Tag: Maya Bernstein


My oldest daughter recently performed in her kindergarten’s annual Thanksgiving Extravaganza. What is it about watching your kid in a school performance that turns a parent into dripping, slobbering mush? There is something so visceral about seeing your kid “up there,” shirt tucked in, braids in place, belting out songs and moving like a turkey… Read more »

Farmer’s Market

It happened, and then it was over. There was nothing much to talk about, and I have mostly forgotten the details. The images are somehow fuzzy, remembered in strange slow motion, as if I am still distracted, surprised that I am in the center of the memory, rather than standing on the side, looking in.… Read more »

Business Trip

Six years ago it was evening, and the light came gently through the slats of the hospital window shades, and the room was strangely calm, and it was all so new, and then she was in my arms, a being of radical energy, and I sang to her. Today it was morning of breakfasts and… Read more »

The Train: New Poetry

Each week, I travel to and from work by train. My children cling to my legs and wave their arms and shout farewells, as I board my bike and pedal towards the train station, feeling a tight-throated yearning for their sweet presence, and a gravitational pull towards freedom, possibility, self. The train has become a… Read more »

Failing Forward

My daughter, in a post-kindergarten exuberant high, has been exercising her new reading and writing skills by creating “books” in her free time. She wrote one called “Zoo.” It was four computer-paper pages long, taped together. Page one had a picture of a horse, and, underneath, the word “horse.” Page two had a zebra, “zebra.”… Read more »


Our family had returned from Israel. We had, eventually, embraced the mid-trip loss of our camera. We drew sketches of the special places we had been. We laughed and then sighed, without attempting to re-enact and re-capture the laughter for the camera. We returned home without pictures. We had moved on. And then we got… Read more »


It was one week into my family’s trip to Israel, and we lost our camera. Perhaps it was stolen. Most likely it fell out of the bottom of the stroller, while I was digging for sunscreen, or pretzels, or a hat. Perhaps it was the inevitable sacrifice, to appease the gods who watch over those… Read more »


When my grandmother babysat for us when I was young, we always played “Witch.” This was a glorified version of Hide and Seek, in which the witch hunted for the innocent children with the hope of capturing and cooking them in her cauldron for supper. My grandmother was the witch, of course, since, hands down,… Read more »

Puppy Love

Duncan is a dog who works. Like his colleagues who sniff out drugs and bombs, he has been trained from puppyhood to associate treats, praise, and significant Christmas bonuses with the sweet, over-ripe scent of bed bugs, a scent barely detectable to the human olfactory system.


This is the point when I began to suspect that today’s allergists are closely related to the Rabbis who re-interpreted biblical verses to create modern kashrut. Then we were told that, if we truly loved our daughter, and wanted to really be as safe as possible, we should avoid all foods that say “processed in a plant that also processes tree nuts.”