Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 23, 2014/ 22 Shevat, 5774

Treasuring the beautiful messes of childhood

By Sharon Randall




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When Henry came to visit, he stood at the French doors in the living room, pressing his nose against the glass, and we talked, he and I, about trees and birds and passing clouds and other fine things that we love.

"Henry," I said, "do you know what kind of trees those are?"

He grinned his smart Henry grin and said, "Palm trees!"

He was right, of course.

Henry is my 2-year-old grandson. He has soft dark curls and chocolate brown eyes that shine with a light all their own. And he's about 3 feet tall, a fact I just estimated by measuring from the nose prints he left on the glass and adding a few inches for the top of his head.

I wish you could see him.

I wish I could see him, too, along with his cousins and their parents and uncles and aunts.

Talk about a beautiful mess.

My husband and I share five grown children, their others, and four grandchildren, ages 3 and younger. They all live in California, 500 miles from our home in Las Vegas, a distance my mother would have called the far side of the moon.

We visit often, but not often enough. That's how it is with people who own your heart. Enough is never enough.

This morning I tried again to clean Henry's nose prints off the glass. Couldn't bring myself to do it. It's been two weeks and I'm still not ready to let them go.

Every time I walk through that room and see those nose-shaped smudges all lined up like fat little birds on a wire, I picture Henry standing there, grinning up at me, and I light up like Christmas, all over again.

Call me easy, but I've had similar reactions to various handprints and footprints, big and small, bathtub rings and turkey carcasses and empty pizza boxes and crushed beer cans and the inevitable stale Cheerio that I find on the floor after a visit from my children and grandchildren.

I love those things. They seem to say, "We all got together and had ourselves a good time."

Years ago, I'd have seen them not as signs of a good time, but just stuff to clean up. I still clean them up, eventually. But I'm in no big rush to get rid of them.



Messy isn't always a bad sign; sometimes it's just a sign of life.

I wish I'd learned that sooner. I wish, when my children were growing up, I'd spent less time worrying about cleaning up after them and more time lighting up at the way they made me feel.

For the record, I always delighted in my children and my house was often a mess. But I might not have minded the mess so much had I known then what I know now: Today's mess is tomorrow's treasured memory.

Life, at its best, is messy and chaotic and unpredictable and basically beyond control. Especially with children.

A little order can do a lot for your peace of mind, and even for your sanity. But creating order should never be more important than finding joy -- if only the joy of survival.

Looking back, I wish I could've saved every fort my oldest built in the living room. Every flower my daughter picked for me from the neighbor's yard. Every note my youngest played on the piano or banged on the drums. All the things they said or did or drew or spilled or broke.

We can't save all the pieces of our lives. But we can try to savor each piece as it comes along and remember it when it's gone.

My daughter called last night to tell me a story. While reading to Henry, she had pointed to an illustration and asked, "What kind of tree is that?"

"Palm tree," he said, quickly, "like Nana's house."

I will savor that. Long after his prints are washed from my windows, the memories will remain imprinted on my heart.

Meanwhile, I'll keep hoping for another visit and a chance to make another beautiful mess.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.


Previously:


The gift of best-friendship

The simple gesture of comforting others and ourselves

New year filled with possibilities, good and bad

Keeping loved ones close, even when they're far away

Those holiday pounds? All in the eye of the beholder

Gratitude is the ultimate long view

After seven years, a gathering of siblings

A forever family

Changing season is a time for dreaming

Moments to remember

A whole new to-do list

Don't wait for a eulogy

20 things kids really need for school

Blood, sweat and laughter

Trains are dreams that run on tracks made of steel or wood or imagination

This act of humanity is more potent than pain pills and ice packs

One chance meeting and we were lifelong friends

My favorite Fourth is coming right up

Keep following the sun

A time of laughter --- but then a call for help, and panic

Meaningful conversations between strangers

Thank Goodness for little things

Lucky for all sorts of reasons

I promised myself he'd never have a stepdad

Did I hear it?

Other People's Stuff

Imprinted geography: Home is wherever the mountain is

Long-overdue thank-yous

My sister's big news

Finding peace wherever I can; at the moment and in memory

I wish someone had told me this before it took years off my life

The best part of being a grandparent

Feasting on scraps: The reality behind a life habit

The only tradition to keep absolutely

The class hears from the teacher's mom

We live in different towns, but share the same home

The value of one true friend

With Sandy raging, a 'which' kind of day

The connections that truly matter

Children don't need much --- but need to know they matter

Cancer is everyone's story

When does 'happily ever after' begin?

Is there ever a good way to say goodbye?

The being and the finding

When fishing, she lands companionship

Trophy sunsets

Helping a friend find the way

A home abloom with family and sunflowers

Healing is our highest calling

Needing help can really make you feel so, well . . . helpless

The bedspread from hell

A phone call to treasure

It was close to the best gift my father had ever received

It was the right time --- not a moment too late or too soon

25 tips for staying married

Some people water your soul --- a storm worth waiting for

Driving country roads helps restore hope

Confessions of a bad-weather magnet

The new star of my husband's harem

Shared family moments are precious, irreplaceable

What I'll remember from serving on the jury in a murder case

When someone walks into your life and never lets you go

Look for beauty

We can't always 'be there' when we're needed

Picture-perfect memories

To love someone is to want to hear all their stories

With age should come at least some wisdom

A story for my grandson

Regretting she didn't help out a woman in need

Post-holiday-visit blues

For 2012, tuck some hope into your wallet

The measure of a time well spent is not where you went or what you did. It's the way you smile remembering it

Treating people we love like the Jello salad at Thanksgiving dinner

We all need something or someone to pull for

Hold on to treasured words, don't trust memory

A storybook princess

Love reaches forward, never back

How to Watch a Sunset

Waiting often comes with gifts

An exceptional book club

There is no guilt in moving forward

Celebrations full of love and buttercream

It takes a whole village of shoes to raise a child

The best stories always tell us who we are

Stop, look back . . . and listen

The great outdoors, if one's lucky, a rock-solid companion

An iChat with my grandson

Lightening bugs and other things make us glow

Each and every Fourth of July a cause for celebration



© 2012, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast