Friday, June 28, 2013

How My Daughter Makes Me the Proudest Mother in the World, in Just 8 Minutes

Tipping the Teacher

I have a love/hate relationship with tipping. As someone who has worked as a waitress, a barrista, a babysitter and a camp counselor, I fully recognize that tipping is hugely important to those who work for (or around) minimum wage. I didn’t bust my butt at those jobs JUST BECAUSE I knew it would result in good tips, but counting up my bonus at the end of the day, or at the end of the summer, was definitely THE thrilling highlight of those careers.

But BECAUSE I have worked many jobs that were hugely impacted by tips, I am now a very generous, very guilt-ridden tipper. Every time we eat out, I leave the restaurant wondering if we were generous enough with our tip – after all, the poor waitress had to deal with our chaotic entourage, and our two kids always manage to leave a treasure trove of straw wrappers, spilled salt, and bread crusts under our table. In my mind, tipping our server is a way of making sure that if we are to return to the same restaurant, we won’t see our photo on a “MOST WANTED” sign posted on the establishment’s door.

So if I am THAT laden with guilt when it comes to tipping for food service, you can only imagine the anxiety I experience when my daughter’s school year comes to an end, and it is time to tip her teachers.

On the one hand, tipping teachers doesn’t quite make sense to me. I FULLY acknowledge that teachers are underpaid and overworked, and I think that totally SUCKS. I think teachers (especially early childhood teachers) should be paid like rock stars, because seriously, they ARE rock stars.

But just because the world is totally effed up, and teachers (especially early childhood teachers) are paid in peanut shells, should the parents feel the need to make up for it with our holiday and end-of-year tipping? We already pay OUT THE NOSE for daycare for our child. If we weren’t paying for daycare, we could afford to buy a new car EVERY TWO YEARS. So in a way, feeling obligated to ALSO tip the teachers is like pouring salt on a very open, very festering wound.

But on the other hand? My daughter’s teachers are demigods. Every day, when I drop Em off at school, I look around the room at all of the crazy, sniffly, cranky, rambunctious kids, and I just think “how in the WORLD do they DO it?” And I mean, I KNOW how hard it is to watch my daughter for nine hours a day. Her attention span is exactly three seconds long. She has the patience of a crack addict. Yet, somehow, her teachers have managed to wrangle her energy and keep her from killing herself for the past 365 days. For that, I feel like I owe them ALL of my money. ALL of it.

So of course we end up tipping the daycare teachers, twice a year. But again, the minute I hand them the envelope, I am wracked with guilt. Did we give them enough? Will they open the envelope and laugh at our “gift”? If I am walking down the street with my two kids, years from now, will they try to run me over with their car because I didn’t give them enough? What is ENOUGH, when it comes to tipping a teacher?

I am glad that yesterday was Em’s last day at daycare, and that we will be starting life as a stay-at-home family next week, for a multitude of reasons. One of those reasons? I won’t have to deal with “tip-the-teacher” guilt for at least a few more years.

How do you deal with tipping the teacher? I’d love to hear from you!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dear God: Our Backyard Cannot Accommodate an Ark

Are you there, God? It's me, Dvora.

Yes, that's right. I'm the one who only calls or writes you letters when I am panicking. I can't really blame you for not returning my calls.

But, so, here's the thing. The Weather Channel is predicting rain and severe thunderstorms for, like, the 147th time since the beginning of June. We're kind of over it, you know? As attractive as the whole "galoshes and shorts and frizzy hair" look is, we're ready to wear our sandals and have a good hair day. Also, next week is the Fourth of July (not a religious holiday, so I know its not really on your radar), and some of us would really like to have NON-soggy buns with our burgers and dogs.

Is this your way of getting revenge on the writers of the Farmer's Almanac, who predicted a DRYER summer than usual for the Northeast? Are you sitting back in your great big chair in the sky, laughing your great big God-y laugh (which I can only imagine sounds like James Earl Jones), knowing that you've proven them farmers VERY VERY wrong?

Just so you know, I did my homework, and I am sad to report that an ark won't fit in our backyard. I used my arm to try and measure out 300 cubits by 50 cubits, and there's no WAY we can build it back there. Especially since our yard is already accommodating a swingset, a sandbox, a slide, a trampoline, a mini trampoline, two tricycles, and a toddler-sized house.

