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Dear Mom

Dear Mom, I am so grateful you are my mom, and that you are still on the planet with us. I love you. I appreciate your wisdom, and respect your deep intuition and care. Thanks for giving me life, caring for me, walking me through the stages, getting me a toy after each of the many shots the doctor gave me. Thanks for helping me to be an individual by dressing me in cute and awkward clothes. Thanks for rescuing me from my bad dreams and night terrors. Thanks for unconditionally accepting me. Thanks for all the thousands of chats on the phone, and for still being able to give me a pep talk in a moment of adversity. Thanks for all of my birthday parties. Thanks for grandma and grandpa and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blessings, Common Ground, Featured, gratitude, parenting advice, parenting help, parenting teens, parenting tips, Relationships, self confidence

Choosing the Role of Step-Parent Part 1

I have been a step-parent of children on and off for the last 32 years.   It is an awesome, rewarding, and sometimes thankless privilege for which I am continually grateful.  My relationship with each of my six step-children has brought me opportunities for inner and outer growth.  I am a fervent believer in karma, so I know I was meant to be in their lives, and they, in mine.  Here are some of the collective lessons I have learned, and joys I continue to cherish. If you are going to be committed to a relationship with someone who already has children, know that the children will be in your life.  That is not a choice.  If you truly love your partner, you must fully accept their children, or step back before … Read entire article »

Filed under: parenting advice, parenting help, parenting tips

When Someone Dies

I just came home from the funeral of a parent of former students of mine – a friend, and a member of my community.  As I arrived at the synagogue at 1:30 pm on a Friday afternoon, I found a full parking lot and the sanctuary to capacity. We all dropped what we had planned to be there to remember Barbara and support her family.  Young adults should not have to bury a parent so early in life, and a mother should not have to bury her daughter. On the way, I had called my brother in LA and left him a message, “Hey Bill, we should get together, go to a game, catch up.  How about we spend some time together soon?”  We are both busy, doing similar work in the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Relationships

The Power of the “Relationship Quality Control Checklist”

A number of years ago, I had gotten out of a difficult, dysfunctional relationship which I had freely chosen (for what I now believe are the lessons I needed to learn).  Those lessons have put me in a fantastic place today, and I am grateful for that journey. When I entered past relationships (“significant-other” types) I did not ask the right questions of myself pertinent to the values, views, attitudes, disposition, temperament, religious issues, political views, social behaviors, social habits, and many other issues related to happiness and success of the relationship. In past times, once I became attracted to the individual and entered the relationship (often because the person “wanted to be with me”), I became blinded towards my needs, values and moreover BOUNDARIES.  I moved into a place of becoming … Read entire article »

Filed under: Relationships