Does she feel pain?

We started our morning today with our new unpleasant weekly ritual: To give Shaina an injection. You betcha she doesn’t like it, but she doesn’t cry. Today, after Naomi administered the shot, Shaina looked at me and announced, “It’s sore”. I wasn’t sure if I should whoop or cry. The only thing worse than seeingContinue reading “Does she feel pain?”

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”

Mirror, mirror on the wall…

I’ve never been into gazing into the mirror. In my youth, I had no patience for it. Now, I have no appetite. What’s there to see, anyway? Since Shaina’s diagnosis, the looking glass shows me the grey strands in my beard and the stress lines across my brow. I don’t always recognise the weary eyesContinue reading “Mirror, mirror on the wall…”

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”

Happy to be happy

“SING!” Shaina’s shrill instruction interrupts my thoughts. I don’t feel like singing. I’m tired after a challenging day; frustrated by a thorny communal issue. Maybe if I pretend not to hear, she’ll do a solo “Bo’ee Kallah”. “SING!” She’s not taking no for an answer. I’m not in a singing mood, but she doesn’t getContinue reading “Happy to be happy”

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”

Stress relief

Of course, it happened on a Friday. And not just any Friday, an unusually busy Friday. We were just hours away from a three-day Jewish marathon- Shabbos leading straight into two days of the festival of Shavuot. We needed Shaina to see her doctor before we’d be offline for three days over the weekend. OneContinue reading “Stress relief”

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”