Monday, May 22, 2017

Microblog Monday - Bravery

So, on Friday, which happened to be the fourth anniversary of meeting Lotus for the first time, it was time for Lotus' Kindergarten Orientation. 

She was nervous. Heck with her, I was nervous.

Her questions were simple--would the teachers be nice? Would the other kids be nice?

Mine were not so simple.
Would there be other Asians in her class?
Would she be bullied?
Would she bully?
Would school take her love of learning and make it horrible?
Would she be safe?

These are just the top five--I have so many more questions as I'm watching my baby turn into my child.

So together we walked to school and sat with other parents and their kids. I started to make some introductions but Lotus had a death grip on my hand and so we talked and looked around. I looked at the folder with the agenda for the afternoon and it had that the kids would go to the kindergarten room and the principal and others would talk to the parents. I started explaining this to Lotus and her eyes started to fill with tears. I hugged her and she quieted as the orientation began.

First off a bunch of the current kindergarten class came out and sang songs. Yay. Lotus loves to sing and dance. They sang 4 and she knew all but 1 and the one she didn't know looked like fun. Then the teacher asked that the kindergarteners-to-be line up. Lotus hugged me.

"You're not going home?"
"Not without you." She thought about it and rested her head on me for a little. She watched other kids go on the line.

A few other kids were having fits. The one on the chair next to us was not leaving her mom. Lotus went over to her and said "want to go together?" The response from the other child was decidedly negative. Lotus came back, gave me a hug and stood on the line with the other kids. Her chin was quivering, just a little, but she met my eyes and smiled at me. As they walked out she waved at me and I waved back. Then, as she had done four years before, she lifted her head and looked into what comes next. Someone said something to her so my last image of her at that moment was walking away, head held high, with a little smile.

I didn't hear the first part of the discussion because I was musing about how brave my little girl is. How she walked into what came next with  a smile on her face. I thought of the smiles we got shortly after we met her, when she was playing cute. I remember how breathtaking it was when we saw her real smile--the one with her dimple--four days later.  I thought of how the journey from baby to child never takes as long as you think it will.

I thought of the song I first sung to her. You'll Be in my Heart from Tarzan. More specifically the second verse.

"For one so small, you seem so strong. 
My arms will hold you keep you safe and warm. 
This bond between us, can't be broken.
I will be here, don't you cry."

I lifted my head. Smiled. Then I listened to the rules that I, as a kindergarten parent would be expected to follow. I added a few. Be brave. Smile. Walk into the future with head held high.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Microblog Monday - Up Late

So this will be short.

I was up late last night.  Until somewhere past 2:00 am.

No, not with Lotus.

With Lotus' godmother.

We went to visit my sister by another mother yesterday. She's my daughter's godmother. I'm her daughter's godmother. She pushed me to go out with D. I introduced her to her husband. She is my person.

We went to her house and were thinking of doing wonderful things. And  we did.
We hung out.
We talked.
Our husbands went to bed.
We talked.
And talked some more.

With all the texting and Facebook updates and Twitter feeds I needed to just hang out and talk with my closest friend.
And I am so grateful I did.

When was the last time you just hung out with your friends?

Monday, May 8, 2017

Microblog Monday - Hello

So my inlaws are here.

They are able to watch my lovely Lotus so D and I went to the city and won the raffle for The Book of Mormon.

I loved it. It was funny and fun. I'm humming the tunes and enjoying.

And thinking.

I'm Jewish.
We don't tend to evangelize. (Here's some views on why.)  We don't go out and say that if you don't become Jewish you will burn in hell-o. Heck Jews don't believe in hell.

I've never understood why people do evangelize. Why do you care how someone else worships? Even if you think that yours is the one and only way to salvation, there are better ways than saying if you don't worship my way you're going to hell.

You can show your faith by example. (Something our Congress is not doing--as per my last post.) Become a good person and do good works for your friends. Comfort them when they are sick. Watch their children (and don't evangelize to them either!) when they can't. When they ask what makes you so treasured, you can explain how your faith helps you.

I've been told that the seders I make have made the non-Jewish friends I invite consider Judaism. I know several Jews-by-choice who have had relationships with Jewish men/women. The relationship soured but they liked the holidays and the outlook so they stayed.

