Daily Living

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.

[Read More…]

Half-Way Through Summer/Half-Way to School

summer and beachIt’s the middle of summer, but the ads have started coming already.  Buy backpacks and shoes and pencils, lunch boxes, book covers, shirts, slacks, shorts.

We spend nine months getting through school and then another three months selling them gear, garbage, puff, fluff and Spam (and I really mean Spam…the other Lunch Meat) to go back there.

Even though Labor Day and the beginning of school is far off, you can begin to see that glimmer of hope and eagerness beginning to betray itself.  The gear just starts those juices flowing.

Those tendrils begin to show at odd times, early mornings, late afternoons, when they don’t think they’re being watched.  Little grins and slivers appear randomly.  The complaints begin to taper off.  The moans and whines stop being repetitive, and get replaced by moments of pure silence and peace. [Read More…]

By |August 2nd, 2014|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Midlife Foibles!|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Vacation II

family bathing suitsIt’s good to get away.

The family unity experienced at the start of a vacation is a thing of beauty. The sense of expectation is high and positive attitudes abound. Vacations provide bonding opportunities for both parents and children that will last a lifetime. There is no fighting, no crying and very little whining

We try to vacation at least once a year. We usually go to beaches because I’ve been on a quest to find a conch shell on the beach for the last forty years or so. We’ve been to Maine (no conch shells), Cape Cod (no conch shells), and North Carolina (no conch shells.)

With each conch shell failure, I become more dejected. It bothers my husband almost as much, I think. He hates to see me sad, because he loves me and also because my clutter tends to worsen. “Hey, here’s a thought!” he helpfully chimed in during this year’s planning process. “Let’s find out where the conchs are, and go there!” I ignored his sarcasm and booked a trip to the Gulf Coast of Florida. [Read More…]

A Mid-Life’s Summer Night

sleepIt’s 10:30 p.m. The kitchen is cleaned, and the family room picked up. They are both ready for tomorrow’s life of meals, random newspaper circulars, and at least a dozen water glasses left half full lying around both rooms.

The dog, Louie, has been put out for the evening. We both climb the stairs to finally to go to sleep. My husband, already snoring peacefully, has his earphones on and plugged into his Ipad that is now flopped haphazardly onto his stomach. As Louie jumps onto the bed, I prepare my nightly ritual for sleep.

“Boy, it’s so hot in here.” I lower the thermostat before changing into my pajamas. I stare into my closet, trying to conjure an outfit I will wear to work tomorrow. Then, off to the bathroom I plod for the beauty regimen. Teeth brushed and flossed—check. Contacts out, eye make-up off, face washed—check. [Read More…]

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