Happiness is… imperfection

I’m a recovering perfectionist. Many of us are obsessive pedants, paralysed by the need to have things “just right”. We are often useless at delegation because we worry that nobody else can do the job as well as we can. And we don’t enjoy our successes because we’re too busy fretting that they’re not asContinue reading “Happiness is… imperfection”

Stump the doctor

Shaina staggered out of bed last Friday. Over twenty-five years of parenting, we’ve guided our fair share of zombified children to their beds. We’ve never had to steer one from her bed. Had any of our other children lurched drunkenly into the living room, we might have chuckled. Not with Shaina.  My mind raced from zero toContinue reading “Stump the doctor”

Kindness Circle

Shaina knew something was afoot. Her older sisters entertained her in the living room as the special guests arrived. Shaina has sharp hearing, and she picked up our conspirational whispers from the other side of the house. To be fair, she had already cottoned on to the fact that something was up when we wouldn’tContinue reading “Kindness Circle”

Writer’s Block

I haven’t posted on the blog for a while. An author might call it writer’s block, but my block was not of the writing kind. Shaina has got her mischievous smile back in the last few days. The haze in my brain seems to be clearing as her personality reemerges. You know Shaina- in personContinue reading “Writer’s Block”

Shaina’s voice

On my right sat an inspiring young tennis champion and, next to him, a nervous young mother. Well over a hundred people had arrived to listen to us despite the chilly Sydney night. The event’s organiser welcomed the crowd and began to introduce me as the first speaker. My mind focused on one thought, “HowContinue reading “Shaina’s voice”

The barometer of a healthy society

I’ve recently returned from my first visit to Poland. Poland was home to vibrant Jewish communities for 1000 years. Over three million Jews lived there before the Holocaust; fewer than 20 000 remain there today. We explored the beautiful remnants of those ancient communities and visited the resting places of their spiritual leaders. We alsoContinue reading “The barometer of a healthy society”

You’re always so positive

It happened again this week. Someone wanted to know, “How do you always stay so positive?”  I’m sorry to disappoint the fanbase, but I’m neither a saint nor superhuman. I don’t “always” “stay” positive. I actually think both of those words are barriers to positivity. If we expect to “always” be in a good space, we make it worseContinue reading “You’re always so positive”

Would you like fries with that?

Want to insult a Jewish mother? Turn down a second helping of dinner.While other moms fret if you don’t make your bed or fold your laundry, Yiddishe mamas only want to make sure you are well fed. A Jewish mother whose child won’t eat properly goes into anxiety overdrive. Food has become a big issueContinue reading “Would you like fries with that?”

Speaking to the Great Professor

I will admit to feeling high levels of stress and anxiety yesterday. Thankfully, I remembered the story of the Professor of Hanipoli.  Shaina started coughing (again) earlier this week. A visit to her pulmonologist confirmed what we had suspected: a viral chest and ear infection. We left with a shopping list for the pharmacy andContinue reading “Speaking to the Great Professor”

Choosing the right lenses

Shaina will often perch a pair of glasses on the tip of her nose and announce that she is a granny. It’s a super-cute reminder that reading glasses are for old folk. Only, I don’t laugh as much as I used to. I’ve worn glasses ever since my third-grade teacher told my mom I couldn’tContinue reading “Choosing the right lenses”