Religion is one of the most personal choices. It is between a person and their deity. That's it, no matter what organized religion wants to tell us.

That being said--I highly recommend The Book of Mormon.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Christian Does Not Equal Good

So 217 members of the  United States House of Representatives have decided that they want to be mass murderers.

The vast majority of these people identify themselves as Christians.

Accordion to Merriam Webster the word Christian means someone who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ. I decided to look through my husband's bible to see exactly where they might be taking their inspirations.  What I read was surprising.

These people should be acting according to Philippians 2:4:
"not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others."

Or maybe Proverbs 3:27:
"Do not withhold good to those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act."

Maybe Romans 12:13:
"Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality."

Because this is blog post and not a bible study I will end with this one.
James 2:14-17
"14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith obut does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 pIf a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 qand one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good2 is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead."


This is not how the 217 members acted. They have decided to kill people. I'm tired of prettying it up. By their actions they knew that people were going to die and they decided to do it. People with pre-existing conditions cannot pay for the extra care and they want to defund Medicaid. This will kill people.

These people are the same ones (mostly) who look at the survivors of gun violence and refuse to make any laws restricting gun ownership.  Understand right now, with the bill that they passes, that a mentally ill person can get a gun--but not help.



For a long time, when you said "I'm too much of a Christian" to do thus and so it meant you were too good. The quote I think of is in The Wizard of Oz.

Aunt Em: "Elmyra Gulch just because you own half the county doesn't mean you have the power to run the rest of us. For twenty-three years, I've been dying to tell you what I thought of you. And now, well, being a Christian woman, I can't say it!"

We are meant to think that because she is just a good person, she can't say what she thinks. Maybe when this was made it was truer. But after watching this Congress, who maintain their Christianity, the quote I think of most is from The Princess Bride. 
"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Good people can be Christians. But it takes a lot more than being Christian to be good.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Microblog Mondays -To China Mommy

Dear China Mommy,

Our daughter turns five in a week.

She seems to have developed a fear of heights. That is, until I sit down while she's at the playground and she is off climbing something that she maybe shouldn't be and calling for me.

I love that she pushes her own limits.

She is sounding out words and can recognize over thirty written words. She's going to be reading by herself soon and it humbles me.

Any time she thinks we're angry at her she declares that she needs a hug. We give her one.

We nurture her. We let her watch a bit too much TV, and run herd on her computer and phone time. She's friendly with a lot of the kids at school, but not a lot of playdates,  Kindergarten starts in September so I imagine that will change.

She falls down and scrapes her knees and ankles. when that happens, and there is even a spec of blood she requires a band-aid so she can't see it. My thoughts of a doctor to support us in our old age are out the window.

She hates loud noises, but will put up with them

She still does her parent checks in the middle of the night. She wakes up and asks us to tuck her in again. Actually the checks are closer to dawn. Is that when you left her in her finding spot? Was it close to dawn as you kissed her little hands and left? Did you look back? Or did you know that if you looked back you would have run and picked her up and I would not be writing this blog post, or not to you.

She asks us often why we love her. Why we like her.
I tell her.
Because she deserves love.
I tell her.
Because she is wonderful and kind and beautiful and all good things.
I tell her and I hug her.

Sometimes I get angry at you, for putting fear in our daughter.
Sometimes I feel sorry for you, because I have her, hold her, nurture her and all you can do is wonder.

I respect you.
I bless you.
I thank you.




Monday, April 17, 2017

Learning from the wrong - Microblog Monday

We took Lotus to one of the last performances of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circus. She loved it.

Part of it was the cotton candy and the popcorn and the other snacks.

Part of it was the spectacle.

Part of it was the animals. The lions, tigers (no bears),  dogs and kangaroos.

I loved watching it with her. I loved watching her little face glow with excitement.
I also missed the elephants.

I know it isn't right to say it. But here's the thing, I loved watching them. Also if they aren't hurt--something that isn't 100% sure that was true--I think that it gives people an opportunity to see them in person and to care. At a party I met a friend of a friend and she works at the Bronx Zoo--in the bear section. She first became enamored of bears when she saw them as a child at the circus.

