Category Archives: essay

It’s Moving Day

The time has come for me to move to a brand spanking new website – catch me over at HaDassahSaboMilner.com – all of the content that’s here has been moved there, but I won’t close this site down just yet. But please – pop on over and see what’s new, just bear with us while we tweak and perfect it!!

I’ve Been Tagged!

Aliza Worthington whom I worship a ton (see what I did there?) tagged me in her post: It Goes to 11. So now, because I have been tagged I have to post rules and answer Aliza’s questions and pick some new victims erm I mean bloggers to answer my 11 questions.

1. What talent do you wish you had?

I wish I could do many things, but I really wish I could draw and sing because then my kids would have the most awesome projects for school AND I wouldn’t make anyone cringe with my shower singing.

2. Who’s your favorite Muppet, and why?

Oscar, because he’s a grouch. I relate.

3. What kind of restaurant would you open, and why?

I always wanted to open a bakery / coffee shop. Because I love to bake and make tummies happy. And coffee? Well, I do like coffee. A little.

4. What’s the first movie that you remember giving you nightmares?

Doctor Who. When we were tiny little kidlets we used to beg my Mum to let us watch Dr Who on a Saturday night, but without fail we would hide behind the sofa every time it got scary. (not a movie, but hey….)

5. What sporting event have you never been to, that you dream of attending?

The Superbowl. I kid I kid. Wimbledon. Would so love to be there at the men’s final.

6. What class did you take in high school or college that you wish you could take again now?

Sewing. I wish I paid more attention so that I could make my own clothes.

7. Country Living or Architectural Digest?

Country Living.

8. What book do you hope your kids never read?

50 Shades of Grey – only because it is written abysmally, so I’ve been told.

9. Ringo Starr. Good drummer or not?

Who? 😉

10. Theme parks – thumbs up or thumbs down?

Thumbs way up. I love roller coasters although according to my boys I scream like a girl!

11. Are any of you still my friend?

I love you, you know that! You are one of my favorite wenches! xoxox

So now, if I have tagged you (go look on FB when I finally get this post up) what you need to do is to answer my eleven questions (down below) on your blog and then tag eleven people to answer 11 questions that you have made up. Understood? Or if you haven’t been tagged, you can answer in the comments, or on your blog if you blog.

1. What’s your favourite type of music?

2. What’s your earliest memory?

3. If you could change your first name, what would you change it to?

4. What one decision in your life do you regret and why?

5. Coffee or Tea?

6. Ideal Vacation?

7. Favourite TV channel and show.

8. What word do you use the most because you love the way it sounds?

9. What would be the title of your autobiography?

10. What language do you wish you spoke?

11. Where do you see yourself ten years from now?

Letting Go

When you first hold your baby there’s a multitude of feelings that flow through you – exhaustion, love, awe, a tremendous sense of responsibility, even fear.

What no one can prepare you for is when you have to start letting go, loosening the apron strings, so your kids can grow up and become adults, responsible for their own lives. It seems to happen in an instant, overnight.

It’s not as if they turn 18 and suddenly BAM! that’s it, bye bye parents. It’s a gradual letting go.

But it’s hard. You need to give the kids space to learn, opportunities to grow from, the ability to make mistakes that they can learn from. Ima cannot come rushing in to save the day every single time. You learn to bite your tongue, to accept decisions that you might not fully agree with. But how can we trust our children if we don’t give them the opportunity to be trusted?

This balancing act seems to become harder the older the children get. I am not a dictatorial mother, but I am a mom who likes things done a certain way and expects her children to behave appropriately. However, I have to have faith in the job I have done in raising the kids. They are not an extension of me, they are themselves, people in their own right. Children deserve a chance to figure out WHO they are. As parents we need to be there to support them, to love them unconditionally, to be a voice of reason when necessary. As the kids get older, they need you in different ways.

It’s so rewarding watching them grow up and mature, yet bittersweet in a way – they will soon leave home, headed to live their own lives. It’s what we want for them but it’s so hard to let go.

Just a reminder!

Please Share!

Me First!

New Year, new attitude. Let’s see if we can do this.

I need to start putting myself on my priority list. I need to do things to take care of ME so that I can take care of others. I need to stop allowing what other people think or say to influence or affect me negatively. I need to stop caring about what the neighbours will say, and concentrate fully on the family I love so much.

I want to live a real life. A life based on who I am, and the people with whom I share my life. A life of truth and of respect. Of passion and compassion. A life both spiritual and practical. A life that encompasses all of the world’s gifts – and embraces individual differences.

