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My increasingly empty nest

My oldest child, Anne, left for San Francisco yesterday, leaving a not-yet-empty nest. But it feels emptier than before. When I say “child,” I don’t really mean “child.” Anne is a mature 21-year-old, so she’s no longer a child, but she’ll always be my child, if you see what I mean. All week I was…

Why I’m in Israel

Jerusalem, July 23, 2014 When I told people several months ago that I was planning to go to Israel, their reaction was usually “Oh, how interesting! I’d love to go there someday!” or “Really? How exciting!” By the time I told people a couple of weeks ago about our trip, their reaction had changed to…

Confronting my inner sexist

I’m planning a visit to my relatives in Israel soon (Yes, I’m going to Israel, and I’ll post about that decision another time).  This set of cousins includes a total of 11 children at last count. I’ve only actually ever met three of them, but I want to give all of them gifts. So ever since I…

The Silence of the Teenagers

Last year I wrote a post called “7 Things my Son Says,” which listed pretty much the only seven things my 15-year-old son says. Until this week, I thought this was a boy thing; my daughter, now 21, was always talkative and willing to tell me about her day in great detail. This year my son…

Is your teenager having sex?

  Teenage sexuality has been a frequent topic of conversation lately with my friends and colleagues who have teenage or nearly-teenage children. We immigrants to the Netherlands are confronted with an attitude toward sex that is very different than we’re used to. That difference can be, frankly, shocking at first, and forces us to confront…

The public-private privacy divide

Tell me your age and I’ll tell you how much you care about privacy. Okay, perhaps it’s not as clear-cut as that sentence indicates, but there’s certainly a correlation. I have two Facebook identities. One is personal: out of concern for my own privacy, I’ve limited everything I’ve posted there to be seen only by…

Five GOOD things about menopause

Menopause is a natural and normal phase of life. We all know this; yet, if you’ve ever googled about it, you’ve seen all of the painful, uncomfortable, inconvenient experiences that can be part of the process, which can last for years before it’s over. You hear very little about the good side of menopause. If…

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