Would it be okay if we built a mini-ark, and were a bit more selective than Noah was, in our choices for which species we save from this world? That would be great, cause I think I might be allergic to cats, and the whole world agrees that you must not have had your thinking cap on when you created mosquitos. Maybe we'll just save the ponies. Also, do My Little Ponies count as species, because my daughter will definitely want to bring AT LEAST two of those on board with her?

C just got home from work, so we're gonna high-tail it over to Home Depot to see if they have a sale on gopher wood (which seems ironic, since we won't be saving the gophers). If they don't have cheap gopher wood, will plywood do?

Need to run. We want to make it back before our town turns into one big puddle.

Stop smirking.

This is your number one semi-absentee fan, signing off,


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My Mother's Letters: 37 Years Ago Today

I just found this letter among the stack of my mother's writings. It dates back to exactly 37 years ago today, when I was just about 9 months old. The letter brings back (vague) memories of Columbus, Ohio, where I spent the first few years of my life. I remember Ohio as being very FLAT, and that the sky looked HUGE. I remember riding my tricycle around our driveway and our block. I remember getting my hands sticky with the sap that came out of the trees in our backyard...
I DON'T remember teething, which apparently made me a not-so-pleasant baby to be around.
As a side note, in this letter my mother refers to getting our photos taken at Sears. I still have the pics of me from this "photo shoot." Apparently the photographers at Sears loved my photo so much they put it up at the store. I guess my 15 seconds of fame happened when I was nine months old. It's all been downhill from there :)

Dearest Mom and Dad –

It’s kind of early to have exciting news, but life is full of surprises. No – I’m not pregnant… rather, I have a part-time job for six weeks this summer – leading the mother & toddler summer program at the Jewish Center. It’s three mornings – Wednesday,ThursdayFriday, 9 – 11:30 am, a week, in the grassy area by the wading pool – cancelled in case of rain - $20 a session. It’s a little extra money (maybe we’ll get a color TV) plus a chance to try out some new, outdoor-oriented art, music & physical activities. It will cut into our project-finishing time, and telescope each of our free-time hours, and cut into our recreating time a little. It changes the outlook of the next several weeks considerably.

Other news – the corn is as high as an elephant’s eye (?) Well, anyway, our garden is flourishing – there’s been lots of rain in the last few days… We’ve got a nest of baby robins in our Russian olive tree in the backyard… Seth and Ariel repainted the front door yesterday; today Seth put a second child seat on his bike, so we can go out riding both kids together. Meanwhile, I was sweeping out and trying to organize the garage – it’ll take another day or two to get it all sorted out.

Dvora is definitely cutting new teeth – her waking hours are erratically fitful and unhappy, though she exhausts herself during the day and sleeps pretty well at night. By August, when you visit, she’ll probably have a mouthful of teeth, be walking and possibly saying a few words – her bye-bye is getting more consistent and she mimics our sounds when she can.

Ariel keeps talking about November, New York and you – we had a big discussion about how nice it would be if we lived nearby and could have frequent visits, and why we don’t – even to the point of promising that when she’s a teenager she can fly by herself to visit you and then fly back to us. She painted some beautiful paintings for you today – her own idea – as an afterthought she asked for extra paper to paint some quickies for us.

Nothing much left to write – I’m taking the kids for new pictures at Sears and hope to pick up a new lamp for Ariel’s room and make her new laminated shades today – not much on the agenda.

We love you. Happy Birthday and Happy Fourth of July!

Sandy, Seth, Ariel and Dvora

Friday, June 21, 2013

My Mother’s Letters

Shortly after my mother passed away two years ago, I acquired a small stack of letters she had written to our family members (mostly my paternal grandmother, with whom she was very close). The letters span a good twenty years of her life, beginning back in January of 1969. Of course, blogging didn’t exist back in 1969, but if it had, I think my mother would have made a great blogger. Her letters are incredibly detailed (okay, sometimes TOO detailed), and they make it so easy to imagine the life she was living during those years.

Though my relationship with my mother was always somewhat rocky due to her (untreated) manic-depression, I really treasure these letters. I can hear my mother’s voice quite distinctly when I read them. They are a pretty sincere portrait of who my mother was, who I remember her to be, her relationship with my father, and her experiences as a mother. They also help me learn and understand more about my early childhood years. And it’s fascinating to compare her concerns and priorities to my own current priorities and concerns.

I hope that my blog will play a similar role for my kids, in helping them understand and remember their own childhoods and our experiences as a family.

