Talking About Suicide

SuicideIf you’re the parent of a teen- or tween-age kid, there’s a good chance that you’ve watched, or at least heard about, the Netflix original series, “13 Reasons Why.” Our local school system recently sent us a notification concerning the show, offering up resources like this one to help have a discussion about suicide with our children, and I’m glad that they did this.

My husband, a teacher, first heard about “13 Reasons Why” from his high school students and he’s watched a few episodes so far. I haven’t watched it yet, and I’m not sure that I will. Mainly, my time is limited and 13 hours is a big investment in a television show. But I’m also not sure that I want to see the subject matter played out in front of me. Continue reading

Talking to Strangers

shutterstock_313066517Neither of my children like to sit next to strangers. Whether we’re at the movie theater, on a train, or just waiting in line somewhere, they typically like me or my husband to serve as a buffer between them and the unknown person. I hope they grow out of it–I’m sure they’ll grow out of it–but for now it’s slightly annoying and I do try to get them to stop it. The funny thing, of course, is that we spend so much time when our kids are young warning them about strangers, and then we do a 180-degree turn and try to get them to not be scared of every stranger. Parenting, am I right?

On a trip to New York City yesterday, my daughter said to me, “You like talking to strangers.” It was an interesting observation because I have no doubt many people who think they know me or kind of know me from social media would think that I hate people. But my daughter is right–I DO like talking to strangers. And I typically do it without a conscious thought. Continue reading

Dear Perfect Parent

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I can’t tell you how glad I am that you’ve come along. I’ve spent 14 years now wondering how to do this parenting thing right, convinced so many days that I’ve done it totally wrong, and now you’re here to confirm what I long suspected. I suck as a parent.

But luckily, you don’t. You know exactly what to do, right? You’ve got the right answer for every situation this parenting thing can throw at us. I mean, you must, because I’ve seen the free advice you’ve been doling out–especially lately.  Can you spare me five minutes of your time before you go wring your hands and wag your tongue over the next parent who society thinks needs a public skewering? Because I so obviously need the help. Continue reading

A Spotlight on Mothers and Motherhood

Mom and Me James Bar Mitzvah2
I had my first inkling of what motherhood would be like just minutes after giving birth to my son. What had been a long night and day was finally over and, suddenly, I found myself alone, shaking and cold, on the delivery table. Everybody–Doug, the doctor, the nurses–had whisked away with the baby, somewhere else, and simply left me there. The spotlight had moved on from me, to my son. Two years later, it happened again with my daughter.

I think the best parents realize this early on. While we may occasionally commandeer the spotlight in our own lives, for our own achievements, the spotlights in our children’s lives belong solely on them. Continue reading