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Judy Gruen

My Grandmother, the Doctor

May 10, 2007, by

The first time I got in trouble at school I was in kindergarten. One day, after we had successfully read “See Spot Run” and in the midst of painting a forest with our big, fat paintbrushes, my teacher, Miss Flanagan, strode over and accused me of having lied to another student in the class. Even

Time Warp Again? Take a Step Toward Tradition

March 2, 2007, by

When I think back to my bat mitzvah 30-plus years ago, here’s what I remember most: following the photographer’s prompts as I posed against the tree in the synagogue courtyard, standing nervously on the bimah chanting my Torah portion, and giving a speech in which I excoriated President Nixon. I don’t recall how I tied

Cultural Pollution

January 25, 2007, by

I’ll never forget the day I decided to become a “cultural vigilante.” I was driving in our Los Angeles neighborhood, my two little boys in the back seat. My eldest son, then 7 years old, tried out his new reading skills on a billboard we passed. “Look, Mommy,” he said. “It says, ‘Get your ____(I’ll

Stop Me Before I Try to Parent Again

November 30, 2006, by

My husband and I are experimenting with a radical new parenting technique, one that we call, “Keeping Our Mouths Shut.” I had heard of other parents attempting this terrifying feat. Frankly, I never thought we would get this desperate. To non-parents, the idea of parenting simply by Keeping Our Mouths Shut may sound absurdly easy.

Fly Away Home

September 7, 2006, by

I knew it was coming, but the reality only began to hit me inexplicably, while selecting produce in a small neighborhood market. There, right in front of the zucchini and parsnips, I began to sob nearly uncontrollably. In less than four days, our eldest son would fly to Israel for a year of post-high school

Summertime Blues

August 9, 2006, by

How I am spending their summer vacation. Tuesday Today I insisted we do something educational, so we drove to a kids’ science museum where I got to lay down on a bed of nails. (I had to, since going to the museum was my idea.) This point of the exhibit, so to speak, was to