I want to start living my own personal truth so that my children can learn there is no shame in being themselves, no need to apologize for being individuals. Not that my own personal truth is something huge. It isn’t. But I need to stop doing things because others expect it, and do the things that make sense to me.

I don’t want to get to 120 and wonder where on earth I dropped my sense of self.

What are you working on this year? How much time / effort do you spend worried about what other’s think of you?

Abuse in the Yeshiva System

This story Surviving Bais Mikroh happened in a yeshiva in Monsey, where I live. I personally cannot vouch for the veracity of this story, but having heard many similar stories about this and other yeshivot – nothing in it surprised me. None of my children attend or have attended Bais Mikroh.

When my children were younger it was brought to my attention that one of the Kindergarden rebbeim was hitting the kids at the yeshiva my boys attended. One of my kids had made an offhand remark “Chaim Yankel didn’t sing the tune right so Rebbe hit him, and then he cried, and then the bell rang for recess….”

I stopped him, and asked if Rebbe often hit the kids. He told me yes, that’s what happens in big boy school. I was floored. I tried to explain to my 6 year old that NO REBBE has the right to hit a child – and he hit these kids across the face!!

I knew what I had to do, and I suffered for doing the right thing. I called the school social worker, letting him know what was going on, and telling him I was headed up to the school to take them to task. The social worker did not work for the school, but answered to a local agency. Getting them involved was paramount – if it had been just me, one parent, lodging a complaint at the school, the problem would have been swept under the rug.

Oh did I forget to tell you? NONE of the other parents in the class, including the parents of the boys that had been hit, were willing to stand with me. No one was willing to stand up for their kids. My kid had not been hit, and I was willing to stand up. I was disgusted. I had parents calling me, thanking me for doing this, because their kid had been hit too – but when I asked to put their name forward, for them to make a phonecall to the social worker, they refused.

I spoke with the principal and the social worker at length. I was not willing to be brushed off. Soon after I received threatening phonecalls, that I need to stop my personal vendetta (!!) against the rebbe and drop my complaint. He has mouths to feed, responsibilities – how dare I try to take that away from him?

How dare he hit our kids? How dare they blame ME for complaining?

“We’ll chase you out of town, your name will be mud here” – if it saves one kid, it would have been worth it. They were full of BS anyway – push came to shove they had to shut up because it was all TRUE.

Because it wasn’t MY kid that was hit, and none of the other parents came forward, there was little that I could push to be done. It was frustrating. They got the teacher into anger management classes, and upon my insistence, never left the rebbe alone with the kids. There was always another adult present. They never, not for one moment, denied that he hit the kids.

My kid was transferred to a parallel class, and my younger kid(s) were not assigned to his kindergarten class.

What horrified me the most were the parents. Your child was hit. Across the face. Some more than once. And you are willing to sit there and take it? And you are willing to allow him to continue to hit other children? Because you are afraid of making waves?

Our children are worth everything – if we do not protect them, who will?

Don’t Forget These Fasting Tips

Tips to Ensure an Easier Fast. [Originally posted in 2009]

Gmar Chatimah Tovah!

Shanah Tovah!

A Year Ago Today

A year ago today I was in abject pain and misery, with a left arm and leg that didn’t want to work properly and a neck that screamed in agony.

A year ago today I had a disc in my neck pressing on my spinal cord and compromising it.

A year ago today I was being wheeled in to the operating theatre.

A year ago today I woke up from surgery feeling a tremendous improvement and knowing I was going to be ok.

I still have pain, and I still get those tingles and sharp pains down my arm and leg BUT I am mobile and fully functional. A little bit of pain here and there is a small price to pay for full mobility.

Now I just have to keep going to the gym and building my strength back up. I’ll be doing cartwheels in no time!! 🙂

Sadly though, no roller coasters or skydiving in my future. Sadsies! 🙂

Read these posts on my surgery:

I’m a Pain in the Neck – Surgery Needed

How a pain in the neck led to surgery

My Surgical Experience – Part One

My Surgical Experience – Part Two

My Surgical Experience – Part Three

So fed up….whining at this early hour

Dr Slice and Dice Says I am Structurally Sound

He Who Believes Is Not Afraid

Latma have released the song below for Rosh Hashanah. This song really strikes a chord with me, especially the chorus “He who believes is not afraid”.

Isn’t that what faith is supposed to be? Complete belief in God that everything works out for the best. I wish, I really wish, I had such a deep faith that I would never be afraid. I wish I could embrace the idea completely that everything that happens is for the best – gam zu letovah.

That is one of the main things I will be working on in the next year – my faith. What will you be working on?

Ketivah veChatimah Tovah! May you be written in the Book of Life!