A look at parenting and life by Amy Nathan.

All of The View From Here:

The Ticket List
It all started in 10th grade on the dark wood fold-down seats of my high school auditorium. The lights dimmed. I sat there landlocked as a dozen of my best, best friends, all Jewish, appeared on stage in full habits as nuns in The Sound of Music. I’d appeared in my elementary... read more

Brisket and the Art of Long-Term Friendship
I landed a job in the admissions department of a small Lutheran college in New Jersey. The fact that I knew nothing about college admissions wasn’t nearly as strange as the fact that I was the only Jewish staff member, and most likely, the only Jewish person on campus. I picked... read more

Are you a Promo-Mom?
I don’t have enough to do so I’m adding a new blog and possibly a part-time, online job to my to-do list. So in between checking things off and checking them twice, I wonder – will the lure of traffic and trackbacks, tweets and stumbles, pings... read more

What Are We Doing Today?
It will be thirty-four degrees tonight – and even if the temperature doesn’t agree -- summer is only weeks away. So as the season of sun and surf (and mosquitoes and bees) looms, I realize this is the first time since my daughter was four she isn’t going to day camp for eight weeks... read more

Being Hip
"I've lost thirty pounds and nothing has changed except the size of my jeans," I said to my therapist.  She nodded as therapists do.   "It has nothing to do with my weight, does it?"  It really wasn't a question. Throughout my married... read more

Stroller Anxiety
I kicked. I wiggled. I shook. I cursed. I banged.   I couldn't fold the stroller. Me, with my baby already in his car seat snuggly in the back of the car and our top-of-the-line Perego in the parking lot of the mall on our first official outing – and I couldn’t fold the... read more

My Martin Luther King Day dream
I can picture my mom and my grandmother -- although I don’t remember which grandmother. They were in the kitchen of house where I grew up. Someone was emptying the dishwasher. They were wearing matching pendants on long gold-tone chains. The pendant was a circle, and inside was a small, dime-size... read more

Taming The Food Scrooge and Staying Healthy: An Interview with Robin Miller of Food Network
There’s so much to think about at holiday time, what to wear (will it fit?), what to buy (how much will it cost?), what to cook (what kind of face will my kid make?) and what to eat (how many calories is that?).... read more

Bringing Ourselves To The Table
Carrot kugel tastes great with Thanksgiving turkey – and ham. Who knew? The first year my kids and I shared Thanksgiving with some of our closest friends who are not Jewish like us, it was time to start a new family tradition. In an effort to make it a combined family holiday... read more

Filling His Size 13 Shoes
Elmo and Clifford don't live here anymore. My son outgrew Nick Jr. before Dora was born and long before the Backyardigans moved to town. The Power Rangers have no power here, and whether or not Pikachu has escaped the clutches of Team Rocket is no longer our concern. My kid doesn’t even have time... read more

Killer Sandals
"I killed it with a Birkenstock ," I said, beaming, as l described having whacked a light brown fuzzy tarantula, the size of half a tennis ball, in defense of the bathtub toys. Then I explained how brave with the fortitude of motherhood, I scooped the still beast with a shoe box lid into a... read more

The Top Five Reasons School Should Not Start in August
School starts in August in many school districts across the country (ours on August 20th), and that’s just plain wrong. First of all, it’s a Wednesday. If administrators are going to start school in what is ostensibly only the third-quarter of summer,... read more

MapQuest My Life, Please!
When my daughter started kindergarten eight years ago, I spent three weeks looking at the clock. What was I supposed to do with two kids in school full-time? My son was in third grade, so long days apart were nothing new for us – but with both kids gone, this stay-at-home mom was alone for six... read more

Saving Grace.
In 1978, cool girls smoked Parliaments. We were experts at hiding our deeds from the "matrons" who policed the expansive junior high blacktop. We embraced them with smiles and entranced them with cheerful banter when they looked and sniffed and appropriately asked what we girls were up to.... read more

