans who needed mommies (orphans grown in a cabbage patch, which was slightly weird, but details…) and I felt the full weight of this immense responsibility on my little shoulders.
How was I going to choose the right one? Oh, the agony of indecision. There were endless choices and combinations – dimples on one cheek or both, blonde hair in a ponytail or pigtails. Green, grey or blue eyes. This would be a decision of epic proportions.
Having narrowed my choice down to pretty blonde and cute-as-a-button brunette, I decided to walk another lap and clear my mind.
That’s when I saw The One. Read the rest of this entry