An honest take on life and parenthood

Voldemort’s month

on November 5, 2012

Yesterday was an absolutely brilliant fall day in New England. It was crisp and cool, with a sun that intensified the colors of the bright trees.  After finishing my morning coffee (Peet’s French Roast in a French press, so delicious!), I put the Pooh in her stroller and walked to the closest playground.

We crunched over fragrant pine needles and picked up pine cones and pretty leaves. The Pooh made her usual rounds through the swings and slides, propelling herself in a number of plastic cars, and playing inside of big plastic houses. The parents talked to each other and their kids. It was a normal day at the playground.

I felt a heightened sense of gratitude for this simple moment, as well as a touch of guilt. Who was I to be spared the tragedy and hardship that so many have experienced recently?

The past month has felt as if Voldemort rose from the dead and invaded our Muggle world. The darkness has not seeped into my soul and pulled me down, as it may have before. But October  and the beginning of November 2012 will go down in my personal memory as an unforgettable time.

The senseless murders of a number of children in the space of days,  the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Sandy in places I have lived and loved, and numerous examples of blatant vote suppression are just a few of the things that are pressing on my heart.

As a mother, I carefully monitor what I say in front of the Pooh, since I don’t want to scare her or burden her with cares she should not shoulder. We don’t live in la-la land either, so she is aware that I am troubled by the news. Thankfully, she seems unconcerned by my adult brooding.

Perhaps I was spared all of this tragedy as a reminder of the blessings I do have.

So often, I feel as if I want more out of life. The truth is, life is never perfect. We are always wishing that we were thinner, better-looking, smarter, more successful, better dressed, richer, happier, funnier…the list goes on, and would never end if we let it.

Perhaps instead of survivor’s guilt, I will acknowledge the many blessings I do have of health, financial stability, a warm home, and people who love me; a job, electricity, heat, internet, and a vivacious little girl.

Laughing Pooh

There was a reason that I was spared. I don’t know what it is, but the simple reminder to reflect and exercise gratitude is enough for now.


Please consider donating to these organizations who are assisting in Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Millions are still in need of shelter, food, clothing, and basic necessities, and countless people have lost everything. Every bit helps – if you can’t help now, please remember to give over the next several months when there will still be need:

Lower Eastside Girls Club (NYC):


United Way:

American Red Cross:

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