One of my hobbies is history--learning, reading, writing.

Someone asked if I had any cringe-worthy musical theater shows that I loved.
I don't.
And I do.

The way Native Americans were portrayed in Peter Pan and Annie Get Your Gun is risible. It is disgusting.

But.

The songs Ugg A Wugg and I'm an Indian Too from Peter Pan and Annie Get Your Gun are so racist I cringe. I won't link to them, but you can find them.

That being said, I was seven years old when I heard I'm an Indian Too. It led to a lifelong fascination with Native American culture. My mother suggested I read the myths and then my parents took me out west to see the land they fought for.

Without those bad examples, I wouldn't have the fascination. I wouldn't have learned how to do the good examples.

Sometimes good can come from bad.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Microblog Mondays - Dear Mom Year 3

Dear Mom,

Tomorrow will be three years
since I picked up the phone
to Dad's voice
saying only
"Honey, she's gone."

I had seen you
two days earlier.
I can still feel
your hand in mine.

You were beyond speech but
when you squeezed my hand
I knew that you knew
I was there.

I promised to take care of dad.
And I have, as much as he will let me.

I told you it was okay for you to go.
It was.
You were in so much pain.
You weren't you anymore.
Dad said, "If there was anything to pull we would have pulled it."
Not for him,
For you,
Because you hated being that way.

I told you you had been a great mom.
I forgave all the teenage crap.
I forgave the adult crap.
I forgave.

I said that I would be okay.
I lied.

I need you.
I never planned on motherhood
without my mother to guide me.

I miss you.
The good and the bad.
I never knew I'd watch Gilmore Girls
To remember how much of a pain you could be.

I know I am not the only one suffering.
Dad still reaches for you in the morning.
Aunt V, your older sister, often time travels in her head
to when you were alive.
My sister and brother live with their regrets.

I have few with regard to you.
I am proud of how I was able to care for you
like you cared for me.

I only wish I could have done so longer.







Wednesday, March 29, 2017

An important bit of nothing

Today we readopted Lotus.

We filled out more paperwork.

We went to a court and a judge
smiled at our daughter
and pronounced her our daughter
now
and forever more.

When she asked,
we tried to explain?
Why?
Why did we do this?
Again?

Lotus is an American citizen
since after a flight
from China to New York
we placed her foot on the ground
Of JFK Terminal.

Lotus has been our daughter
since we dipped her foot
in red ink
and placed it on the paper
Making a blood-red footprint
that says
She is ours.

How do I tell you
My daughter,
My child,
My very own,
That our country elected a tyrant.
Who hates you?

How do I say that
I worried that
that tyrant might write
new laws. And those laws
would call
you an immigrant
and take you from me.

How do I say
that I waited because
I wanted to honor
your China Mommy.
I am saddened because
the birth certificate that
will come from the capital city
of our state
will not have her name.

All I can say
that it was for a piece of paper.
And would you like cake?

And my child will hug me.
And ask if she can
lick the beater when
we make the icing.

I say no.
We will share.
Because we are family.






Monday, March 27, 2017

Microblog Monday - And You

And You*


When I get angry at Lotus, 
or she's done something she knows 
she's not supposed to,
she will cry. 

"I want my mommy!" She'll say. 
She will say this clutching to me.
Her face
buried into my very ample stomach
and breasts. 

"I want Mommy." She cries. 

"I'm right here." I say, holding her close.
"I'm here, baby."
"I'm not leaving."

What she means sometimes is
she wants mommy, 
the one who isn't mad at her,
and is fun.

And I generally get this through my brain,
and I rock her,
and she stops crying,
and she says sorry,
and we're okay. 

Sometimes she cries for mommy
as I am holding her
and I realize there's another woman she's crying for.
a woman who she lived with for five days.

A woman whose heartbeat she heard,
while she was getting ready to be born.

A woman who chose to give birth to her, 
and then made the 
heart-wrenching
unimaginable 
decision 
to leave her to be found 
and cuddled 
and loved 
by strangers. 

Lotus cries for that mommy. 
She misses her.
That woman who looks at the world 
from eyes that are like her own.
That woman who,
I imagine,
Aches for my crying little girl
in ways I cannot imagine.
And I don't want to . 

