Contact Me

Any time - drop me an email
miriamhendeles@gmail.com
1-323-243-7116

Contact Me

Any time - drop me an email
miriamhendeles@gmail.com
1-323-243-7116

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On Storms and Earthquakes

East Coasters have storms. Hurricanes, tornadoes, rain, snow, blizzards. They get it all. The wind, the downed power lines, the trees fall, the electricity goes out, and the basements flood. It’s bad.

Here on the West Coast, we get earthquakes. No warning. Suddenly the earth shakes, and bookshelves go flying, dishes fall out of cabinets, picture frames collapse, dressers fall down, freeways fall. It’s bad.

G-d controls the world, and natural disasters are part of our world. What do we learn from them? How do we prepare? There are ways to prepare ourselves for natural disasters, and we would be wise to listen to the experts and take those steps, for long term preparation for earthquakes. Short term preparation for when a hurricane is coming.

But at the end of the day, there is not much we can do. We have to trust that G-d runs the world. G-d will take care of us. Can we control our storms within ourselves? Can we control the earthquakes within our pysches? Can we control the tempest that rules us when we are upset, angry or anxious? These are questions I often ask myself.

These are things I can possibly control and work on. My character traits, my behavior, my actions, are all facets of my life that I know I can take charge of – and aim to quiet the roaring within me, and stay calm and relaxed.

That it the ultimate goal – for me, and probably for each one of us – taming the tempest within our souls.

The aftermath of a recent storm, Hurricane Sandy – has created many problems for the Northeastern  U.S. – lack of power, lack of water, schools are out, subways are not running, gas stations are low on fuel. Lots of issues. How do they —- and we— remain calm when the storm has calmed, but the anxieties remain? That is the question. My heart goes out to those in the East Coast, and I pray that they can handle their tests that are coming to them in the future days with calm and resolve. I know they will. East Coasters are tough!


Mistake-Making Muppets

As a child, I watched a lot of Sesame Street. I watched it because I thought it was very cool. The songs were adorable and the Muppet characters were unique. In short, it was a great show, and really held my interest. When I got older, I learned to play some of the songs on the piano, because they were so appealing to me.

One song that was popular on that program was sung by Big Bird or Ernie or Kermit the Frog; the song was called “Everyone Makes Mistakes so why can’t you? Your sister and your brother and….” Basically, it was a testimony to not trying to be so perfect all the time. With the creative lyrics of Jim Henson, the Muppet characters rollicked and rolled to the music while teaching that lesson to pre-schoolers around the world.

I once heard an expert in child psychology say how it is a healthier sign in children when they misbehave at home – around family, showing they are comfortable to  let their frustrations out at home. That is healthier than those kids who are perfect little angels at home, and then at school they misbehave.

My grandson showed us that last week when he was at our house one night and said something to me that was what we call in our house, “not so nice.”  After he said the “not so nice” phrase, I knew that if his mother were there, she would put him in time out. I also knew that everyone makes mistakes. My choice was either to let it go, because grandmothers are not supposed to discipline, or to give him a consequence.

I chose the latter – not because I wanted to necessarily discipline my grandson when he was at my house. I chose the consequence because I was concerned that I would be setting a precedent for future misbehavior if I didn’t nip it in the bud. So later when he asked me for ice cream, I told him that boys who talk like that don’t get to have ice cream. He tried to test me and beg me for the treat, but this grandmother held to her convictions and did not give in.

Since everyone makes mistakes,  I didn’t bring it up again. Nor did I mention the incident to his mommy, and the next time he was over at our house, he was back to his wonderful behavior.

Who would have believed that withholding some ice cream would do the trick of preventing repeat incidents of “not nice behavior” in my little darling Muppet?

And yes, as soon as he showed his good behavior, Mom and I reinforced the big guy with…praise.

We will save the ice cream for another time.


To Bring or Not To Bring

To Bring Kids or Not to Bring?

That is the question on many young parents’ minds when they have a simcha to attend, and cannot find a babysitter. Especially when the simcha is that of a cousin or close friend, these parents feel that urge to take the sleeping baby along. Or to take the well-behaved toddler along and seat them on mommy’s lap. Or to take the pre-school child along and have them not take a seat.

But in many places– such as restaurants or fancier homes – children are just not welcome. Not that these hosts don’t like kids. It’s just that they feel the kids upset the decorum of the event.

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