Rants & Reflections

Floral Dilemma

Faithful readers know that during the time I lived at Turkey Hill, I received all sorts of deliveries intended for the previous owners—who happened to move into a fancy manse across the street, but never found the time to introduce their very important selves to mere plebes like us. I received Schumacher wallpaper, strange ointments from a pharmacy in the city, the kitchen help hired to serve and clean up Christmas dinner, shoes for the daughter, and even a dining room table. Begrudgingly, I would redirect the delivery, or if something was left in my driveway, I would have my kids run it over and leave it by the gated entrance for Her Majesty.

I don’t travel over…


PART TWO: SHIVA VISITS

As long as I’m being the preachy Jew this week, I’ll spout off about what constitutes an appropriate local shiva visit. Unless the bereaved family asks you to stay for an extended time to visit with them or lend support, here’s the protocol: 1) Go. 2) Pay your respects. And here comes the controversial part: 3)LEAVE! That’s right—get your charming arse off the premises. It’s not the time for you to socialize with other shiva visitors. It’s not the time to monopolize the mourners, unless, of course, you find you’re one of only a very few there and the family invites you to sit with them. If the family is standing and receiving a long line…


CSI: Westport

I’ve never been a big fan of cop shows, yet this week I could’ve been a special guest star in a major storyline on a TV crime drama. Our family was, you see, victimized by one of the most prevalent and potentially dangerous kinds of offenders in today’s society: a bored, unsupervised teen.

This teen goes to school with my boys, rides the bus with them and lives right in the neighborhood. He doesn’t know my boys personally, but apparently knows their names because they hold leadership and other high-profile positions at school. And we’re told he claims he didn’t mean anything when he posed as another student online and explicitly, serially threatened our lives.

Except you can’t do that crap…


Like Mother, Like Son

The older Ben gets, the more clear it becomes that I’ve given birth to the male version of myself. Yeah, sure, people used to stop me in the supermarket when he was an infant to remark how the sweet baby looked just like his mommy, and they still say he’s my spitting image today (albeit much cuter and with a bigger, watermelonier head!). But I’m talking about how similar our interests and natures are. It struck me again in the last couple of weeks.

Ben was assigned a project with two partners. They had each individually written a major paper on a topic of their choosing, and now they were matched up and assigned to create a PowerPoint and a…


Once again I celebrate my own personal Thanksgiving today – regardless of whether Simon Cowell would find it “a bit indulgent.” For today marks the second anniversary of my surgery.

So I vow to spend a little time today reflecting on life and personal growth over the past year. I suppose the measure I use is how fully I follow the revelation I awoke with in the hospital: create a life – don’t simply exist and wonder “what if?” If Year One was putting the pieces in place –deciding to up and move, making the move, getting started in a new community – Year Two has been spent making a home for our family and getting settled. It’s been…


Seeking seamstress skilled in stitching flesh wounds to be on call for two wacky families with a total of eight boys, ages 4 – 14. Job split between Westport, CT and Needham, MA. Love of twins required. Experience hemming jeans a plus.

Sweartogod. We wound up at the doctors’ office this morning with Zack, who had reached into his drawer to grab hair gel and was attacked by a ferocious razor that apparently had a score to settle. He didn’t tell anyone, self-treated with a band-aid, and merrily went off to school. I got a call from the school nurse less than an hour later that he had cut himself – at home – and needed stitches. Oh look –…


“And the Oscar Goes To…”

Okay, I have no clue who will win golden statuettes tonight, other than Heath Ledger, who seems to be a shoe-in. And though the road to hell is paved with good intentions, I’ve seen only one nominated film: “Vicky Christina Barcelona”-this afternoon, no less. All I know is that every year when the awards are doled out, I remember with fondness my very favorite Oscar telecast.

Board the way-back machine with me, if you will, to 1994. David and I had been married about six months and he had client business in Florida, so I flew down with him and stayed with my grandparents in Boca, to their great delight. This was back in the days when the Oscar telecast…


Insecure with School Security

There was an intruder in my boys’ middle school last week. How do I know? They told me about it. Yes, finally the story of the controversy that sparked my apoplexy on Facebook last week.

Early last Thursday evening, I picked up the three big boys at Hebrew School and started catching up on their days. Ben typically has a laundry list of stuff stuck in his craw, dominating the conversation, and that day was no exception. “French quiz this, position paper that, need money in my lunch account, math midterm tomorrow, yadda yadda yadda…”

All of a sudden from the back seat pipes up this little voice, “There was an intruder in the school on Tuesday,” announced Zack, almost matter-of-factly.

“EXCUSE…


Keeping Us in Stitches

When you’re the mom of four boys, it’s an unusual quarter that passes without a trip to the emergency room for a broken bone or stitches (or, as it’s happened, both at the same time). And when one of those boys is the quintessential “spotlight stealer,” eventually your car can auto-pilot itself to the local ER. The upside is that thanks to our curly-haired spotlight-stealer, we managed to satisfy our annual insurance deductible in one fell swoop before the end of January.

Yesterday, which was Ben’s birthday, suddenly became all about Matthew when he tried to impress a girlfriend who was visiting, and instead managed to split open his lip and just above. Once we could figure out where…


Cabin Fever

Alpha Kappa Reiser has been beset by the Tagteam Winter Plague.

Zack was kind enough to bring it home from a birthday party over the weekend (quél unique party favor!), from a friend who had been absent from school all week but ended up at Saturday evening’s festivities (This kid claimed he had had a temperature of 112°! I think he must’ve been cured with a prescription of hyperbole supplements.). Zack awoke Sunday feeling okay, but by afternoon, those big chocolate-pudding eyes with the Snuffleupagus lashes were glassy and droopy. When I removed the thermometer from his mouth, I burst into a chorus of “You’re hot-blooded, check it and see. You’ve got a fever of a-hundred-and three.” Being a…