When Lotus does this
We hug each other very hard
and send our love out
and hope China Mommy
can feel it
can understand 
this is the best I can do 
to pay the enormous debt that I owe 
this woman with 
my daughter's face. 

And one time
After being scolded
Lotus said she wanted mommy.
I realized and asked.
"China Mommy?"
She nodded.

Then
tearfully
She raised her head 
tears soaking  er face
tears soaking my breast
to look me in the eye. 

"I want China Mommy." she said 
lifting her hand to my chin
"And You."

Her head returned
just above my heart
as more tears fell. 

I held her,
and rocked her, 
and internally praised her intelligence. 
Because my four-and-a-half-year-old daughter
summed up adoption angst
in two words. 





* The style of this post is a tribute to the book Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. I am in the middle of this amazing book told in verse so I tried to do a blog post in verse.  Was I successful?  Let me know. 
 






Monday, March 13, 2017

Microblog Monday - Loving My Neighbor

Growing up, our next door neighbors were our dearest friends. I called them Aunt K and Uncle B. If my mother wasn't home when I got off the bus from school I went next door and played in their basement. Uncle B. taught me how to hammer a nail--including how to swear if I missed and hit my thumb. I was told that the words "Shit! Goddamnit! Shit!" in that order was the only way to respond when I missed the nail and hit my fingers. That being said--those words were only for that occasion. I believed that until I got to middle school.

Our neighbors were Catholic and we were Jewish. Every Christmas morning for years we went over there for breakfast where Santa had dropped a bunch of gifts under their tree. Because my parents were on vacation out of the country, Aunt K and Uncle B knew that I became engaged to D before my parents did. I grieved when Uncle B passed away and I still stay in touch with Aunt K.

Because we had such wonderful neighbors I learned how to be a good neighbor. Our across the street neighbors (our house was at the end of a street) were not as wonderful. They loved leaving their car right behind ours even though multiple cars could and did fit into their driveway. They were snobs and told my mother to "watch out for the silver" when I invited my multi-racial group of friends over. But they were our neighbors. Many was the time I would come home and mom had made chicken soup. On the kitchen table was one or two extra containers filled with my mom's chicken soup. She'd tell me to take them next door or across the street because they were sick. If there was death it was a macaroni casserole with our name in masking tape at the bottom of the Corningware pan. This was reciprocated. When I was sixteen, I vented to Aunt K about my crush and how he didn't know I existed and on and on and on.  After giving me a wonderful and nonjudgmental ear, I came home on a very cold day to see a pint of Haagen Daaz chocolate chocolate chip ice cream on our front stoop. "In case of heartbreak," the note read. "open pint. Take spoon. Ingest."

I am lucky that the streak has continued. We have wonderful neighbors. Our next door neighbors teach Lotus about flowers and plan to teach her about gardening. Across the street comes over with their snowblower--often--to dig us out. We say thanks with chocolate chip cookies and brownies.

Love your neighbor is at the center of just about every religion. Help your neighbor.Take care of each other. This is why the Republican Health Don'tCare plan astounds me.

Republicans are supposed to be moral. Where is the morality of telling people that if you aren't white you don't deserve health care? Where is the morality of taking health care from people who need it most. Republicans are churchgoers far more then Democrats. Were they absent when they taught that page from the Bible?

Health insurance is moral to me.  If I am healthy I want the money I pay into insurance to go to help someone who is sick or who, God forbid, has a sick child. If you want health insurance to only cover you, and not your neighbor you have no right to call yourself a good person--regardless of religious denomination. One man asked why men need to be paying for pre-natal care. Was he immaculately conceived? Isn't it a good thing as a nation to have a healthy populace?

I will be calling my congressman and senators and explaining that I want my neighbors healthy. I want my family healthy and I will work like hell to unseat anyone who votes for this bill. I hope all the Americans reading this.

That being said--what are other neighborly things that you like to do?

Monday, March 6, 2017

Microblog Monday - If you become a teacher by your pupils you'll be taught

For the past year, one of the ways  I have been earning money is by tutoring.

I love it. I love talking with the kids and listening to them.

