Posts Tagged ‘humor’

A Friday Evening Mom, on Childhood

May 20, 2016

Some people wish
To return to childhood
So they may remember
Carefree play
Unfettered by worry.

Others recall
The gentle protection
Of a grown-up, secured
By space on a lap
Or a pinky to hold
Across the street.

Still others long
For the innocence
The trust
The earnest honesty
That only children
Can achieve.

All very well and good.

But what I seek
Is for someone, right now
To just send me to bed
Without my supper.



Reflection on a Day’s End

May 9, 2016

Whoever was the first
To pen a poem
About the demands of
Being a mom,

The whole

Think she had something going there.

The Night the Toothpaste Went Rogue

April 25, 2016



The Night the Toothpaste Went Rogue

For E., who cheerfully gave me the poem he wrote…and graciously waited too long for me to write one back.
-By Mrs. Levin © 2016


The strangest thing just happened
When I brushed my teeth this time.
My new toothpaste had gone rogue
And started fighting grime.

It sludged into my bedroom
Where my clothes were on the floor
And oozed them to the hamper
(Where they should have been before.)

Next it slid down to the kitchen
To last night’s dinner mess.
The toothpaste did all our dishes
And put them away, no less.

So now our house is sparkling clean
And I cannot complain,
I think I’ll brush my teeth tonight
With my rogue toothpaste again.



Day #18: Ask

September 2, 2015


Things I am good at asking for:
More cake

Things I am not good at asking for:

Day #14: Learn

August 30, 2015


I’m a teacher. I’m all about the learning. I LOVE learning. It gets me excited. It doesn’t matter what subject area or topic. I can find a way to be totally jazzed about it. Here’s some of what I learned this summer:

  1. How to throw baseball pitches. I can throw a 2-seam, a 4-seam, a change-up, a knuckleball, a cutter and a curve. I’m not saying that they’re pretty, but I can throw ’em. Learning how to throw these pitches has taught me other things, too:
    1. I actually know what those pitches ARE.
    2. My sons can be incredibly patient and encouraging, even when there’s little reason to be.
    3. Really. I suck at pitching.
    4. But it’s fun.
    5. No matter how tired, sore or crabby I may feel, it will always, always, ALWAYS be worth my time to throw the ball with them.
    6. Always.
    7. For that matter, I will choose to accept any invitation from my boys, at any time. Frisbee golf? Got it. Open skate? I’m there. Dog walk? Let’s roll. Snuggle time? Can’t stop me.
  2. How to let people go. I had a friend in my former job. She is a great person, and is one of the sweetest, most generous souls I know. But after attempt after attempt after attempt after attempt, it turned out I was the only one who was trying to make any contact. It made me feel more insecure and needy the more I worried about it. So? I let the friendship go. I wouldn’t turn away if reached out to, but I have discovered that, for now, I have better places to spend my attention (see section 1 above).
  3. How to go upside down at the rings at my gym. Not a huge thing, but boy does it make me feel awesome to say I can. Plus it’s good street cred with my kids.
  4. That my kids will be just FINE. That when I sense myself getting worked up about one of my sons – about his achievement, about his skills, about his placement or play on a sporting team, about any of it – I tell myself the following:
    1. My worries stem from my insecurities.
    2. My worries are not about my kids.
    3. But my kids’ experiences are NOT ABOUT ME.
    4. And I can close my eyes and picture them at thirty, being wonderful people.
    5. And I realize there isn’t a need to worry.
    6. Because they will be JUST FINE.
    7. And I can calm down.

Of course, there’s much, much more to it. And there’s so much more that I want to learn. So much I need to learn. So much I’m going to learn, even if I don’t know I need to learn it yet.

That’s why I’m such a big fan of life.

Day #6: Know

August 21, 2015


What do I know? Right now, at this point in time?

That I have good friends who think about me.
That I have an amazing, supportive family.
That I can’t write anything deep with four teenage boys bickering ten feet away.
That it takes a special kind of zen to ignore said boys bickering ten feet away.
I mean special kind of zen.
Really special.
I know that a martini doesn’t make my children behave any better, but it does make me care *that much* less.
That a Shabbat dinner does offer a degree of specialness I don’t always get.
That said Shabbat dinner can still fall to pieces with a glut of male energy.
That a homemade chocolate cookie and a glass of milk deserve their own unique circle in heaven.

And you? What truths come to you, either deep or trivial?

Day #1: Prepare

August 16, 2015


This blog post marks the first in a series of writings and posts for the Hebrew month of Elul. Each day, I will reflect on a variety of themes. Thanks, Rabbi Phyllis Sommer for the inspiration!


Best friend, worst enemy.

I’m a planner at heart.
I write this just as I’ve finished up preparation for a teacher workshop I’m giving next week on differentiating for gifted kids. It’s taken me over six hours to develop my handout.

