Category Archives: Inspire

The meanies lost, or how I taught my four-year-old about the Holocaust 

I watched my son gaze curiously at the wall of the synagogue; his eyes falling on a worn and tattered scroll behind a glass display.

We were visiting my parents’ synagogue during the first two two days of Passover, and my son wanted to learn more about the Torah, the hand-scribed scroll of the Old Testament, which hung on the wall. This particular Torah was desecrated by the Nazis during World War Two and was recovered by the Jewish people. This sacred object was very much a symbol of the resilience of my community and a source of pride for the synagogue.

My inquisitive four-year-old examined the tears and burnt markings and wanted to know what happened. He understood the Torah was usually kept in the Aron Kodesh, or holy cabinet, and is used during Jewish prayer service. He wanted to know why this particular Torah was behind glass.

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Play in the rain

Rainy days were awesome at summer camp. We put on our least favorite clothing (hopefully for our parents’ sake),  find an open space in the middle of the field and plunge on to our bellies. Sliding through the mud we didn’t care how wet and filthy we became. We were kids having fun.

I’m guessing you have a similar story from your childhood. Remember how amazing stomping in puddles felt? The sound of the splashing water. The squishy sensation of your boats. The smell of rain. Continue reading

The truth about working from home with kids

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When I was pregnant with my first child, I decided I would keep working. My job as a writer/editor enabled me to work from home, and, while it didn’t pay a lot, it did provide decent insurance coverage for my family. My husband, then an independent contractor, also worked from home. Our ability to work where we wanted and flexible schedules, in theory, gave us the perfect scenario for keeping our jobs while raising our children.

Before my baby was born, I arranged, what I thought at the time, was a pretty sweet setup. I would work from home four days a week and come in to the office for one. I could be at home with my child and still work. On those days I had to be in the office, my husband could take care of the baby. What kick-ass parents we would be. Killing it in the workforce and as parents.

Then our son was born.

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To my fellow stay-at-home moms on a ‘day without women’

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On March 8, thousands (millions?) of women will forego working in support of “A Day Without Women,” a protest organized by those behind the Women’s March on Washington.

The organizers are well-meaning, but what’s that they say about “good intentions?”

According to the organizers’ website, women can participate in one or all of the following ways:

  1. Taking off from work (paid or unpaid)
  2. Only shopping at small, women- and minority-owned businesses
  3. Wearing red

With the exception of option three (unless red just really isn’t in your color wheel), if you are someone, like me, who is a full-time caregiver for your small children, “taking off” simply isn’t possible. Continue reading

5 Easy ways to add science to your preschooler’s day

My family spends much of our day outside, mostly to keep our two boys from climbing off the walls. On those days when the weather is too gross to be outdoors, I often turn to engaging experiments and projects to pass the time.

You don’t need much to spark the little scientist in your kid: just some objects you have around the house and some curiosity does the trick.

Here are five simple ways to get started:

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The conditions of our children’s love

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I love my children unconditionally. I imagine most parents and other caregivers would agree our children could do very little to lose our affection. They will test us, absolutely, but, we will remain steadfast in our devotion.

Our children earned our love the moment they entered our lives. They owe us nothing. They need not prove a single thing. We chose them. Whether by birth, adoption, or act of faith or circumstance. We asked for them, and they answered. We owe them our love.

And in return?

Nothing.

They owe us nothing. Continue reading

You are a sexy, pregnant goddess

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Hey, you! Yes, you with the beautiful round belly. I see you shuffling along, tugging at the waist of your maternity jeans, wondering how you could possibly ever fit into your normal clothes again. I see you hunched over in your chair, trying to make your belly look a bit smaller because it is so much bigger than your friend’s who is a month ahead in her pregnancy.

Do you know how sexy you are? And not in the creepy, depths of the Internet fetish kind of sexy. I’m talking full on, goddess, make the Earth shift with every movement sexy. Do you know that’s what you are? Do you know you drip with marvelous, soul-moving desire? Continue reading