It all began when Asher, Michael and I went to see the sleep away camp that Asher was going to be attending for the first time this year. He is 10 ½, very skinny and very fair skinned with freckles along his cheeks and nose. I call Asher and Tova my Café con Leche. She is the café. He is the leche. What will he eat? He will never put sunscreen on I thought but didn’t say it out loud. What if he drops 10 pounds and becomes weak and unable to hike? He would go without food, water or sleep I think if we didn’t somehow force him to do all three...read more
The Science of Saying ‘I’m Sorry’
Apologies are a necessity in life. Our willingness to repair conflicts is one measure of our relationships’ depth. After all, life is filled with disagreements and issues, whether they be with people at our workplace, our children’s school or friends and family. How do we apologize to those in our lives? We want to do it successfully, in order to foster forgiveness, repair hurt feelings and truly resolve whatever the initial conflict may have been. Turns out, there’s a science to apologizing. The findings from a new set of...read more
Genderless Baby? Or Brainless Parents?
In the play Baby With the Bathwater by Christopher Durang written in 1983…Helen and John are very unprepared for parenthood. They can’t seem to name the baby. John thinks it’s a boy, but Helen says the doctors said they could decide later. When the baby cries, they can’t quite decide what to do. They raise him as a girl but he thinks and feels like a boy. At the end of the play we meet Daisy – dressed as a girl, but otherwise a polite, confused young man. In a “jump cut” sort of scene, we follow his years and years of therapy, where he...read more
A Weiner Exposed.
It seems the ridiculous is courting the sublime these days in terms of headlines to write about, talk about, and wonder about… I mean, really! A congressperson spending his days online sending crotch shots to girls who “liked” his facebook page? Sexting? So with our daily dose of humor at the water cooler, it seems worth wondering just what in the hell is going on here. What would make a man, who has arguably reached a level of success that many only dream about, risk so much professionally and personally for a moment of thrill? It might help...read more
Real Kid vs Fantasy Kid
When I was seven and fantasizing about my future family, I knew I was going to have six kids- three boys and three girls- Ashley, Amber, Hannah, Billy, Brock and Ben. My husband, Troy, was tall, blond and athletic and we were going to raise our kids to be just like us! The girls would wear pretty white eyelet dresses, bobby sox and white shoes and the boys would wear khaki pants, button down shirts with short blonde hair. They would all act politely and were very quiet, unless they were making us laugh or beam with pride because they were so...read more
Things are a Changing! Thank God!
I was talking with a friend the other day and we were laughing and horrified that her father still uses the term Orientals when describing anyone of Asian descent. I told her that my father in law learned many years ago not to speak like that in front of me for fear of having his head ripped off! My kids play with finger traps, and I remember when we used to call them “Chinese finger prisons”. I remember telling my dad not to “Jew” me when he only gave me 10 dollars for the movies when I was 12. I ignorantly didn’t even know what a Jew was at...read more
Oy, Donald Trump.
On a recent episode of the Celebrity Apprentice, Meatloaf was fired because he was “too emotional”. The iconic rocker later went on to support Marlee Matlin in her bid to win the final competition, but was under orders “not to cry”. The fact that emotionality was used as an indictment in this situation makes my blood boil. As a psychologist, as a mom, as a human being, I feel fiercely protective of our right to express feeling and not have that used against us as a sign of weakness. The fact is, Meatloaf claimed that he became emotional...read more
Romantic Love? Closeness? Intimacy?
This time of year in Los Angeles the roses in my garden are in full bloom, the air looks lavender and the world smells amazing and new. It’s the perfect time for a long walk or a picnic in a park. With family or friend, lover or spouse (or both), it’s time to be outside, savor the warmth of the spring weather and closeness with people you love. Watching Asher and Tova scooter up and down the block with the other kids that live on our street I can sense time slowing down. Feeling close to those that live right next door is a blessing. But what...read more
No Roses Today
My sister, Kelly, reminded me through her own tears that today, on Mother’s Day, it will be the first time since our children were born that we wouldn’t be receiving our yearly delivery of roses from our dad. You see every year Mother’s day was a big deal in our home, even growing up, we went to dinner or brunch or something with all of us kids and often my grandparents as well. I remember many brunches at The Velvet Turtle or some Mexican place that was our latest favorite or Lupo’s Italian restaurant, which was always on our list. With my...read more
Perfectly Good Enough
When my kids were in Nursery School and in those tender transitional moments when we had such difficulty separating for even ten minutes, the teacher in her infinite wisdom instructed the panicked group of parents that we had become to “be excited about separating so you can be excited to come back together”. She went on to suggest that we don’t make the all too easy declaration that “mommy doesn’t want to go to work”, because while that might be true, our kids should be left with a thought of us having fun in our day, so they felt free to...read more