Sunday, November 25, 2018

Moments of regret: Small, medium, large

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Maybe regret isn't the right word.  But I’ll use it here anyway.
Because here in this dark, dark, cold time of year, I'm finding myself deluged with it -- three moments of regret, large and small.

Regret, small:

Driving in a hurry to pick up a crying baby from daycare.  Rushing and it's clear out, bright sunny sky, middle of the day, but I try to get through a red light and I don't make it.  Or rather, I make it but the car doesn't.

That one instant -- there's the regret.  The wish that I could turn back the clock, like Superman, just 30 seconds.  Not try to make the light.  Wait there patiently, even though the baby has a fever; even though she's crying; even though she probably has some kind of horrible infection.

I am constantly scrambling with that baby.  I missed her jaundice, failed to notice because we were locked up together in a cold winter bedroom that she was turning colour, turning yellow like a bog man, until her grandmother came over and said, "That baby is yellow."  It's been a lifetime of scrambling ever since.

But if only, I think.  If only I could turn off the scrambling for just half a minute and sit still.  She'll wait.

She did wait.  It takes a lot longer to get a tow truck than it does to

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Introducing… the parsha book you never knew you needed: The Rhyming Torah

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You know how we're supposed to be modest and not go shouting our accomplishments from the rooftops?

Well, sometimes, I'm a little too modest.  And then I need a talking-to from my miniature Social Media Coordinator, aka Naomi Rivka, age 13.

Sitting around the Shabbos table, I mentioned that I'd finally finished my book of parsha poems, The Rhyming Torah.  And she asked the obvious question:  “So are you going to let people know?”

As a busy little social media bug, she knows all about the ins and outs making your way to fame and fortune on the busy, busy internet of today.  And as my kid, obviously she wants me to succeed.  But I had to be honest.

“I don’t know…” I said.  “I hadn’t really thought about it.”

“Well, you at least have to tell your blog,” she announced.

So that’s where this post comes in.

I don’t usually do launches for my books, self-published or otherwise, but I probably should.  I’ve had a few just in the past year, and I believe each and every one of them is great.  Not enough people know about them, but it’s almost literally painful for me to toot my own horn, so I generally don’t.

In fairness, I wrote most of the poems while we were in Toronto (most are still available in their early unedited form here), then shelved them here on this site because I didn't think they were worth publishing.  But then a couple of years ago, I started thinking, "Why not...?"

You know how you get that little itch and then eventually

Monday, November 05, 2018

Carless whispers: Leaving the family car, and the Mom on Wheels, behind

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It's been five years since we gave up the family car.
Sometimes I don't think about that huge change, because it came at a time of so many other huge changes in our lives.  But I realized today it was worth stopping for a moment and reflect back on what that's meant and how we are with it.

For about 15 years, I was a Mom on Wheels.  I had the big family car and drove it almost everywhere.  And it was a huge part of my identity even if I didn't like to admit it.

I didn't start out that way... although to be honest, who does?
And incongruously enough, I always thought of myself as more of a public transportation person.  I guess that's cognitive dissonance for you.  I took public transportation everywhere -- except when I drove the car, which much of the time was ALWAYS.

And the shameful truth is, I quickly came to love being behind the wheel.  How could you not?  You're in charge.  You set the schedule -- although traffic sometimes has something to say about it, too.

Having a car beats taking a bus in so many ways when you have kids:

  • Your kid can be hungry / tired / screaming / soaking / naked / vomiting, and you just whomp them into the car and nobody has to know (why, yes, I have experienced all of these!)