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13 Resentment Ridders


17207-Serenity-Prayer

A few weeks ago, lots of things were bugging me. I mean, isn’t being resentful part and parcel of being human? Let’s see: Whether it’s anger at the person who pushed ahead of you in line at the grocery, or frustration with your rebellious teenager’s attitude, or exasperation at the inexperienced and clueless teacher of your second grader,  (not sure why I’m bringing up situations from my life fifteen years ago — this is interesting), we all feel (or felt)the big R of Resentment in our lives. Don’t we? (Please don’t be quiet here, I need validation.) It could be our mother-in-law (now I’m being honest!), or our daughter-in-law (never happens to me because mine are wonderful – truly), or brother, sister, best friend, sister-in-law, cousin, colleague, neighbor….anyone  annoying us. Maybe all of the above at one time, or just one at a time. You know, one day the guy at the post office rubs me the wrong way (it happens)  and the next … Continue reading


Lessons from Little Feet in Big Shoes


I like to watch my 20-month old grandson hanging around wearing one or both of his 8-year old brother’s sneakers. Or his Daddy’s black dress shoes. Or his 5-year-old brother’s crocs. With his back straight, his stomach out and his  hand swinging by his side, he traipses around from room to room picking up little toy cars and other stuff he finds.  He’s on a mission. A shoe wearing mission. A big boy mission. Every so often, his big brother will kneel down, make eye contact with the shoe-wearing toddler and ask politely, “Hey, can I have my shoes back? I need them.” To which the big-shoe wannabe will smile, shake off the large shoes and go to retrieve another set of big shoes in the house. Or maybe he’ll settle for his own shoes which he doesn’t wear for long. He usually kicks off one or both of his own shoes and holds it in his hand — as if to keep … Continue reading


Who’s the Boss Here Anyway? (and lessons I learn as a Grandma)


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When my kids were little, my husband and I  faced many parenting stresses. Through it all, we felt that we were in control of our children’s lives and were the conductors on the train that our kids were traveling on.  Major and minor decisions – from what school to send them to, to where they would go to camp, to bringing them to play-dates, to dealing with negative issues that arose, to taking them on outings, travel, buying them new things, everything was our department. As the children got older, we involved them in discussions according to their ages and developmental levels. We might have scoffed at times at the overwhelming reality of too much on our plates, but there was a constant sense of purpose, busy-ness, and important-ness in our daily lives. And that position of control felt comfortable for us. It felt important. Smart. In charge. As if we were responsible parents.  And it’s a feeling that we got used to having. Fast forward many years. Our children grew up  and moved out and onto yeshiva and/or … Continue reading


A Humble Confession by an Ex-Non-MIL


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You know those annoying non-moms who think they know everything about motherhood? For sure you do; everyone does. We’ve all come across them in our most insecure and shameful moments as parents. Just when we need the most encouragement — because one of our kids is having a tantrum, or talking back to us, or being unruly, or making a scene at a public place like a zoo or park — these know-it-all non-moms vow out loud to never be the kind of mom we are. And then when these NM’s become moms, guess what happens? Actually I don’t know what happens because I’ve never done a longitudinal study following  non-moms into their eventual mom-hood. But I’m willing to bet that if we tracked those woman and interviewed them years later, we’d find some pretty overwhelmed and possibly not-so-sure-of-herself types. Just my guess. Nothing scientific here…just some good-ol’ deductive thinking. Well, I was a know-it-all and high-horse type of person but not about … Continue reading


My Grandson’s Kindergarten Graduation Takeaway


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When Robert Fulghum wrote that all he ever needed to know he learned in kindergarten, he wasn’t kidding.  I had a similar experience in kindergarten just by watching my grandson and his peers sings songs at their graduation. The other day I attended the 5-year old graduation and listened to them say their valedictorian speeches – sing the songs and perform for the parents and grandparents with such clarity of speech, twinkles in their eyes and motions of their hands.  I realized for myself that these kids know everything they have to know already. Today. They learned it already and they don’t have to learn it anymore. From here on in, it’s just review and repetition. Robert Fulghum’s list of material learned in kindergarten included sharing, being fair, cleaning up your own mess, being nice and even flushing the toilet. Lots of things. You can check them out here. They all have to do with behaviors, rather than attitudes or values. Behaviors are important because the more we do them, … Continue reading


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