Because paper letters are so fragile and vulnerable, I am going to transcribe my mother’s words and keep them on a page on my blog. These letters may not be of interest to everyone, but I hope they will help my children “meet” the grandmother they never got a chance to know. For others, they may be an interesting portrait of life during the late sixties, seventies, and eighties, through one woman’s eyes.

I hope to not offend anyone in doing this. If I come across any letters (or sections of letters) that involve issues I think might be too personal or potentially hurtful, I will exclude them.

Friday, 10 January 1969

Dear Mom and Dad:

Well, we finally did it! We bought a T.V. and a vacuum cleaner. Now life is complete – hardly. The T.V. is a Sharp brand – they make the parts for lots of other T.V. companies. The best part was that the dealer gives a two-year warranty on all parts and labor. It is 18” and came delivered with the wrong stand, but we’ll get another one on Sunday. It’s just that after the effort Seth went through to set the stand up without the use of pliers or a hammer, it was a shame to take it apart. The vacuum cleaner is a canister Eureka which is really sharp, it has a piggy back stand for all the extra attachments and the cord snaps into the body. As soon as we finished dinner, I went to work cleaning the radiators out.I’ve got my work cut out for me this weekend. Besides cooking about 3 fancy dinners in advance, and vacuuming, I want to finish a pink knit dress I started before vacation. And there’s the Super Bowl, of course.

Did you get the bank book and check? Was the money put in the bank yet? We got your movie- letter. Your vacation sounds like it really turned out well. Ellen will have to write to me about her adventures.

On last Sunday I substituted for a first grade teacher at the synagogue. I should get about nine dollars for the three hours that I worked. I was kind of disappointed in the setup, however, which didn’t seems as progressive and unusual as I was led to expect. Also the other regular staff members were rather snobby and I felt like an outsider, even with our whole floor around.

Seth and I have been playing a lot of chess lately. On Sunday he found a chess problem in an advertisement in the Times Book Review, and all week long he’s been trying to figure it out. Every time he thinks he’s come up with the three-move checkmate, I play the opponent’s pieces and get out of it.

Today I am getting my hair trimmed at the barber shop during lunch. They have a barber shop near the dormitories that does both men and girl’s hair, so I figured I’d go, but I hope they don’t cut it too short.

It has been bitter cold and the ground is all iced over. For the past few days I have wanted to go shopping after work, but can never get up the nerve and warmth to make it the eight or nine blocks. Yesterday I did get halfway there, and stopped at an art supply store to pick up mat board and Elmer’s glue to start on my tissue paper picture. Today I’m supposed to make sketches for Seth’s approval.

That’s all I can think of for now. Write soon and a lot.



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

You Know You Are a Sleep-Deprived Parent When…

You pour milk over a bowl full of chocolate covered espresso beans and tell your kids you are eating cereal for breakfast.

You let your daughter go to daycare looking like this:

You try convincing your toddler that the best game in the world is the “who can sleep the longest” game.

You are quite certain Dora the Explorer knows the true meaning of life, but she is refusing to share her secrets.

You start envying dead people because of all the rest they are getting.

You spend your lunch break trying to convince the barristas at Starbucks that they need to invent something MUCH larger than a Venti or Trenta.

You start rationalizing that it wouldn’t be TOO TERRIBLE if you just took a quick catnap while your toddler and baby are taking a bath.

While changing the baby, you briefly contemplate adding a “weird looking baby poop” page to your Pinterest page because you think your friends would enjoy it.

Your breastmilk comes out looking and smelling like a latte.

You realize you have spent the last forty minutes daydreaming about dreaming.

You realize you have spent the last forty minutes daydreaming about dreaming.

In your blog post about sleep deprivation, you repeat the same sentence twice. And you are too lazy to fix it.
Your child asks you why your eyes make you look like a scary monster.

Your daughter asks you to play with her My Little Pony dolls, and you spend the entire time pretending your little pony is in a coma.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day

To the love of my life, who makes every hard day much more tolerable, and every easy day much more blissful. You are an amazing dad, an unbelievable husband, and all that you do is SO VERY appreciated. I love you with all my heart.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Bravo, Supreme Court!

A HUGE BRAVO to the Supreme Court for unanimously ruling that the Myriad Genetics' patents on the BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 genes are invalid. This will open the doors for more competition in testing for the cancer-related genetic mutations, which should in turn lower the costs for these tests, and make them more widely available for those who choose to be tested.

Daycare Director Deserves a "Time Out"

So, yesterday’s daycare pick-up was basically a disaster.

