Add Chocolate

These days it seems flexibility is a trait that is admired. I don’t mean the type of flexibility a dancer displays which by the way, is completely not me.  I mean flexibility in that these are challenging times and you have to go with the flow sort of flexibility. You need something – I’m your man. Everyone has to be willing to try and take one for the team sort of stuff.

My younger son recently turned 5. Like any child, or adult for that matter, he has his quirks. He is chunky – came out of the womb over 9 pounds, 90+ percentile on the growth charts, and doesn’t believe in the concept of brunch. Two meals, thank you very much.  He eats about five foods (only a slight exaggeration) and it only gets to that number if you count a bagel and cheese and a pizza bagel as two different foods.  Oddly enough though, he is not particularly fond of sweets.

My son has shown some affinity for cooking – likes to stir the ingredients, crack eggs, take things in and out of the microwave, etc.  He also likes to be the first to get the food.  Recently, my son has taken to making chocolate milk for various family members though he is not especially into the drink himself.   You may be wondering why he is making it then.  Well, I don’t really know, but I have a theory.  I think he is perfecting his technique for a higher calling.  He seems to have developed a crush or at least a strong liking towards his babysitter.  In fact, my mother noted how often he spoke of the babysitter this weekend.  He was excited to see her on Monday and wanted to make her chocolate milk.  When I asked him if he liked the babysitter, he said “She’s cute.” He also noted how they had a waffle party together, and he made chocolate milk. 

So, maybe my son’s interest in the babysitter will help him to expand his diet. Today it’s chocolate milk which he might actually start drinking, and from there, who knows?  His list of foods might soon pass his age putting him on the path toward flexibility.

That is a Blessing

I am a very lucky person, blessed I would say. With a busy life and great expectations and hopes, it often takes something or someone to remember the good in my life.

It was another early morning in the Bernstein household. This one was planned, though the boys did wake up even earlier than was necessary after taking turns crawling into our bed.  However, I don’t want to focus on sleep – not the reason I feel blessed. Anyway, the event that had my family and I stirring this morning took place at my older son’s school.  He and his class were putting on a play. They did all kinds of cute 7 year old things – dressed in costumes, said their lines (some shyly and some loudly), and sang (some on key and some not so much).

While the play was nice and my son put on a fine performance which clearly displayed how much he has grown since last year’s production – said his lines loudly, if a little quickly, and sung the words and did the hand gestures – there was more to it that made me proud.  This was billed as a Chumash or bible play.  After the performance segment of the play was complete, each student, or performer as they were this morning, was called down from the front stage to another centrally located area which is elevated.  At this second mini stage, families were able to join their child to formally present him or her with a Chumash and pose for a picture.  When we met our son there, my wife gave him the Chumash, and I had to keep from squeezing him in a big hug (I can only imagine how embarrassed he would have been) but instead placed my arm on his shoulder.

Later on that day, my son had the book open, sat on the window ledge, and was reading the weekly portion.  For all the pride I took in seeing my son’s performance, I felt even happier seeing him taking the book on his own.  My little boy who thinks any sentence that has the word fart in it his hilarious, my little boy who loves to splash in the bath, my little boy who delights in spending hours playing with lego is growing up. He is growing up into someone I am so proud of. That is a blessing!

Expiration Date

Everything should have an expiration date.  Doesn’t everyone check the expiration date on the milk as they pick it up and before they put it in their cart and then look to see if there are any other cartons that have a later date? More time, give me more time.

Whenever I go on Yahoo, I scan the headlines. Most of the information is quite meaningless. However, today I came upon a gem. Sinead O’Connor is getting married. Not only that, it is her 4th time getting married. I can’t believe I was not informed the first three times. This is big news, and I am sure I would have remembered.  I say this with no venom – I hated her song. Again, by the way, that is song not songs or album or albums but one single song. Oh and by the way, my just completed research revealed that her 21 year old one hit wonder, Nothing Compares to You, was a cover. So, is there really any need to report on Sinead O’Connor whose bigger claim to fame was that she was bald (if we reported every marriage of the billion or so men who are bald, we might have the makings of a cable television channel)? Hasn’t she clearly expired? I don’t mean that maliciously but really, who cares?

Maybe, America cares. Aren’t quite a few reality shows centered on former celebrities trying to extend their expiration date? By the way, did you know Peter Brady got married?  Do we care for our own sake? Maybe, it’s pure nostalgia to take us back to another time in our lives. Maybe, it’s our obsession with celebrity and once you achieve it, you will always have it and therefore always be interesting. Anyway, as I was saying, maybe it is a way to escape the mundane.

In the end, I don’t really know what all the fuss is about.  I just wish the milk would stay good till the expiration date.

Sunday Night Sickness

It’s Sunday night, and I have that feeling.  Do you know the one I mean?  There’s a churning in my stomach (sure, it’s possible it’s the leftovers I had for dinner, but I doubt it), the slight achiness in my body, depression building as I notice the hour getting later.  Miracle of miracles, it does not rear its ugly self during the summer. Therefore, it is clearly school/work related – don’t need Sherlock Holmes for that one.  You know – it gets to a point where you wish for a snow day, a broken pipe, and recalculate how many off days you have in the bank? Once the reality sets in that another weekend has ended, the feeling grows.  Was it such a great weekend? Not the point.  Tomorrow, I’ll be up before the sun and then wait on the corner for the bus while hoping to find a seat.

Let me come out and say it – I am not happy at my job. No need for specifics now, but the amount of job satisfaction I feel at this point is minimal.  I work hard and pride myself on professionalism and strive to find contentment as it arises. In fact, there are moments and days when the job feels right but ultimately, they are fleeting and therefore, I take them with a grain of salt.  I am not complaining – perish the thought. As the levels of unemployment and underemployment remain elevated, the unwritten rule seems to be that people are not supposed to complain about their job.  I can just hear someone offering the not so sage advice, “Just be happy you have a job.”  I am happy I have a job – my children have gotten used to eating, and it is a comfort to not have to worry about how I am going to feed them. I acknowledge, recognize and appreciate that. However, does that mean I have to love my job? No, I don’t think so. I want something else, preferably something that doesn’t come with Sunday night sickness.  I don’t think that is too much to ask for.