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If you’re like many Americans, you spent some time this spring living vicariously as citizens of the Commonwealth, anticipating the arrival of a second child to Prince William and Duchess Kate. Though we can assume baby Princess Charlotte will be her older brother’s equal in the eyes of her parents, in the royal line of succession, she will always be behind him.
Is there anything more unnerving than walking into a room while people are having a conversation, and at the moment you enter, the conversation stops? There’s a good chance the conversation just hit a natural pause or lull, but it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that the conversation must have been about you.
Two friends are out walking their dogs, and one friend says to the other, “Yesterday I taught my dog to whistle.” The second friend turns and says, “That’s incredible! Can I hear it?” The first one says, “Of course not. I only taught it to him – he didn’t learn it.”
I can be stubborn. It’s innate, and it’s among my less than desireable qualities. My mom will tell you I was a stubborn child, and I have no doubt she’s right, given the stubbornness Shiri exhibits more and more as she approaches two years old.
The Shema is the crux of monotheism: “Hear O Israel, Adonai is our God, Adonai is one.” It’s one of the first prayers our children learn, and we assign it a variety of rituals. We might ask the children to make the Hebrew letter shin (showing 3 fingers) with their hands as they cover their eyes to teach that Shema begins with shin.
When I was 13 years old and celebrating my Bat Mitzvah, somehow it was clear to everyone that I would become a rabbi. As for me? I was a typical teenager, so of course I thought they were completely nuts. Ok, yes, I loved being in the synagogue.
As Duncan and I began our journey into parenthood, we had all sorts of grand notions of the type of parents we would be. Like other parents we know, we swore to each other that we would be the best possible role models.