My favorite pupils are siblings.  The boy is a seventh grader. The girl is a high school sophomore. They are wonderful. They are first generation Chinese immigrants and after they learned that I am raising a Chinese daughter, we set aside five minutes from each lesson so they can teach me "things that a stupid American wouldn't know to teach her Chinese daughter."  (Their words, not mine, but I'm not offended.)

They also talk about how they feel and I am watching them grow, and change.

The boy. I'll call him, Rob, was monosyllabic when we met. Now he talks to me in multisyllabic words. Part of that is trust. I say with only a little pride that he trusts me. I've watched him going from regular teenage boy to activist. We cut tutoring short a few weeks ago so he could go protest at the airports.

Another boy I tutored will run for President of the United States. This is what he says and I believe him. I would vote for him--he's more mature than the person in the White House now.

Then there is the teaching of a little girl which is part of my job as mother. Since I'm not earning as much we've cut down on her Pre-K classes. She goes 3 days a week and then the other two we have as "girls days." Sometimes we sit cuddled in front of the TV.  Sometimes we go to the playground. Often we go to the library. And then there are days I teach her. I teach her about baking. I teach her about mitzvoth. I teach her about me.

And I learn.

I learn that sometimes she misses her China Mommy even though she doesn't remember her. Sometimes she wants her China Mommy, but she wants me too. I learn that sometimes it's okay just to be sad for a while. I learn that hugs are really great.

I've been debating of turning this love of individualized teaching to teaching in front of a classroom and I'm not sure. Until I am though, I like what is happening now. I like helping the kids through frustrations and I become hopeful that they will make the world they inherit better.


Monday, February 27, 2017

Microblog Monday - Amazing Grace

No, I'm not going to start singing.

I have a good voice and it's a fine if over-sung song but that's not what today is about.

Yesterday there was an award show. The Oscars.

At the end of the award show--the Best Picture award, the most prestigious one, was mistakenly given to La La Land instead of to Moonlight.  People rushed onstage and after some awkwardness (best shown here) things were straightened out and Moonlight got to take its deserved victory lap.

I've attached a (not very good) video here.

The most extraordinary part comes around 3:19.  Jordan Horowitz has announced that there has been a mistake. Jimmy Kimmel tries to joke around things and Jordan Horowitz, like the adult he is, said "I'm going to be really proud to hand this to my friends from Moonlight."

Wow.

When you think of our political discourse and how it would take a ladder to raise it to the sewer.  To see this grace in the face of horrible disappointment--well it makes me proud. It makes me proud that these artists can remain friends.  It makes me proud that there is still such amazing grace in people.

Bravo Moonlight.
Bravo La La Land

Bravo Jordan Horowitz.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Microblog Monday - We have something in common. We can build on this.

Hey Trump Voters.

I'm not going to ask you how you feel about your choice.
If you're happy and you think he's doing wonderful things and you like the idea of the United States being a part of Russia--nothing I say is going to change your mind. Nothing you say is going to change my mind and the best we can do is wish each other a great day and start talking about the Mets. (I'm really liking their chances this year--just saying.)

But maybe there is someone out there who voted for Trump who is maybe not feeling too happy about their choices. Maybe we can talk.

In the words of David Addison of Moonlighting.

Hey--let's talk about books. Me? I read left to right--how about you?
And when I'm in temple I read right to left--you?

We have something in common. We can build on this.

Let's talk about eating. I like to eat.
I have food allergies. Do you know someone who has food allergies?

We have something in common. We can build on this.

Let's get deep and talk about sex.
Who would have guessed it! I like sex too!
I think everyone should have plenty of sex with whoever it is that they love.
You?

We have something in common. We can build on this.

I'm not talking about people on the far right and far left-- they are forgetting that there are more people in the middle. I am in the middle. I want to talk to others in the middle.

If we don't--that is when America will die.  It won't be because of the current President. It won't even be because of the current Congress  America will die because we forgot that the people on the right side of the aisle cries tears when they are hurt--the same way those on the left side of the aisle do.

I live in New Jersey. I love my child with every breath in my body.
I believe that the woman in Kansas loves her child with every breath in her body

I am a Jew and my religion fills something in my soul.
I believe that Muslims and Christians find something in their religions that fill something in their souls.

