Monday, August 6, 2012

The First Chapter

Hi all,
I decided it's time for me to stop coming up with excuses and start really writing.  I want to write a book.  About my adventure.  And I wrote a chapter.  No, more like the beginning to chapter one.  I want to know what you think.  Please be honest.  Thanks!

I’m typing one-handed while nursing my son, longing for the coffee I just spilled all over the front porch before even getting one sip.  It was going to be so beautiful, so…perfect.  Just me, my coffee, a gluten-free cupcake my kids didn’t see me sneak out of the kitchen, on a rocking chair on the front porch,  a computer and magic; the first chapter of my book.  Instead, it was me, covered in the coffee I was trying to carry outside, while carrying the computer, tripping over the cat, and swearing so loudly my one-year-old cried. 

This is me.  Tovah.  Nice to meet you. 

I console my little boy, Shaya, and type in the most awkward of ways.  Inside.  Without any coffee.  A little nauseated from the cupcake.  And sore from the morning’s mowing.  Did you know that you can get sore mowing?  I didn’t.  I thought mowing is that fun chore my husband kvetches about so I feel like I’m getting a good deal washing dishes, changing diapers and doing laundry, while he walks around the yard, enjoying the sun and breeze and a break from the kids.  So yesterday, instead of doing the dishes I say, “Honey, why don’t you hang out with the kids.  I’ll mow.”  Now I’ve got him!  “Great! Thanks.” Huh.  Not what I expected.  Okay, well, let’s go!

At first it’s fun.  Pulling the cord like I’ve seen so many times on TV.  Walking around my yard, sun on my head, power beneath my hands.  Just back and forth.  Back and forth.  Wait, did I do that spot already? No matter, just more time to myself, while Hubby entertains the kids.  I’m getting a little hot, but hey, it’s summer right?  And it’s a bit more tiring than I would have expected. But I really need the exercise, so onward and upward!  Back and forth.  This is so great.  I mean, no one’s bothering me.  I get to think, without little mouths interrupting me.  So awesome.  Hey, look how much I did, it seems like so much! I’m so on a roll.  Maybe, I should just stop a bit and drink some water though.  Because I’m pretty sweaty and I gotta keep hydrated.  Yeah, that’s enough for now.  I’ll do some more later. 

But when I went inside I saw how little I had really done.  And my hands were hurting.  Like they were bruised.  And I told Hubby, “Thanks for letting me try.  I’ll do some more this week.”  “Oh no,” he said. “It all has to be done in one day so it doesn’t grow at different intervals and need different mowing days.” Was he smirking when he said that?  Well, I didn’t finish yesterday and had to do it this morning.  With my kids not being entertained by their father, as today is Monday. 

While I’m mowing I call to my oldest, Shavtiel, age 6. “Hey Shav, do you know where Nisayah is?” Nisayah is my two and a half year old.  “What?” The mower is loud.  So I shout louder, “DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR SISTER IS?” “WHAT?” “WHERE’S YOUR SISTER?!” “WHAT MOM?!” (Mumbled)  “Oh, fuck it.” “What’s ‘fuck’ mean?” “No, no, sweetie.  Duck there.  I thought I saw a duck fly over there.” Whew, safe. 

My language is just one of the many things about myself that I need to work on.  Patience is a big one.  Mommy rage, which I’m sure will get more attention later on.  Being non-judgmental. Learning the art of listening.  Which I believe means letting other people know, through your silence, that you give a crap about what they’re saying.  Which I mostly do.  But I like to illustrate the fact with an amusing yet genuine tale of my own.  I would like to be a better Jew.  For now that means connecting to G-d in a deeper way while keeping the mitzvoth.  The list goes on and on.  This doesn’t mean that I don’t think I’m a pretty decent person right now.  It just means there’s plenty of room for improvement.  In much the same way I like to leave some space in my coffee cup for cream.  The coffee is great.  The cream makes it better.
Speaking of which, I really am missing that coffee right now. 

There was a long period of time when I didn’t drink caffeine.  Then, when my daughter was ten months and I discovered I was pregnant again (here’s where, if I weren’t working on my language, I could insert many four letter words), I gave up pretending I was too good for him, and came back crawling on my hands and knees, begging Caffeine to forgive me my errant ways.  And so my love triangle was reunited, Me, Caffeine and Sleep.  It’s complicated.  When I miss Sleep, I turn to Caffeine.  When Caffeine is nowhere to be found, I collapse in the arms of Sleep.  But never have I been able to bring us all together.  It’s like, no matter how much Sleep and Caffeine love me, they just can’t find a way to love each other.

But Caffeine has scorned me in another way.  It has made me a snob.  Not just any caffeine will do.  No.  I have no time or patience for the sugary, carbonated likes of Coke or Mountain Dew.  I like my hipster coffee shops filled with glasses-wearing twenty-something year-olds who apparently have no other job but to sit in a dark coffee shop, wearing interesting haircuts and shoes to match, while typing on expensive laptops, drinking even more expensive coffee.  I like the man behind the counter to explain to me why the aromas in this cup bring out blackberries and hints of seaweed due to the fact that it’s grown atop a mountain inhabited only by celibate (and therefore endangered) Buddhist monks, too high in elevation to bear fruits of any other kind and far, far away from the sea. 

However, the coffee soaked on my shirt is Starbucks Columbian coffee, stored in my freezer, made by me, and bought from the discount Amish grocery down the street.  Because I no longer live in a cultured city inhabited by hipters and hippies and punks and suits and non-American ethnicities.  I bought 40 acres of farmland in rural Pennsylvania.  I am an orthodox, homeschooling, earth loving, all natural farmer woman. 

And this is where my story begins.  

Almost forgot my good list!

1. My super sweet husband
2. My second cup of coffee
3. Getting started on something exciting!


  1. i love it
    it must be good if i want to read more and i already know the story!
    i think you got your writing talent on your dad's side...

  2. OH my goodness Tovah. This is great! Hurry up and write more! I can't wait to continue reading! Good for you!!!! :) <3
    -nicole m

    1. Thanks Nicole! And Super Happy Birthday to you! Welcome to the wonderful thirties... It's where people believe us when we say we're adults, but we get to laugh inside because we know the truth!

  3. Tovah, I love this first chapter!
    I hear your voice in every word.

    It's well-written and draws the reader right in.
    I want to

    Love, Leah

  4. What a wonderful beginning!
    It draws you in with your wisdom, wit, and of coarse, humor.
    Keep it coming!
    - A delighted (and excited!) reader