First, I discovered that Em had had TWO accidents during the day. TWO! She’s been so good with her potty training, with a few recent slip-ups, but she hasn’t had two accidents in one day in FOREVER. That had me wondering if her teachers were being as vigilant as they should be about potty patrol, or if they were maybe slacking off in the pee pee department. Or maybe Em is going through a rough patch and needs to be better about telling her teachers when she needs to go. Sigh.

Second, I discovered that Em had taken a full two hour nap, which basically meant she wouldn’t be anywhere NEAR tired until about 10 or 10:30 at night. Oh yayyyyy! For months now, I have been begging and pleading with her teachers to cut her nap off at the hour and fifteen minute mark. I have told them that when she takes a two hour nap, she acts like Richard Simmons on Red Bull well into the night, and the next morning she acts like Tommy Lee Jones at the Golden Globes. It’s not a good scene.

Apparently, they don’t get it.

OR they DO get it, but just like having a nice long two hour break from their students in the middle of the day. I’m human. I understand. But as the parent who has to get my groggy, sleep-deprived daughter dressed and out the door in the morning, I must stand my ground and keep protesting this super long siesta.

But that’s all peanuts compared to the REAL daycare drama went down as we were leaving the building.

I should preface this by saying that Em is still somewhat attached to her pacifier, at the ripe old age of two and a half. She uses it mostly at night, when going to sleep, but also sometimes in the morning, on the way to daycare, and in the afternoon, on the way home from daycare.

To be honest, as parents, we haven’t really been pushing her to give up her paci. I guess I’ve been waiting for her to voluntarily give it up after she realizes most kids her age are no longer using pacifiers. Also, it may have SOMETHING to do with the fact that I gave up my own pacifier and security blanket when I was, like, maybe 25 years old.

So, anyway, Em and Oren and I were walking out of her classroom toward the building’s exit, when the daycare director came over to Emmy and SNATCHED my daughter’s pacifier out of her mouth.

“You don’t need this!” The director said, in a semi-mocking but also semi-angry tone, “This is for BABIES! You’re too BIG for a pacifier!”

Then she dropped Em’s pacifier into Oren’s stroller.

Emmy was shocked. Her body curled into mine, and she buried her face in my shoulder. Her face was the SADDEST I had ever seen it. And after a few seconds of shock, Em started sobbing.

“Well, I guess I didn’t make any FRIENDS today,” said the director in a sarcastic tone. And then she walked away.

Now, in hindsight, I WISH TO THE HIGH HEAVENS I had spoken up, and blurted out my gut reaction, which was truly “WAIT!! WHAT THE F&^*??!!”

But I didn’t. Instead, I high-tailed it out of the building, and took my crying daughter to the car, where I hugged her real tight before buckling her in.

I was left to deal with her emotional mess, and I did it in the most straightforward and honest way I could.

“You know what, Emmy? That was NOT a nice thing for her to do. It is not nice to grab things from people, and she shouldn’t have taken your paci. She should have said she was sorry.”

Em looked at me through her teary eyes.

“Not nice,” she said.

Then I gave Em her pacifier back.

I mean, seriously?? Do I have to TELL the daycare director that it is NOT appropriate to grab things from other children, especially OUT OF THEIR MOUTHS (unless they are CHOKING or chewing on SCISSORS)? Do I have to tell the daycare director that if she makes a child cry for doing something hurtful, she needs to APOLOGIZE for her childish behavior?

If the director had a serious issue with Em’s use of her pacifier AFTER daycare hours, she should have done the appropriate thing and talked to ME about weaning the behavior. I THINK she may have meant it to come across as sort of funny, but it was definitely NOT FUNNY. I was floored by how inappropriate she was. Floored.

So here I am, two weeks away from taking my daughter out of daycare for good so that I can stay home with her and be responsible for her care. I don’t know if it is worth it at this point to tell the daycare director how out of place I think her behavior was, or if I should just get over it and let it go.

Have you had any similar experiences? Am I overreacting? How would you deal with this situation if you were me? Grateful, as always, for the feedback.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Two and a Half Going on Sixteen

You know that song “Sunrise, Sunset” from the musical “Fiddler on the Roof”? Well, growing up, whenever my dad heard that song, he would start tearing up and getting all sorts of weepy. My sisters and I thought it was kind of funny, seeing a grown man cry whenever he heard a particular song. It probably wasn’t nice of us to MOCK my dad for being sensitive and getting emotional, but we were KIDS. We didn’t understand. We thought he was being silly.

