October 31 16

So I sort of suspected that I was losing in the Ali VS October war when I sat down at the computer to write a mildly amusing {possibly only to me} post about how my husband and I grocery shop — how he navigates the aisles and how he buys exactly only what is on his list and this is why we are always hungry and attempt to make meals out of condiments and crackers and how I navigate the aisles and how I buy enough food for my own plus 87 additional families to survive the zombie apocalypse – and my site was suspended and I cried for more minutes than a human should cry over a down website. And my suspicions were further confirmed when I cried because I left the sweet potatoes in the oven overnight after forgetting to serve them with my Shabbat dinner on Friday night.

And tonight I wept because the Packers lost, heartbreakingly, in the last 30 seconds of the game.

And then I broke my tv — mostly accidentally — after I realized that it didn’t record The Walking Dead even though it said it was recording and apparently there are tigers. So instead I’m mesmerized watching a tooth filling on instagram. No, really.

And probably don’t ask me what happened when a Trump supporter tried to challenge me about late-term abortions. I try to avoid engaging in political conversations these days because they leave me tired and upset and sort of feeling like I might stroke out at any point. A friend posted something on Facebook the other day and I literally wrote the words: I don’t even understand why you posted this. I hit enter. Then I immediately deleted it. I’m following the don’t poke the bear philosophy these days. It’s just not worth it. I have shared snopes articles debunking false stories people have shared on Facebook. But I’ve stopped doing that too.  I do wish people would READ MORE and understand what they are posting and sharing on social media but I can’t choose common sense for someone else. I will tell you that I exercised my right to vote {absentee}{in Wisconsin} and I voted for Hillary Clinton. That’s where my story ends. So, I haven’t been engaging much. But, when I found myself three scotch shots in and was accused of this: SO YOU THINK IT’S OKAY TO KILL BABIES THEN? the gloves came off and I quite literally lost my mind.

October is almost over, thanks be. And I have *really* high hopes for November, and not just because there aren’t a million days of tech-free, so-much-delicious-food-filled, so-much-cooking-of-said-delicious-food-filled, so-much-cleaning-up-after-eating-said-delicious-food-filled, kids-are-home-from-school-again Jewish holidays.


November means black, opaque tights. Oh love. November also means sugar-free peppermint lattes. November means sweaters and skinny jeans and boots. And Thanksgiving. And a more manageable shooting schedule. And crockpot dinners. And being wrapped in a cozy blanket with a good book and a cup of Read My Lips tea. And three football Sundays, one football Monday. And Josh’s birthday.


But shhh, please don’t tell my fragile heart that winter is coming because I don’t think I can take it.


Most Friday nights, after we’ve Shabbat dinnered and desserted with the kids, discussed the best and worsts of the week, played Catan, we get together with our neighbors for drinks and skinny pop. It’s such a good end-of-week decompression, and a good chance to actually see real-live adult people to catch up and talk about everything that’s not kid-related, and, of course everything that is. This week, a huge chunk of the conversation was about how actually amazing it is that the same parents can produce children who are born into the same household and yet are so so so different from each other. Genetics is a sneaky and freaky thing, really.

My children are different in almost every way imaginable. How they approach almost everything—from friendships to food to fun. And mostly, how they approach school.

Look I’m not naming any names, but I have one who studies a whole heck of a lot. Too much, actually. She stresses, she agonizes over every single mark. 99s are inadequate because why didn’t she get that last mark. She forces me to read every paragraph and page and paper she writes. If it’s not perfection, she doesn’t want any part of it. There are lots of A+s, but there are also a lot of tears and worries and pre-test panic attacks.

I have one who studies exactly never. He does the exact minimum he needs to do to scrape by. Luckily, the child was blessed with books smarts {street smarts are very questionable} and for the most part, gets grades that are good enough to not draw attention to the fact that he just doesn’t study ever. Occasionally, he slips and we figure it out, and he applies himself for a few days and then goes back to not knowing when tests are or when projects are due. He hasn’t quite yet figured out that he if he actually applied himself, he’d do better than his sister. Or he just doesn’t care.

And then I have one who just doesn’t even know how to study. She sits for a minute and a half, she gets frustrated if she doesn’t know something right away, and abandons the studying. She really, really wants to do well, but doesn’t have the patience to work hard to do well, so she convinces herself that she can’t do well. This is ridiculous, of course. Because when we can get her to sit and focus, she brings home impressive marks and feels so good about it. Until the next test comes up and she gets frustrated with the hundredths place and blanket-statements that she’s just bad at math.



How did all three of these creatures comes from the same beginnings?

And how will I figure out how to be the mama that each one of them needs? Some days, I’m not going to lie, I feel like I’m failing all three of them, completely differently.

And we all know that I need to raise at least one of them to be a functioning member of society so there’s someone to move in with when I’m old.

Or at least to make sure I remember how much I love November.


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