In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
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 Dec. 7, 2006 / 16 Kislev, 5767

Learning about girls starts early for only son

By Marybeth Hicks

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The furnace man picks through the obstacle course in the storage room, maneuvering his way to the darkened corner where the access panel is located while carefully avoiding the bikes. They're stored for the winter in a neat but precarious arrangement that will tumble like dominoes if he even breathes in their direction.

Unfortunately, avoiding the rest of the refuse in our storage room isn't so easy.

"Got a bunch of kids, huh?"

Gee, I wonder what his first clue was. Scooters, sleds, piles of children's clothes and several pieces of broken furniture are scattered in the unfinished tomb that serves as our basement storage room.

"Um, yes, I have a bunch," I say, pointlessly moving a bag of discarded shoes and boots from one spot to another.

The ensuing conversation is always the same, no matter who is on the other end. I say, "Yes, I have four — ages 17, 15, 12 and 9."

When I reveal this information, every person I talk to says this: "Wow. You've got your hands full." So of course, that's what the furnace man says.

Invariably, people then ask about gender, and the furnace man is no exception. "Two and two?" he asks.

"Nope. Three girls, one boy."

Then the furnace man says what every person has ever said who finds out that Jimmy is my only son in a house full of daughters. "One boy with three sisters? Poor kid."

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I agree, because on the face of it, Jimmy sometimes feels a bit lonely and neglected. In a house where there's so much emphasis on hair, clothes, the color pink and crying, Jimmy has to work hard to put his masculine stamp on things.

In my heart, though, I think Jimmy has a great life.

He's surrounded by siblings who like to bake. He always knows when his hair needs gel or when there's food stuck in his braces. He's never had to share a bedroom.

No one borrows his computer games because they don't like to play war or NBA basketball.

No one wears his favorite sweaters without asking because his sweaters are all brown and baggy.

No one wears his underwear when she runs out of fresh pairs of her own, for obvious reasons.

Every so often — especially when someone has reminded me that Jimmy's existence probably is unpleasant — I ask him how life is going, vis-a-vis his role as the lone, long-suffering brother.

"I'll be honest, Mom," he confessed recently, "sometimes it does stink."

Why does this make me feel guilty? It's not as if I had anything to do with the fact that his younger sister, Amy, didn't turn out to be a younger brother named Charlie, as planned.

"Well, son, you have to look on the bright side. Compared to your friends who have no sisters, you're already an expert on girls."

"So true," Jimmy says seriously. Make no mistake — he does believe he is an expert.

I'm not so sure, and we won't be able to nail that down until he gets married someday and we can ask his wife. For now, though, Jimmy has insight he's willing to share.

Jimmy's Expert Observations About Girls:

  • Girls talk all the time, and they talk about everything except sports. If they ever talk about sports, they want to talk about the people in the sport, not the sport itself.

  • Girls take too long to get dressed. This is because they need extra time to fight with each other about clothes.

  • Girls are not afraid to hit you.

  • Girls are easily offended. They take everything personally. (When he says this, Amy replies, "Jimmy, I'm offended by that.")

  • Just when you think you have them figured out, girls change. For example, if you think you are on their good side, they suddenly will be mean to you, and you won't know why. If you expect them to be mean, they are nice for no reason.

As a woman and a former girl, I suppose I should be offended, but that would only prove his point. The truth is, he's right — not about all girls, I suppose, but certainly about the three with whom he shares his parents, his dog and his home.

Hopefully, enduring the estrogen-infused atmosphere around here will give my son an edge when it comes time to put his expertise to good use.

While Jimmy has had to suffer the indignity of tea parties, conversations about prom dresses and more than his fair share of Disney "chick flicks," I predict he'll be grateful for every moment growing up in a house full of girls because no matter how annoying it is now, his life lessons definitely will come in handy some day.

That "some day"? The day he decides he wants a girlfriend.

Jimmy's future girlfriend is bound to be impressed when he listens sensitively as she recalls standing on her dad's feet at the Daddy Daughter Dance or buying her first waterproof mascara and then crying through the movie "Because of Winn Dixie."

And how appealing will it be when she doesn't have to explain the concept of eyebrow waxing? Very appealing, that's how.

Yes, sir, the fact that Jimmy is surrounded by girls is making for a great life. And if you ask me, it's only going to get better.

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"The Perfect World Inside My Minivan -- One mom's journey through the streets of suburbia"  

Marybeth Hicks offers readers common-sense wisdom in dealing with today's culture. Her anecdotes of her husband and four children tap into universal themes that every parent can relate to and appreciate. -- Wesley Pruden, Editor-in-Chief, The Washington Times
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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of 19 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


© 2006, Marybeth Hicks