Bros before….you know

We had a busy weekend. We picked up a kid at camp. We drove 3 hours to upstate NY and had a fun day with friends, came home, slept and then headed west to Harrisburg to see my family (and pick up the other kid).
We were also there to celebrate two birthdays and an Indian celebration called Raksha Bandhan (we’re efficient that way).
To be clear, there are hundreds to Indian celebrations. What can I say, we like lots of Gods and lots of ways to worship them. And by WE I really mean my people, not me. Because as I’ve told you before, I’m religious light. I dabble. The Catholic Irish Ukrainian dude I married is the same way. We do the big things. Baptism so the kids get into heaven? Check. Making sure they know how the Indian god Ganesh got an elephant head? Done. Mortal soul secured.
So we approach holidays in both religions with some whimsy. Don’t you think some of the problems of the world would be resolved with some whimsy? Whimsy is undervalued.
Anyway, back to the weekend.
Basically the celebration is about the bond between a brother and a sister. She puts a sacred thread on his wrist, dots his head with a red mark called a Tilak (red powder dye and water. Think runny red lipstick) and she feeds him something sweet. He promises to protect and love her and gives her a small gift. Lovely.
What happens if you don’t have a brother like me and my sister? You’re screwed ! Just kiddin. Our cousins step into the role for us.
Here’s some pics from the celebration. The last pic is of my cousins who payed dual roles, our brothers and the birthday boys.
Notice my sons face as my daughter feeds him the Indian sweet. Maybe next year she can feed him an M&M or something.
And speaking of tweaking tradition, one of the sacred threads resembled a football – so we chose that for my son. He missed the subtle cultural fusion we tried to create.





Little Miracle



Maybe it’s because I’ve been away for work for a bit and I’m overly emotional.

Maybe it’s because I worry about literally every situation my kids could possibly get into to. Past, present and future.

I worry they’ll grow up wrong.

I worry they’ll remember their childhoods painfully. Or without joy. Or not at all.

I worry they’ll never want to see us when they are no longer mandated by law to live with us.

I worry.

So when I came home to find this homework assignment that my daughter did it almost killed me with joy.

The assignment was to write about an ” Ordinary Miracle” in your life, and my daughter decided to write about her brother.

Waaaaa!! I can’t even think about it because it just makes me melt.

I am not allowed by the laws of teenagehood to show you the actual assignment, but let me tell you, it’s amazing.

I am really close to my sister, and my husband is super close to his sisters too – so the fact that she wrote about her brother as her ordinary miracle will bring a smile to my face for a long time. Forever maybe.

It was an extraordinary miracle to me.





Do you world Promise?

These two monkeys live in my house and yell and fight and laugh all day long.


They’ve been at it since she was 5 and he was born.


They are 5 years apart. Two little Scorpios.


She was going to be an only child – imagine that! But then we came to our senses and added the ying to her yang.


They are so different. And so alike. They write each other letters of love and devotion – and then sell each other out at the drop of a hat.

She’s his best friend – says him.

He’s her best friend – says him.

When they tell each other secrets they make a “world” promise. The biggest, most powerful kind of promise. A promise that, if broken, can have dire circumstances. These usually involve hidden candy in their rooms, newly learned bad words or inappropriate videos on YouTube. The usual world promise stuff.

Last night I was writing another blog post and my girl asked what the topic was. When I told her what I was writing about she said,”oh. you should write about me and Jack.” So there you go.

Fish Tale

I found some old photos I thought I’d share. These are from early spring – when you still needed a sweatshirt, remember those days? I want them back. Now.

My son had really wanted to go fishing, begged us for weeks and weeks.  We finally gave in and met some family to enjoy a day on the water.

Shockingly, my girl wasn’t into it. Not shocking in an ironic way – shocking because she’s usually such a good sport about everything.

She tried to get out of it – but we made her go. Insert the eye rolling.

Last summer my boy had gone to a fishing camp for a week, so he had all his own equipment – his own bait, and his own tackle kit (is that what you call that box with all the disgusting stuff in it?).  He was ready.

I had planned on taking a couple of chairs and hanging out in the sun while the boys fished – I told my daughter she could join me – more eye rolling.

Here’s how it went down:

Here’s the boy, excited, dimpled, and ready to catch some fish!

Then the waiting game begins. This is normal, people tell me. “You have to be patient”, I tell him. “Give it time”, I say.

This is 40 minutes in.

This is 80 minutes in – he looks over at me in my chair, taking a million pictures and having coffee – I tell him to hang in there.

At this point my daughter is bored and decides to pick up one of the…tees, hooks, lines….what’s that thing called? Rod!

Two seconds later. Or maybe less. This happened.

She caught a fish.  This is the look that all sisters give their brothers to torture them.

This is the look he gave her back….I imagine him saying,”Son of a B*%#h!!!”

Here’s the first of FIVE fish she caught within 1/2 an hour. All with UGGs on.

True story.