A Pre-Teen Halloween Is Scary Stuff
About a week ago my daughter put her head on my shoulder, and said, “I’m sad.” Now this could always go either way. It could be a serious plea that needs tending to or it could be her rip-roaring sense of humor that’s trying to get ice-cream -- in bed. I always... read more

Always Take Your Game Boy to Belize
We dropped anchor six miles off the coast of Belize without land in sight and I thought, "What the hell am I doing?" It wasn't my first cruise, or the kids' either, but it was our first cruise after the divorce as a family of three, not four, which left me sole purveyor of fun... read more

The True Cost of Education
Summer ends this week, when both my kids pack their backpacks and I pack their lunches and they climb into the car for the mile drive first to the high school, then around the corner to the junior high. It’s the time of year they dread yet prepare for with new clothes and supplies.... read more

Shelf life.
One hour and four garbage bags later, the fridge and kitchen cabinets have been dusted, scrubbed, dumped and organized.   My kids are right. There's nothing to eat. I'm wondering what possessed me to stock up on Triskets like they could save the... read more

A very fine whine.
My daughter entered the world according to schedule, almost twelve years ago. I spent the better part of July, and August until the ninth, in a cotton nightgown, loose and flowing over our bodies, both hers and mine. I had a scheduled Cesarean for personal and medical reasons, so she arrived in convenience... read more

On making-up.
The best advice I ever got was from my aunt. "Never leave the house without lipstick," she said. I took it to heart. I rarely do go out without lipstick – and make-up of some sort – and if I do, I always wish I hadn't. I never gave it a second thought, until recently a friend of... read more

Staying on track.
Yesterday my eleven year old went to a friend's house after school. I spoke to the mother on the phone, and gave my permission for her to pick up my daughter along with her own. And I looked up their address online and through the magic of the Internet, I figured out exactly where they lived in our town.... read more

Praise Moses and Pass the Matzah: A Passover Primer
The Easter Bunny and his entourage are back at the mall, and that means one thing to me.   Passover is coming.   Passover, the eight day celebration of the Israelites' exodus from slavery in ancient Egypt, is my favorite Jewish holiday, although I'm not sure why.... read more

Brushes with greatness.
There have been only two times in my son's life as a student that he has expressed even a modicum of enthusiasm in his studies. Once, he was in sixth grade. His Social Studies class was learning about ancient Egypt. "Learning about ancient Egypt is cool," he said one evening.... read more

Bah, love bug.
This time of year it seems like Cupid has his arrow pointed at my back instead of at my heart. Although I tried to evade the ambush, I've gotten caught in the pink and red fluffy, furry, lacey, glittery, chocolaty store aisle and window display explosion that happened as soon as the ball... read more

Waving Santa on.
Living outside of Cleveland for a year when my kids were little was no treat. It snowed on November 1st and the sun went on sabbatical. The city's bereft charm was overwhelming to me after living in Chicago and Philadelphia. But the holiday season coupled with the wonder of childhood has a way of brightening... read more

It takes a village. Or didn't you get the memo?
I didn't read Hillary's book. I didn't have to. I could've written it except for the notoriety, experts employed, and publicity and popularity that ensued. I said I could have written it, not that it would have been a bestseller if I had. I jumped on the village bandwagon mere nanoseconds... read more

More Columnists:

Growing Pains
Old Ghosts
By Elizabeth Thompson

The Yummy Mummy
10 Ways to Have Your Very Own Picky Eater
By Kim Foster

Mother Magnetism
DIY Summer Beauty Guide -- Second Edition: Sunless tanning
By Kelly Reising

The View From Here
Being Hip
By Amy Sue Nathan

The View From Here
Praise Moses and Pass the Matzah: A Passover Primer
By Amy Sue Nathan

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"A diamond with a flaw is worth more than a pebble without imperfections." -- Chinese Proverb