But now? I totally get it. If I heard “Sunrise, Sunset,” today, I would probably melt into a mess of tears, grab my children, and weep into their tiny little heads.

Ever since I became a mom to Emmy, some 30 months ago, I have heard the phrase “they grow up so quickly” more times than I have heard any other words. Relatives, friends, co-workers, and strangers in the supermarket have all instructed me to treasure these moments, when my children are so young and tiny and cute, because “in the blink of an eye” they will be angst-ridden teenagers, and in two blinks they will be visiting from college less often than we would like, and in three blinks they will be bringing their own kids over to our house for holiday celebrations.

I’ve taken these words to heart, really I have. But the truth behind the words really sunk in yesterday.

When I brought the kids home from their Baba’s house in the afternoon, Oren was exhausted and was in desperate need of a nap. I asked Em to play nicely by herself for a few minutes, so I could put Baby O down for a rest, and told her that after he was asleep I would come play with her.

Well, Em didn’t seem to pay attention to my request. As soon as I had laid Oren down in my bed, Em started running up and down the hallway screaming, “Mama! Mama! Look what I have! Mama, where is my shoes?? Mama!!” which of course woke Oren up and made him supremely miserable.

“Emmy, you have to be quiet,” I said. “Mama is putting Oren down for a nap. Do you want to come here and snuggle with us?”

“YESSS!” she screamed. And then she crawled into the big bed with me and the miserable baby. I snuggled Em and Oren, and after a few seconds Oren started closing his eyes again.

“Mama! I need my MASSY!! I need my MASSY!” Emmy started wailing. Massy means pacifier, in Emmy lingo.

Oren again woke up and started screaming. I got out of bed, searched for and found Em’s pacifier, and came back to my two miserable children.

“EMMY! You have to be quiet!!” I shout-whispered. “I need you to cooperate or else you have to go to your own room. Oren needs to take a nap!”

I handed her the massy.

“I don’t want THAT MASSY!! WAAAAAAAAAH!!” my lovely daughter cried. Oren chimed in.

“Em, I can’t help you right now. Oren REALLY needs a nap. You can either lie down with us, with THIS massy OR you can get a time out!”

Ugh. I hate using “time out” as a threat to get Emmy to cooperate. But it WORKED. Emmy stopped crying, snuggled into my body, and Oren finally fell asleep. Once the baby was sleeping, I told Em we had to sneak out of the room and shut the door without making any noise. She whispered “ok,” and followed my lead.

Em and I tiptoed to the kitchen, where we started playing with the refrigerator magnets. Suddenly, she turned to me.

“Mama, I sorry for talking in loud voice and waking up baby.”

“Oh, Em. That’s ok.”

“I sorry for making you angry, Mama.”

“Oh, come here, Emmy. Its ok. Sometimes it is just hard for mama to pay attention to you AND to baby brother. That’s why I ask you to cooperate. Thank you for apologizing, Emmy. I love you.”

It was the first time Emmy had apologized to me on her own accord, with complete awareness of what she had done to make me want to pull my hair out of my head. I mean, sure, she had been behaving like a complete BABY five minutes prior, but in her post-meltdown moment of self-reflection, she was behaving like such an ADULT.

Later in the day, when Dada got home, he and I wanted to go to the store to buy a window fan. Em was busy having fun riding her tricycle around in our basement (it was raining outside) and seemed very UNinterested in joining us on our expedition.

Usually the threat of us leaving the house is enough to motivate Emmy to put down whatever she is doing so she can run towards us, screaming “I’m coming! I’m coming!”
Not this time.

“Emmy, Dada and Oren and I are going shopping. Do you want to come with us?”

“I stay here,” she said.

“Are you sure?” Dada and I asked. “You don’t want to come with us?”

“No, that’s ok. I stay here and ride my tricycle.” She continued riding around in circles. “Bye bye! See you later!”

C and I went up the basement stairs. Emmy didn’t budge.

“Em, we’re leaving! You SURE you don’t want to come with us?” we asked.

C even shut off the light to the basement to see if THAT would motivate Emmy.

“I’m ok,” Emmy called. “I not scared of monsters. I stay here and ride my tricycle in the dark.”

Who WAS this child?? Was she two and a half, or had she suddenly become a sixteen year old, eager to have some time in the house by herself, without the ‘rents and her annoying kid brother?