I am a woman and I am deeply in love with a man.
I believe that love is so deep that it transcends gender.

We have something in common. We can build on this. Let's start to try.










Monday, February 13, 2017

Microblog Monday - Trust Me

I'm going to start out by saying this is not what I mean to be writing about.

I planned to write about how parenting Lotus is both easier and harder now that she can assert her opinion.

Then I saw an article that a friend linked to on Facebook. Then another friend and another. It was a headline guaranteed to make me see red and start pounding at walls. Then I planned this whole other blog post about how terrible things are today with lawmakers trying to roll us back tot he stone-age.

Then I did my due diligence on the article.  No, I will not link to it. Because--it isn't completely true.  In fact it is mostly untrue.

Is the law talked about in the article reprehensible? Yes.
However, it isn't happening.

With 45's constant and consistent attempt to discredit the media and his reliance on news sites that is demonstrably untrue--though he doesn't see it or acknowledge it--it has been difficult to know where to trust.

I refuse to be like 45 and say "I heard." I have to back it up.  I have taken a page from Mel and trust a few news sources. But I also read other sources so I know what other people are talking about--and in this case, there is enough wrong stuff, it doesn't merit my linking to it. Moreover it doesn't merit my anger.

I miss being able to trust what I read on a news site. But unless it is in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, or NPR--I just can't. I trust these sources because I know how hard it is to meet their journalistic standard.

What news sources do you trust? And why do you trust them?

Monday, February 6, 2017

Why kids don't like to read - Microblog Monday

Since one of my contracts ended I have been making ends meet as a tutor.

I love it more than I thought possible.

One part of my tutoring is something I like to call reading counseling. Where I talk to the kid--most often 7th/8th grade boys and I match a book with their personality and keep trying until something sticks. I am very successful at this.

Tonight I was reading The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems to Lotus. She was giggling all over it--and I think I realized why kids are having so much trouble finding something to read.

We have collectively lost our sense of humor--and think kids should too.

Tell me, seriously, what was the last Newberry award winner where someone didn't die?  Or even if all the named characters made it through alive--was there humor?  Brown Girl Dreaming was beautiful--but it wasn't a happy story.

How do we expect kids to escape into books when the stuff in books is as depressing or more than what they are escaping from?

I know of some books that are fun and funny and escapist, but they are looked down on by teachers. Reading these books don't "count" as much. If you put the fun back in books--you'll have more people reading for fun.




Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Broadway music saved my life--now it is saving my sanity.

Broadway music saved my life.

More than once.

When I was in sixth grade I had a horrible teacher. Think Snape--except without the forgiving back story. I was depressed. I was suicidal.

My parents were fairly oblivious. I didn't think I could tell them anything.  But they knew I was unhappy. They sent me to my aunt and uncle for a week. Where my aunt and uncle saved my life.

They took me to a show. A national tour of Man of La Mancha. While I had seen several musicals--growing up in a suburb of New York City-- this was the first one I climbed in and lived in. After that, no conversation was had without me bringing up Man of La Mancha. Which was my favorite song today? Then I would play it over and over --rewinding the cassette a myriad of times (because of course I had it on cassette since MP3s were decades away). I memorized the entire book of the musical. I read Don Quixote (a fairly bad translation) when I was 12 years old. I read biographies of Don Miguel de Cervantes.  I took comfort from the fact that even when everyone laughed at Don Quixote and beat him and turned away from him--he still followed the Impossible Dream.  It made me believe that I could go on and do it to.

I got through the rest of the school year. I think part of it was that I told my aunt some of the stuff my teacher said and things got better at home. Things got better.

I'm in a dark place lately. I want to just hold on to my daughter because she makes me laugh. She hugs me and makes me comfortable in a world that has grown increasingly uncomfortable. I then thought of what I used to do when I was uncomfortable and I thought of Man of La Mancha. Got the CD and listened to it. '

And today, today, it is helping me go on. Helping me say that I can follow the quest. No matter how hopeless, no matter how far.

Below is Brian Stokes Mitchell in what I would say is the best version of this.
I will strive with my last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable stars.






