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Over the years, teachers have told my daughter she talks way too much, one even calling her “too inquisitive.” But I’ve learned my 13-year-old’s love of conversing is one of her greatest qualities.

My daughter talks up a storm. She talks excitedly, fast, and often, ideas emitting out of her like lava from a volcano. She bubbles over with excitement, hurrying to get it all out before she’s stopped, interrupted, intersected.

Teachers over the years have told my 13-year-old girl that she talks a lot, raises her hand much too frequently, and asks too many questions. …

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My daughter talks up a storm. She talks excitedly, fast, and often, ideas emitting out of her like lava from a volcano. She bubbles over with excitement, hurrying to get it all out before she’s stopped, interrupted, intersected. Teachers over the years have told my 13-year-old girl that she talks a lot, raises her hand much too frequently, asks too many questions. On a feedback form in 6th grade, one of her teachers commented: “She is very bright, but too inquisitive and likes to talk.”

As if being “too inquisitive” is possible.

They say my daughter talks a lot. She…

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My daughter talks up a storm. She talks excitedly, fast, and often, ideas emitting out of her like lava from a volcano. She bubbles over with excitement, hurrying to get it all out before she’s stopped, interrupted, intersected. Teachers over the years have told my 13-year-old girl that she talks a lot, raises her hand much too frequently, asks too many questions. On a feedback form in 6th grade, one of her teachers commented: “She is very bright, but too inquisitive and likes to talk.”

As if being “too inquisitive” is possible.

They say my daughter talks a lot. She…

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Year after year, it doesn’t get any easier to parent Jewish children in December. Christmas overwhelms our kids, especially those of them in public schools, particularly in the American South. During the month of December — and often much earlier — my two daughters, like all of our kids, are barraged daily with Christmas movie commercials, Christmas songs on the radio (all of which we love!), …

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By Alla Umanskiy

Year after year, it doesn’t get any easier to parent Jewish children in December.Christmas overwhelms our kids, especially those of them in public schools, particularly in the American South.During the month of December-and often much earlier-my two daughters, like all of our kids, are barraged daily with Christmas movie commercials, Christmas songs on the radio (all of which we love!), heavy Christmas decorations around the neighborhood, Christmas parties among classmates (admittedly less so this year, but still virtual gift exchanges and so on), and many more accoutrements of this holiday that is spectacular and magical.

But is…

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Embarrassingly, I don’t know much about football. It’s embarrassing because my husband is a big sports fan, following various teams loyally on his ESPN app, keeping track of scores, stats, and various other pieces of data. One would think that through osmosis I would have absorbed enough information from him to at least know who will be playing in the Superbowl. Sadly, I did not. I had to look it up a couple of days before the game, in order to be able to maintain at least a somewhat intelligent conversation with coworkers who were much better informed than me.

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Year after year, it doesn’t get any easier to parent Jewish children in December. Christmas overwhelms our kids, especially those of them in public schools, particularly in the South. During the month of December — and often much earlier — my two daughters, as all our kids, are barraged daily with Christmas movie commercials, Christmas songs on the radio (all of which we love!), …

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I’m the most non-athletic athlete you’ll ever meet. I don’t lift weights. I don’t do hundreds of sit-ups. I cannot do a single pull-up — not one. I can maybe manage 10 push-ups or so, until my arms will no longer cooperate and I will inevitably collapse into a pathetic pile on the floor.

With all this though, something strange and unnerving has started happening during the past couple of months of quarantine. I have started running. You might be thinking to yourself right now: oh, no, another post about a middle-aged woman who started running and discovered herself, blah…

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Embarrassingly, I don’t know much about football. It’s embarrassing because my husband is a big sports fan, following various teams loyally on his ESPN app, keeping track of scores, stats, and various other pieces of data. One would think that through osmosis I would have absorbed enough information from him to at least know who will be playing in the Superbowl. Sadly, I did not. I had to look it up a couple of days before the game, in order to be able to maintain at least a somewhat intelligent conversation with coworkers who were much better informed than me.

A Story of Friendship

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She was a black middle-aged woman from Trinidad, and at first glance, we had nothing in common. Such is often the misfortune of first glance assumptions. Tonya was black. I already said that, but feel it bears repeating. She had short kinky hair and voluminous lips. I am an Eastern European Caucasian woman, pale, blue-eyed. My hair is light brunette (or whatever similar shade my colorist has applied that month) and sadly straight. Visually, we exhibit a striking contrast.

She was a good 10 years my senior, half-way to a different generation, half-way to my mom’s…

Alla Umanskiy

I’m a mother, a wife, a passionate writer, a lover of sweets, a very amateur runner, an avid reader, and an aspiring ice skater.

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