A “Raising Children” Limerick

by Joel Kravitz

I just had the joyous pleasure of spending a week with my daughter and celebrating her thirty second birthday with her. Though I talk to her several times a week, I had not seen her for two years due to scheduling conflicts and limits on vacation days, etc. She wasn’t able to attend my wedding because she had committed her vacation days before we decided to get married and set a date. And I thought it was more important that she attend her friends’ weddings than attend mine as there was some chance she might meet a nice Jewish boy at one of those and no chance at mine.

She had a bad year in 2013. She had to deal with some personal issues that were painful to her and she also had a horrifying experience of witnessing one of her closest friends get killed by a hit and run driver. I wanted to run to her when it happened, but it occurred at a time when I was dealing with my own medical issues. She is a very strong young woman. She will overcome the errors in judgment she made and use them to springboard her to the good life she so richly deserves. But nothing will ever erase the memory of that terrible night.

We were together almost every minute she was here, though she was noticeably absent when she had that farkakte smartphone in her hand doing the internet and social media thing. Oy. We went for walks every day and only one was a marathon trek through a major shopping mall, though, to tell you the truth, I enjoyed it as much as she did. I got out of there unscathed. Birthday presents came later. She also had to pay off a bet on the Clemson – Ohio State Orange Bowl. What I wanted was White Castle (not in Texas), but I let her off with Steak and Shake which was equally bad and bad for me. She didn’t welch, I got to belch and a good time was had by all. Of course, her new stepmom took a pass on that excursion.

We have vowed not to go as long between visits again. Yes, you can talk on the phone and Facebook and email, but there is no substitute for a hug. And when it comes to parenting, John Lennon said it best. All you need is love. Yes, your kids will drive you crazy just as you drove your parents crazy. But they will be the things in your life that you are most proud of and that bring you the most joy…even when they are driving you crazy.

Her mother, who is a great mother, and I raised a good girl. She is sweet, kindhearted and usually smart. I know we had to make a few mistakes that inevitably led to her making a few mistakes, but getting up off the ground, dusting off her ass and getting back on the horse will make them a thing of the past. She’s a tough little cookie, too. And this time mom and dad will make sure she has an ass pad.

And it led to this.

We may go into parenthood blind.
The job description’s not clearly defined.
But there’s no “maybes”.
They’ll always be our babies…
Though at any age, they can drive us out of our mind.


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