Monday, January 30, 2017

Microblog Monday - Defying belief

I am a Jew.
I am now hated by the person who is commander in chief.
   Don't think to tell me about how his son-in-law is Jewish and his daughter is a Jewish by choice. If the President really cared about jews he would not have made a Nazi his chief advisor.

I am scared.
I am terrified.

I am holding my child close because I worry that someone will say she is an undocumented immigrant.

I am encouraged by the protesting.  there was no organized German Resistance to Hitler.

I am encouraged that I am not alone.

I am scared however that one man will destroy in less than four years what took over 225 years to build.


Friday, January 20, 2017

It's done then

He is now the 45th president of the United States.

I didn't watch.

I will be marching tomorrow unless Lotus' sneezes turn into a full-blown cold.

I will  be fighting for health care. I will be contacting my congressperson. I will be making big fusses.

I don't plan to go away.

I am frightened. I am scared. I am furious.

But I'm here.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Microblog Monday - My Real Grandmother

Lotus is named after my grandmother.  My father's mother.

I adored her. I looked up to her--even though by the time I was 14 I was taller than her.  When I spoke of my grandmother, I meant her.

But I met both of my grandmothers. I met my mother's mother. She taught me how to bless the candles on Friday nights. She put dots of honey on my fingers and after I said some of the words right I would lick my fingers. She would read Torah stories to me. I remember her scent.

Grandma G. passed when I was around 7. I remember the funeral vividly. I remember my mother ripping a black ribbon as it was pinned to her suit. I remember that so well that when I was at my own mother's funeral, I flashed back to that day and broke down. It became real then.

But this isn't about my mom--or not really.

I came across a cache of pictures of my mother's parents.  I never met my maternal grandfather, he died before I was born. My then 42 year old mother thought that her missed periods and nausea was extended mourning. She went to the doctor and was declared 4 months pregnant.

There are several pictures of me with my grandmother. But the picture that stopped me cold was a picture of both of my maternal grandparents--taken not long before my grandfather's death.  In it my grandfather is smiling adoringly at my grandmother and she has--an almost shy smile on. It's the smile of a woman who loves the man she is with. It is a beautiful picture of two people very much in love.

I realized that while I had met my maternal grandmother--I didn't know her. Not because I was a child, but because so much of her died with my grandfather. This woman, with the shy, loving smile, this was my grandmother. The one my mother wept for. The one my mother knew.

Lotus met my mother but knew her less than a year. Afterwards my father had a lady friend who slipped effortlessly into the role and Lotus loves her. She knows and loves my father. He is Papa. He can't count. Every time he asks Lotus to give him three kisses he counts "one, one, one, one" He makes her giggle.

Today, I was looking through more pictures and I saw a picture of my father smiling so broadly with my mother in his arms smiling back. This is a lovely picture. I sucked in my breath as I realized I was staring at my real father. The complete one, the one with my mom at his side. No matter how long my father lives, Lotus will never know this man. My father, when he was complete.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Aunt and Uncle

I believe in reincarnation. I believe that some people have been in our lives for many lifetimes.

Here I talk about my Aunt and Uncle.  I'll just call them Aunt Phyllis and Uncle Phil. Both teachers--down to the bone. My uncle taught music. One of his students was Donna Summer with whom he exchanged birthday cards until her death. Her death took my Uncle Phil by surprise--and hit him hard. No teacher wants to outlive his students.

My aunt taught history. She still does when she can.

Both of them outlived younger sisters. Their last trip on a plane was to bury my mother.

They have been married for 73 years.  No typo.

They are 96 and 97 respectively.

And they are dying.

They taught me how to live without children, and it makes me feel terrible that once we had Lotus my contact with them wasn't as frequent.  Part of that was--well parenting.  Part of it was that my Aunt Phyllis would time travel in her head.  Most often she knew who I was when I called, but we were always about to get Lotus.  And my mother was alive.  Hearing Aunt Phyl talk about her in the present tense broke stuff in me.

I believe in reincarnation. I believe that when they leave this earth they will wait for me and we will be born again together.

But right now, I just hope that if there is a merciful Gd, he will take them together.

And I hope that they will hang on until I get out there to hug them, one more time.