Daily Living

Back-to-School, But Why?

The end of summer approaches, and vacations that took months of planning are now nestled in camera rolls of our iPhones.  The baseball season that began with hope for every team now holds promise for a remaining few.  And, the season for summer squash and tomatoes is coming to a close.  But, as with all things in life, the end of one chapter marks the beginning of another. With the coming fall, we look forward to football, the changing of the leaves, and school.

It’s natural to be nostalgic at the beginning of the school year.  The next incremented grade is a hard number that reminds us that our little ones are taking slow but inexorable steps towards adulthood.  For some of us, there aren’t many more steps to take.  As those steps slowly add up, we parents hope that we’ve given our children the education they’ll need to make it in that adult world. [Read More…]

By |September 2nd, 2014|Categories: Adoption, Commentary, Daily Living, Rituals & Spirituality|Tags: , , |0 Comments

5 Issues to Discuss with Tweens and Teens before They Go Back to School

Jay Fiffer coverBack-to-school time always comes with a mixture of emotions for kids. They’re excited to see friends again, but may have trepidation about fitting in with new social groups. As a result, they may experiment with new behaviors in order to be accepted or simply not “stick out.”

High school is a microcosm of our society. Within those walls are future gangbangers, drug dealers, murderers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, and engineers. The groups your children choose to associate with can have a significant impact on which path their future will take.
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By |September 1st, 2014|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Motherhood|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

7 Techniques for Conquering Back-to-School Fear

Fear is natural when we’re about to go back to school or off to college, because we’re dipping into the unknown. The newness makes us feel as if our very survival is threatened. Whether we’re nervous about the rigorous academics, living away from home for the first time, or the pressure of new social groups, it’s helpful to remember that fear is a completely natural reaction for students. Everyone else has the same feeling, regardless of what he or she seems to be presenting to the world.

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By |August 30th, 2014|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Preparing For a Tough Exchange

In so many ways, Julia is a young soon-to-be twelve year old. Though she’s in middle school, she’s unconcerned with fashion, boys, or other pre-pubescent experimenting.

My daughter Julia, adopted from a Siberian orphanage at 8-months old, is on track intellectually but is still catching up emotionally. She is a wonderful violinist and a gobsmacking artist and an honor student, but she hasn’t yet learned how to make a BFF, nor, and I suppose I should be thankful, she had not attached herself to a clique. My husband and I are her whole world. [Read More…]

By |August 27th, 2014|Categories: Adoption, Commentary, Daily Living, Mothers Over 50|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

A Mother’s Musings – At Forty-Six

 devri sri

Devi Sri, the flying Balinese
Goddess of Fertility, with her gold crown,
deep green carved wings unfurled
and reaching upwards,
pale white arms wrapped round
orange and red baby bunting.

She is suspended serenely
like a star in the sky of my bedroom,
as I hang in the space between
forsakenness and motherhood.

I worship her, but do not offer her
jasmine, lotus and incense,
though perhaps I should.

I treasure the fortune from my fortune cookie
“Your fondest dream will come true.”
I savor my mother’s dream of me:
Wearing a red dress, walking,
holding the hand of a little girl.

And then Dana arrives.
Bursting through the gates of impossibility
whooshing through the halls of the unexpected,
from the heavens into my arms.

 Judith Lee Herbert has returned to poetry after a successful career in another field.  She graduated Cum Laude in English Literature from Columbia University.  She has a daughter who is a sophomore in college, and she lives in New York City, with her husband, who writes plays.  She had her daughter when she was in her 40s.

By |August 24th, 2014|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Reinventing Ourselves|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Ready for College? (Six Ways to Support and Prepare Your Child)

 knowsymoms

If you’ve got a teenager, then you know how baffling and beautiful they are at this tender age. You’re probably wondering how you will make it through this challenging time, and may even have concerns about whether they will ever be ready to go to college. After all, wasn’t it just yesterday that you were stressing out about whether they would ever be potty trained? As difficult as it is to fathom, the reality is that your kid will be heading off to college before you know it.

While academics are obviously important, there’s a lot about going to college that has nothing to do with school work: moving away from home, adjusting to a new environment, making healthy choices, self-advocating, managing stress, and balancing school and fun–just to name a few! [Read More…]

Vacations Aren’t for the Weak at Heart

The fact that I don’t have Type 2 Diabetes comes as a shock to every medical practitioner I see.  I’m just coming down from the sugar high I had last night at Rehobeth Beach, Delaware.

They had a bonfire at the beach where they provided marshmallows for children to roast or as it appeared to me, flame them down to a charred, black tar suitable only for sliming back into the primordial ooze. [Read More…]

By |August 17th, 2014|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Midlife Foibles!|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Seven Tips for Navigating the Adoption Process

adoption

Imagine putting your most treasured desire into the hands of a stranger. Someone you have neither met or seen, with the understanding that days, weeks and months may pass before you hear from them.  You are constantly battling the urge to email them to see if your dream is any closer to coming true, but it’s all you can think about.

Building your family through adoption is a matter of trusting in the unknown. Whether you are a waiting parent, hoping to be selected by a potential birth mother or planning to adopt internationally, there is no easy way to make this a reality. Below is a list of suggestions on how to feel like you are making informed choices. [Read More…]

By |August 13th, 2014|Categories: Adoption, Commentary, Daily Living, Mothers Over 40|Tags: , |0 Comments

How to Make a Good Marriage Better

ringsYou know what they say if something is moving along without any major hurdles – ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ But your marriage may not yet have reached its full potential. Believe it or not, you can change boring routines and improve your relationship.

According to the field of interpersonal neurobiology, our brains are constantly changing. And that is impacted by how we interact daily. Loving relationships can alter the brain circuits that shape memories and emotions. [Read More…]

By |August 11th, 2014|Categories: Daily Living, Fostering/Guardianship|Tags: , , |5 Comments

The Bridge Years

growing olderWhen I was in my thirties, I remember some of the forty-year-olds at work talking about getting older.  They would talk about how their metabolism had slowed, how their hair was thinning, how youth was wasted on the young.  And they would sort of give each other those knowing looks that seemed to say “Hang in there” or “It’ll be alright.”  I chalked up this overheard confiding to a kind of bonding over Prufrockian misery.

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