It's been several months since L gave herself that dramatic hair cut, and she's been stoic at the pace of its growth. The girl wants braids and ponytails and the fancy 'dos that her sister spends so much time devising, but she's calmly aware that she cut some of her hair down to a quarter-inch long. So we wait. ...more

The last transition

A few weeks ago I got the paper: it was a transition form I needed to sign authorizing G's transfer from the two-year-olds classroom to the preschool room. My last transition form, I thought as I signed, and allowed myself a moment of nostalgia, remembering back to when E was leaving the infant room for what seemed enormous and vast, the toddler class. ...more

Be my valentine

I never thought much of Valentine's Day. My Jewish identity bristled that its formal name starts with "Saint." My feminist identity didn't want romantic love to be objectified. My romantic identity didn't want my love to be an action item on a calendar. My anti-commercialism identity didn't want any holiday whose chief sponsors were big business. Meh. You know? But I was thinking about it as an adult. ...more


Hey, G, my Big Bad Wolf Robot Dinosaur Dragon Scary Monster Big Boy, So you turned three yesterday. Yes, I know! I did! you would say. You're internalizing what people say to you about yourself now. I'm very big! I'm very strong. I'm a nice boy. I'm your friend. ...more

Part of the club

This whole school year, E has been participating in the school's Club. The Club is a mashup of cheerleading and dance team and color guard, maybe with a bit of marching band thrown in for fun. It's silly and it's energetic and it's school spirit and it comes with its own uniform. And if your hair is long enough, that uniform comes with a pom-pom ponytail holder. So you know this is serious business. ...more

If you ask a kid what candy she wants to bring to school

for the daycare's Valentine's party, she will ask if she can come to the store with you so she may choose herself. And if you agree to go to the grocery store with your five-year-old because you need eggs and cottage cheese and juice boxes anyway, she will jump with excitement and ask to hold the reusable grocery bags. But when you give her the grocery bags, she will forget them in the car in her excitement to snag a ...more

Have you ever been punched in the face?

The thing I have been thinking about this week is that I have never been punched in the face. I have been kicked, pushed, spat upon, physically restrained, cut off in traffic, groped, beaned in the head in dodgeball, shoved, followed menacingly down a dark sidewalk, pulled by my wrists and subjected to other victimizing physical assaults, but in 36 years I’ve never been punched in the face.It’s very personal, a punch to your face. It’s very aggressive ....more

A new book club

About a month ago E and I received an invitation to join a newly-forming mother-daughter book club. We met for the first time today, seven first-grade girls, giggly friends, a sea of pink and purple; and their moms: jeans and yoga pants, a little more reserve, a little more school gossip. The invitation posited a long-term goal of fostering a love of reading in our daughters. That part: done. But the side benefits? Socialization in unfamiliar houses? Fostering friendships? Facing ...more

The countdown

Yesterday was L's kindergarten screening. Unlike her sister's experience, this child bounded away from me ....more