Not bad for a fat girl


An Open Letter to My Birth Mother on Mother’s Day

Dear Birth Mother,

I realize I may be too late with this message. I’m nearly 50 years old, and you, of course, are older. I realize your life may have already come to an end, but I hope not. I hope you are alive and well and surrounded by loved ones. I hope life has been good to you and for you. I hope you have made a contribution to the world and you are satisfied with your place in it. I especially hope you feel at peace with the decision you made to give me up.flat,800x800,075,t.u1

I don’t know much about the events surrounding my birth and adoption. They are closely guarded secrets, although I don’t know exactly why. Even if I am the result of the most scandalous events, they are beyond my control, so why do I need to be shielded from them? I’m just the end result, not the cause of any bad behavior or pain.

Birth mother, perhaps you could shed some light on my origins. Am I the result of an affair? A rape? Incest? Or am I the product of a bleary one-night-stand or an abusive relationship? Maybe you struggled with mental illness or lived in poverty. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t change who I am. I just wonder. I just want to know.

Maybe none of those scenarios apply. Maybe you were in love with my birth father but the situation was impossible, for whatever reason. Or maybe you just didn’t want to be a parent at that point in your life. I can accept that too. I can accept anything, because the truth is better than not knowing.

I wonder about you, birth mother. I wonder what you look like and what makes you laugh. I wonder if you have an unhealthy relationship with food like I do. I wonder if you have other children-my brothers or sisters. I wonder if you like to create or if you have an inquisitive mind. I wonder if you’re Irish or German in origin and what type of music you enjoy. I wonder what your voice sounds like, and what your smile looks like.

I wonder if you would like me.

I wonder if you think about me on Mother’s Day and my birthday. I think about you on those days, and on many other days.

Birth mother, do you know who I am? Did you ever see me as I was growing up? Did you know my parents before they became my parents? Did you live in the same town and shop at the same stores? Did you see my wedding announcement in the newspaper? Have you checked out my Facebook page or my Twitter feed or even read this blog?

Does anyone in your world know about me? Or have I been kept secret all these years?

Nearly 50 years of secrets. That’s a long time.

I just want to thank you for being my first mother, and for allowing me to have the life I’ve had. I’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, know I’m thinking of you and I wish you happiness and peace.

Happy Mother’s Day.

With love, your daughter.




Five Favorite Books From My Childhood

I was lucky, my parents read to me. It was mostly my mother, but my father did too, occasionally.

I grew up in a house full of books, and trips to the library were a regular part of my childhood. The Scholastic book order was another cherished source of books, and my mom was generous with my orders.

My love of books hasn’t diminished. My home library is bursting, and my classroom library is full of terrific titles. I still get excited about the Scholastic book order, only now I’m the teacher.

Here are a few titles from my childhood that stand out, in no particular order.

Babar the King by Jean de Brunhoff

A dapper elephant King and his Royal court captivated me as a little girl.


Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

I so wished I had a magical crayon like Harold!


If I Ran the Circus by Dr. Seuss

I really wanted to visit the Circus McGurkus. This was the first Dr. Seuss book I knew.


Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

Maybe this was the start of my aversion to monkeys?


Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McClosky

This is such a sweet and gentle tale with fabulous illustrations.


There are so many more, but these stand out in my mind right now. What are some of your favorites?


Bar Mitzvah Dancing – Salsa Meets Horah

I had the wonderful privilege of celebrating my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah with him last weekend, and it was a ball. Oh sure, there were a few tense moments as I muddled through the Hebrew blessing during the actual service, but he did great, and after all, he was the one everyone was there to see, so no worries.

I love a good Bar Mitzvah. Extended family members and close family friends from all over the place come together to celebrate this milestone, and we do it with gusto. There are luncheons, dinners, and brunches thrown for these events, and of course there are parties.

My brother and his wife went through this wonderful celebration a little over a year ago with their daughter. They are pros by now. Their son’s events were every bit as enjoyable, but different and unique to him and his preferences. For example, the kid doesn’t eat real food. Somehow he has survived all these years on scrambled eggs, grilled cheese, white rice, and air. At the luncheon there was an entire table devoted to “his” foods, which proved to be surprisingly popular with many of the guests.

The big event, aside from the actual ceremony, was the evening party, and oh what a party! The kids started off in the ballroom of the venue, but we adults gathered in the lakeside bar to enjoy cocktails and a beautiful sunset. We joined the kids later for a fabulous dinner followed by dancing, and more cocktails. Open bar, you say? Yes, please.

There was traditional Jewish dancing, including a rousing Horah where my son joined the men in lifting celebrants high overhead as they sat in a chair. Even my mother was hoisted to the sky, gripping the chair for dear life! Then there was the real dancing. My sister-in-law is Puerto Rican, and the girl can dance! She does a smooth Salsa, and she’s managed to teach my brother. I have two left feet, but when they married they gave me a crash course, so I could dance at their wedding. Apparently my feet remembered, because when I was escorted onto the dance floor (by her equally smooth brother) I didn’t crush any toes.

I loved getting up to dance, it reminded me of my college years, when dancing was a part of every weekend party. Of course, as I said, I’m not a real dancer, but honestly nobody cares as long as you’re moving and having fun. My mother learned that long ago. She’s been doing the same little locomotive arm movements for as long as I can remember, but she loves to dance! I won’t reveal her age (because she would be mortified, as if people believe her when she says she’s 29) but she’s been dancing a long time. I want to get up and dance when I’m her age. I want to be invited to celebrations, and I want to shake it to whatever that generation’s Ke$ha and Pitt Bull have to offer. I owe it to my family and future generations.

This video is for weddings, but really, it’s the same thing.