Many thoughts about the world, meditation, parenting, Judaism, pregnancy, teaching, cancer survivorship, moving from West Coast to East and more.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Last night I went to a yoga class, leaving ND with U.

She said:
Yesterday when you left I cried "mommy mommy" but not tonight. I'm a big girl now. I won't cry. I'm not sad you're leaving. I'm happy you're leaving.

Yes, I'm glad she didn't cry... but happy?

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NY dinner

I spent a semester abroad in Ireland during my college days. I met someone there I'll call AF who was my friend. I never knew quite what to make our visits. We got together many Thursday nights at a pub and talked around various subjects that I don't remember to well and sampled the many drinks available. I became partial to cider.

I referred to her as my authentic native Irish person friend. She would say, "we prefer to call ourselves 'indigenous.'" She said if she ever changed the name of her band from "Vern's Pest Control" it would be "A____ from America" after me.

And that was about it. We talked about books a little I think and various things. I never quite felt I got deep into a friendship where I yanked out my soul for her or vice versa, but it was comfortable chatting together and kind of dancing around figuring out what to say. I really enjoyed it and was always a little awkward, wondering why she'd want to spend her time hanging out with me.

To her credit, we've stayed in touch all these years... first through occasional emails, then our blogs, and now Facebook. She and her girlfriend are in NY right now for the week and we managed to get our acts together so that I could go to dinner with them.

It was tricky. ND was with me and made conversation almost impossible. I felt sorry and a little embarrassed that I have not entirely figured out that I can't always bring ND to these things. And we most certainly didn't have time to get any deeper than we did before.

But there it is... we got together. She even brought a copy of my book (which she'd bought online) for me to sign.

Sometimes I make a friend, and then we go our ways, and then much later I meet her again and wish I could get to know this person better. I wonder if it's possible, or if our friendship is exactly as it should be now. In one of my poems I wrote, "You wave in my direction/and no is standing behind me." Is it that hard for me to accept a friendship as perfect enough? I'm too often surprised when someone wants to connect again. I rarely can believe I offered enough to make the friendship worth while for the other person.

But there it is. She contacted me from across the sea. We got together. It was nice. She'll read this blog. We'll remain in touch. And so on.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Remission Anniversary... today. I didn't remember the exact date and posted on Facebook yesterday that it was coming this week. I wish I were doing something TODAY to celebrate. But at this point, I'm just trying to enjoy my life as it is. Not that that's hard...

I had all this work to do tonight. Maybe I'll scrap it and do something out of my routine. Not sure how to include the family on that yet. I don't want to go out to eat. I want something more interesting than that. Even going on a walk in a special place.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What She's Going To Be

A week or two ago ND and I were talking about her Morah (teacher). She said there was a girl at the school who did not call her Morah S____ but instead called her Mommy.

Then we talked about how my name is both Mommy and a teacher.

ND said (this is not verbatim but as close as I can remember), "I'm going to be a teacher too but I can't be a teacher yet. First my name has to be Mommy."

I almost pulled over the car just to take it all in. Prophecy?

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

And the conclusion... and the beginning...

I'm a little sad to see the chagim end.

There was an added piece this year. Our Rabbi is leaving our community for a new job. His final hurrah was on Shmini Atzeret with a drash. And afterwards there was a lunch in his honor -- not the whole shul, just some special folks of which I'm proud to say I got to be a part. I really felt very united with the people there, and by Simchat Torah felt united too with all the others in my shul as well.

I had to return a book to the rabbi... I took it to his office. Most of the shelves had been cleared off and there was just a small pile of books on his desk. I added the book I was returning to this pile, but that image has stayed with me.

Don't know what's to come... for the new rabbi whomever and whenever he shall be, for the new year which now really begins as our celebration with Hashem is over.

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Chagim 2009

It's been an odd run of chagim this year.

First, they feel so early. I was still metaphorically panting from the first weeks of school by the time the shofar sounded on the second day of Yom Tov.

Rosh Hashanah was a great start. I got to shul early and davened close to the chazzan and really hit a profound place emotionally. But by the end of the holiday I felt a cold coming on so couldn't help but wonder if that was what caused the emotion rather than a connection with G-d. On the other hand, did Hashem send it so that it would be easier to feel what was happening? Don't ignore anything that could be a blessing.

Eager to have a school year with fewer sick days, I worked really hard and made myself quite ill in the next week, so that Yom Kippur I spent mostly in bed... learning to yield, I guess, learning to accept, but wondering if I haven't learned that enough times already.

But now I've had this wonderful week off for Sukkot. Monday and Tuesday were beautiful and I had the foresight to pick up ND early from school and take her to Van Saun Park. The park has a carousel and a small zoo as well as multiple fantastic playgrounds for all different ages (and also for physically disabled,) as well as a big duck pond. ND went on the carousel for the very first time. That was at least as fun for me as for her. I loved watching her awe. Then we went to the zoo, including the zoo train, and lastly I pushed her in the stroller for two brisk laps around the duck pond, giving me one of the first aerobic walks I've had in awhile.

Tuesday I had no plans to do anything special with her, but it was so sunny I couldn't stand the thought of only being indoors. So I picked her up early again and we went to a petting zoo.

Along with all of that I found time to write plans for school, catch up on email, clean a pile of boxes and give-aways out of the guest room (that took me 2 hours!) and rearrange my kitchen. It's amazing how much I can accomplish when I'm home alone!

Wednesday was a great morning including getting more exercise and spending a solid hour writing, as well as Uri and me going on a date for lunch. But after lunch I got stomach ache that flattened me for the night. I think it was actually a virus. The next day I was half-dead to the world and had to really struggle to get to two appointments I had and to pick up ND. This then turned into a tiny cold which I think I'm over now.

But it led me to the horrible realization that I value myself too much based on my accomplishments. What if I really were sick all the time? What would it take to make me truly feel at peace with that? Do I want to reach that state or shall I continue to accept in myself the frantic agitated feelings I get when I "fail" and become ill again.

In any case, Yom Tov is approaching now again, and I'm feeling the usual excitement that I always do before candlelighting. I don't know what this year holds. I think it will be tougher at work than last year... just a gut feeling I have. And maybe my health will not improve as I get older, but will lead to me always catching something or other every few weeks. 

But maybe I can grow a little more internally and return to some more feelings of "okayness" with the imperfection that G-d has so perfectly created.

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