I ALMOST started going down the stairs to start further negotiations with Emmy when she decided that riding her tricycle around in a dark basement by herself wasn’t totally thrilling, and she announced that she WOULD honor us with her company on our trip.

Thank goodness.

“I can’t believe she called our bluff!” C said to me, as we got everyone into the car. “We are going to be in such trouble when she’s a teenager!”

I looked into the back seat, where our pint-sized girl was staring out the window, looking very much like a toddler.

All I could think of was that song “Sunrise, Sunset.” And yeah, I teared up a little.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Oren at 6 Months (almost)

I love this boy, in ways I cannot put into words, and I cannot believe he's been in my life for 6 months. It seems like he arrived yesterday, but also like he has been in my life forever.

Thank you, Oren, for being the sweet, loving baby you are.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Toddler is My Best Friend

Yesterday was just one of those YAYYYY LIFE days.

Well, I mean, work wasn’t spectacular. The copy machine broke down and everyone was pissy about it and I felt like shaking every one of my co-workers, screaming “it’s just the copy machine! It is not Armageddon! Relax!!!”

But AFTER work? Yayyyy.

First of all, it was a drop-dead gorgeous spring day – the first after a number of days of super uncomfortable heat, humidity and thunderstorms. I picked Em and Oren up from their Baba’s house and, as promised, took them to the local playground. We brought Em’s tricycle along so she could ride around the perimeter of the park and practice her pedaling skills (which, in my humble opinion, are totally AMAZING).

The first thing Emmy always wants to do when we get to the playground is swing on her favorite pink swing. There is only one pink swing among the many blue swings on this playground, which of course makes it extra special and coveted by Emmy. Even if ALL THE OTHER swings are available and someone just happens to be on the pink one, Emmy will wait patiently for her turn on the magical swing (she claims that she is being very kind in letting the other toddler take a turn on HER swing).

So, yesterday, as usual, Em got in HER pink swing and I put Oren in the nothing-to-write-home-about blue swing next to her.

My daughter likes to do this thing where she pretends to kick me in the behind every time she swings forward (I made the mistake of pretending she kicked me in the butt once, causing her to laugh hysterically, and now she wants me to do it ALL THE TIME. Probably not one of my most brilliant mommying moments). I kind of hop out of the way of Em’s swing while faking little scared, high pitched squeals. It MUST make the other parents on the playground question my sanity. Thankfully, the playground was relatively uninhabited yesterday, and I was able to really ham it up for Em and totally make a fool of myself without fear of folks calling the cops.

So I started my crazy ooh-I’ve-been-kicked-in-the-butt charades, when suddenly I HEARD IT.

The sound that makes all moms want to freeze time and just live forever in a moment.

I heard my baby boy’s beautiful belly laugh. And let me tell you, it was AWESOME.

You can bet your sweet bippy that I continued hopping around and making silly noises for the next twenty minutes, trying to evoke as many baby laughs as I possibly could. Em was SO over the whole swinging thing and was SO ready to move on to the slide or the sandbox, but I begged and pleaded with her to stay on the swing so she could continue to kick me and we could continue to make Oren laugh.

Finally, when Oren seemed to be exhausted from laughing, we got off the swings and headed toward the pond, where we like to watch the ducks and fishies swim around. Em rode her tricycle as I walked with Oren strapped to me in his Ergo carrier. As Em was riding, she was singing a little song to herself which I couldn’t really understand but was enjoying nonetheless. Suddenly Em looked up at me and said “Mama, I love you so much. You’re my best friend.”


“Emmy, I love you TOO! You are MY best friend!”

“Mama, you are my BEST FRIEND MAMA. We have a lot of fun.”

“Oh, Em. You are my BEST FRIEND DAUGHTER. And yes, we do have A LOT of fun.”

“I love you. You are my BEST FRIEND, Mama.”

“Thank you, Emmy. Thank you.”

And then she started singing a little song about being best friends.

Seriously? Why don’t kids WARN US five minutes before they are going to act like tiny little angels? I mean, I REALLY wanted to record that moment. I want that moment documented, forever and ever and ever. In ten years, when my daughter thinks I am single-handedly ruining her life, I’d REALLY like to be able to look back on that moment and think about the time she told me I was her best friend. In twenty years, when my little boy is off at college and hasn’t called me in weeks, I REALLY want to be able to remember the first time I made him laugh hysterically.

But isn’t that the truth about life, even in this high-tech age? The best moments CAN’T always be recorded. Sometimes they just have to live in our hearts and in our minds (and in our blogs). And that has to be enough.