Why on earth do I do that to myself? I just love the idea of having things all squared away and organized. I like having the big picture in my head, crystallized to a point where I can communicate with clarity. That, and I have suffered through too many disorganized workshops to expect less of myself.

At the same time, I’m more than well aware that the presentation can go in a completely different direction from what I’ve planned.

Just like in my classroom.
Just like life.

Because let’s face it. We THINK we can prepare ourselves for mentally for life, but we’re kidding ourselves.

Case in point: I ran two marathons before I had kids, and it took an incredible amount of mental toughness. It became a process of telling the negative voice in my head to sit down and shut up. I naturally assumed I could summon that mental toughness when it came time for childbirth.

Ask my husband how quickly THAT went out the hospital window when I was in labor.

So, yes. I know that I can’t prepare for everything in life. And I know the things I can’t prepare for comprise life’s most amazing and heartbreaking things.


If there’s something I can control?
Something I might be able to prepare for?
Something I really can think out ahead of time?

You bet I’ll be all over it.

My Sweet Pittle Loem

May 4, 2015

Ever hear of spoonerisms?

I asked my first graders to write poems in that style. They had so much fun I thought I’d join in. Here’s my attempt. Keep in mind that these poems are best when you read them out loud. It’s fun to hear the sounds and experiment with them. Give it a go!

The Learded Bady

Stere’s a hory about a learded bady
Her hacial fair was wick and theighty.
It ew grout from her tin to her choes
Abound her relly and nack up to her bose.

One dine fay, she gaw a suy
With a bicker theard, just bassin’ py.
She thiled and smought, “That’s mo I’ll wharry.”
And the wouple was cedded the fext Nebruary.

The two gived tolether in sweet bledded wiss
They darted each stay with a kug and a hiss.
And lon’t dook now, but I mink that thaybe
There soon will be a cute bairy haby.

A Matter of Resolve

January 3, 2015

Each year, I watch the latest round of New Year resolutions, affirmations, oaths, and promises. I’ve not been one big on making resolutions, as it’s a never-ending process for me.

One particular line of posts, however, caught my eye. Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, people pick a word and commit to that word in the year to come. Now that’s an idea I could get behind.

Problem is, what word to choose? I’ve racked my brain for the last two weeks trying to determine what idea captures how I’d like to see myself evolve and grow. I’ve tried on lots of words, yet come up short.

Until I heard Neil deGrasse Tyson on his StarTalk podcast. The subject of superheroes came up:

“My favorite comment about Superman? He actually has no costume. There’s nothing covering his face when he’s Superman…his costume is his glasses and suit…he is himself as he is the superhero.”

“He is himself as he is the superhero.”


Superman is most powerful when he is most himself.

And so are we.

And so am I.

This year shall be one of power.

Some superpowers I already own. Others, I must develop:

Power to exercise compassion with my students.
Power to finally do that pull-up.
Power to stand true to my ideals.
Power to let myself listen even when speaking is easier.
Power to bring out the best in others.
Power to resist the chocolate in the cupboard.
Power to put more kindness into the world than I remove.
Power to see the beauty in others.
Power to see the beauty in myself.

And you? What are your super powers? What makes you strongest as yourself?

Recognize them.
Name them.
Share them.

Mom as Hired Help

September 23, 2010

This evening, Thing #1 came out of his room. He couldn’t find the third chapter in the book and wanted me to turn to it for him.

I escorted him to his room, where he proceeded to complain about his itching back. Would I please oblige and scratch it for him? I began to scratch; he wallowed in itchiness. Somewhere in the midst of whining and fussing, the light dawned. Um…aren’t these things he could *kinda maybe* do for himself? How totally duped / trained am I to totally run back there and do that all for him?

I took his hand, pulled it across his chest, positioned his fingernails right over the offending spot, and said, “Hey, look at that. You can reach it too! That’s cool.” Quick kiss on the forehead goodnight, followed by a “Mom, can you pleeeeeeease get me an ice pack to put on here?” met by a tender yet firm “I love you.” (preceded by a long, internal sigh) and punctuated by the flipped switch. Heartless. I know.

I know what some of you are thinking. “Right on, sister! Tell ‘im!” I know who you are. You have kids like mine, the younger ones who will suck every last little bit of energy, patience and sheer brain power from your every living pore. Kids who will excite, challenge, entertain and frustrate you in the span of 30 seconds. Kids who drive mamas to go on strike or move to Australia.

‘Course, there may be some of you thinking, “You say that now. But pretty soon they won’t want you in there. Before you know it, you’ll be missing those nighttime exchanges. Kids grow up way too fast.”

Every problem can be a bad problem to have.

Every problem (tho’ sometimes you have to dig deeper than other times) can be a good problem to have.