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 June 12, 2007 / 26 Sivan, 5767

Tearful end to pursuit of innocent curiosity

By Marybeth Hicks

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Mom, something happened, and it's really bad."

This is never how you want your 9-year-old to begin a conversation, especially if her eyes are pooled with tears and her voice is shaking with panic.

"What?" I say, eyeing her up and down for fresh blood or signs of severe swelling. Her answer tumbles out between sobs and gulps for air.

"There was a nest (gasp) and I wanted to look inside it (gasp) and I accidentally hit it (gasp) and it fell off the thingy it was on (gasp) and the eggs fell out and they broke on the cement and now (gasp, gasp) I've killed a living thing, and it's all my fault."

With this horrific conclusion, she throws herself on the bleacher in front of me and heaves tears of guilt and remorse.

Until then, it had been just another of Jimmy's soccer games. I hadn't been paying much attention to the action on the field because I still don't really understand much about soccer (especially the ambiguous "off sides" call).

Instead, I had been using my required attendance to catch up with a friend in the cheap seats — the bleachers set back a few feet from the sidelines (where the real soccer fans sit).

Once the "baby bird incident" occurs, however, I find myself in the midst of a teachable moment that can't be postponed.

"Show me where you were," I say in the most soothing voice I can produce.

Amy takes me to the adjacent soccer field, where she and the rest of the "little siblings" from her brother's soccer team had been playing. More accurately, she takes me to the awning that covers a bench where she and her pals had discovered the ill-fated robin's nest.

(In baseball this would be a dugout. See — I'm not a total sports ignoramus. I just don't know soccer.)

I approach the awning where the group of children still is assessing the damage. Amy's buddy Joe hands me the nest, in which sits a lovely — but cracked — blue robin's egg. The second one is scattered on the cement, the remains of a tiny new bird clearly evident among the broken eggshell.

All I can say is, "Oh, my."

I take the nest with the damaged egg in it and rest it back on the rafters of the awning where it had been meticulously built. Then I urge the rest of the children to leave the broken egg alone.

Then Amy and I take a walk.

"Tell me how this happened," I say.

Amy explains that they all had noticed the nest, and they all had expressed curiosity about what the inside might look like. Perched as it was just about seven feet from the ground, its proximity to my daughter and her group of nature explorers was just too convenient.

"But I was the one who climbed up to look at it," Amy says. "I was the one who touched it. I was the one who knocked it down and killed those baby birds."

Her face is streaked with tears and dirt and pain, and there is nothing I can do but hug her.

"Listen," I finally say. "Did you know there were eggs in the nest when you climbed up to look inside?"

"No," she says.

"If you had known there were eggs in the nest, would you have touched it?"

"No," she says insistently.

"Did you intend to hurt the eggs or knock down the nest?"

"No." Her voice drops to a whisper.

We sit for a moment or two, absorbed in our own thoughts about what has occurred.

"Well, here's what I think," I say at last. "I think you wanted to show the kids that you were brave and you were willing to do something daring, and that's why you climbed up the pole of that awning. I know you would never intentionally hurt a baby bird's egg or any living thing, and I believe it was just a very sad accident. But it was certainly an accident that could have been avoided, wasn't it?"

She whimpers and nods in agreement.

"There's nothing you can do to fix this situation, but you can certainly learn from it," I say, as if her tender heart hasn't already been forever informed by her own regret.

We head back to Jimmy's soccer game, which by now has come to a disappointing finish. Later, on our way out to eat, my teenagers try to cheer up their little sister by telling tales of unintended impact on the natural world.

"Mom once ran over a bunny," Katie says, "and she was leading a whole caravan of cars. And remember when I ran over a chipmunk?"

"Yeah, and after that it seemed like there were chipmunks stalking Katie wherever she went." Betsy adds.

For some reason, the "nature disaster" tactic only makes Amy feel worse.

"How does it help me to know that you killed other woodland creatures?"

There are no histrionics like a preteen's.

Eventually we manage to change the subject, putting the "baby bird incident" behind us for the moment.

Finally, her difficult day comes to an end, and I tuck Amy into bed. Once again she tells me how sorry she is about the baby birds. "I know you are," I say, "and that's the important thing. It's just a day to live and learn."

Which makes it just another day, I guess.

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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 20 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.


© 2007, Marybeth Hicks